by CLIFF AND NANCY HILL
The Rockford Lady Rams Cross-Country (XC) Team crushed the opposition at last Saturday’s Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) Division 1 – Region 2 Championship at Allendale High School.
Finishing in first place, the Lady Rams scored 39 points followed by the Grand Haven Girls team with 69 points in second place, and the Grandville Girls team finishing closely behind in third place with 71 points.
With fourteen seven-member teams entered in the event, it wasn’t even close with the Lady Rams’ finishing times and positions (L to R in picture) as follows:(front row) Soph. Kerianne Schoff (18:57.78) 10th place, Jr. Morgan Harney (18:47.08) 6th place, Jr. Lauren Brasure (18:28.51) 2nd place, Soph. Natalie Napolillo (19:09.45) 12th place, (back row) Soph. Maegan Roach (19:25.01) 19th place, Soph. Maja Hill (19:35.67) 20th place, and Frosh. Morgan Benoit (18:52.56) 9th place. Pictured in the back row far right is Asst. Coach Lisa Miller.
Finishing first through third, all three teams advance to this coming Saturday’s MHSAA Division 1 – Lower Peninsula State Championship Meet at the Michigan International Speedway (MIS).
The Lady Rams have been peaking in recent events leading up to the State Meet, in part, because of the superb coaching of Head Coach Ben Watson. No stranger to the coaching of outstanding cross-country teams, Watson, assisted by Miller, has this year’s team mentally and physically prepared for these high-pressure and oftentimes grueling 5K championship competitions.
Peaking indeed, consider the following; all seven of the talented young ladies finished in the Top 20 at the Regional Championship and six of the seven posted personal records (PR) during Saturday’s event. Three of the seven, amazingly, posted back-to-back consecutive PRs during the last two XC events.
Whatever the outcome this coming Saturday at MIS the Lady Rams have accomplished much to be proud of this year. Even better, they have the good fortune of looking forward to next year, when the entire team, with no graduating seniors, will return. The sky’s the limit for the Lady Rams – a thought that ought to strike fear into the hearts of their competitors!