Will Finch ran a personal-record time of 16:57 to place ninth at regionals and help the Bulldogs to qualify for the Division 2 state finals.

Otsego boys for finals for sixth time in eight years

Jason Wesseldyk

Prior to this season, the Otsego boys’ cross country team had qualified for the state finals as a team five of the past seven years.
You can now make that six of the past eight years.
The Bulldogs put together a 96-point effort at the Division 2 regional Saturday, Oct. 25, at Portage West Middle School to earn the final bid to the finals.
That score put Otsego just one point out of the runner-up slot that was claimed by Gull Lake, while St. Joseph took top honors with 35 points.
“It seems like I keep saying this, but I’m extremely pleased with how my guys performed,” Otsego coach Steve Long said. “Year round, we talk about giving 100 percent in practice and in competition. We want to know we gave everything that we could give to get to where we’re at. These boys do that every day and they did that again today.”
This is the third straight appearance in the finals for Otsego, which missed qualifying by nine points in 2011. The only other time the Bulldogs failed to earn a berth in the finals during the past eight seasons came in 2009, and that was by seven points.
“We have also now had 22 All-Region performances during that time,” Long said. “What a great group of kids.”
Three of those All-Region performances—which honors the top 15 finishers—came this season.
Junior Jacob Starr led the way in that regard, posting a personal record time of  16:23 that put him in third place.
Freshman Will Finch also set a new personal record, clocking a 16:57 to place ninth. It was the first time he broke 17 minutes.

For full story, pick up a copy of the October 30 issue of The Allegan County News or subscribe to the e-edition.

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