Saugatuck boys take first place at Holly Invite, girls finish fourth
The Saugatuck duo of junior Nik Pettinga and sophomore Max Sharnas truly was dynamic at the Holly Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 14.
Pettinga ran a 16:28.2 and Sharnas clocked in at 16:28.9 to finish first and second in leading the Indians to the team title in the Division IV race with 29 points.
Runner-up Breckenridge had 60 points, while Leslie was third with 115 points.
“Overall, I thought our boys went out and competed very well,” Saugatuck coach Rick Bauer said. “This was only our third race, while several of the other teams had five or more races, so we’re not quite as race-tested yet. But I thought it was a very good performance.”
Pettinga and Sharnas spearheaded the performance, finishing 27 seconds ahead of third-place finisher Mason Sumner from Breckenridge.
“Nik and Max are our workhorses,” Bauer said. “They’re both really special kids and really special runners. They both ran good, tactical races.”
Sophomore Tristan Ashley joined Pettinga and Sharnas in the top 10, placing 10th at 17:55.
“Tristan is a young kid and he’s still finding his confidence a little bit,” Bauer said. “When he does, I really believe he can run times that rival Nik and Max.”
Sophomore Adam Martinson (13th at 18:04) and senior Winston Marcy (19th at 18:22) rounded out the scoring runners for Saugatuck. Freshman Luke Gorgas (27th at 18:43) and senior Conner Seifert (28th at 18:45) also competed.
“I actually thought Conner had the most impressive performance of the day,” Bauer said. “This is his first year running and Holly is known for being a slow course, so for him to come out and set a new (personal record) was really impressive.”
The Saugatuck girls, meanwhile, placed fourth in Division IV with 129 points. Byron (30 points) took first, followed by Jackson Lumen Christi (96) and Bad Axe (114).
Senior Jillian Vera led the way by placing seventh at 21:28. Junior Jillian Johnson was 12th at 22:26, while senior Kyrah-Lynn Rodriguez (17th at 22:41), senior Sophie McQueary (18th at 22:43) and sophomore Hannah Smit (33rd at 23:39) were the Indians’ other scoring runners.