Otsego cross teams shine at Cougar Falcon Invitational
The Otsego boys’ cross country team entered the Cougar Falcon Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 21, ranked first in Division 2 and ranked sixth in the Super 10 that includes all divisions.
Based on their performance, the Bulldogs showed themselves to be deserving of such lofty status.
Otsego won the Cougar Division of the meet with 33 points to outdistance runner-up Grand Rapids Christian—ranked fourth in Division 2—by 40 points.
The 10th-ranked Otsego girls also put together a strong showing with a second-place finish of 100 points in the Cougar Division. Fourth-ranked Grand Rapids Christian took the top spot with 68 points.
“I was very happy with how everyone performed,” Otsego coach Steve Long said of his boys’ team. “It was a warm day and the kids were running tired after a solid week of training, but they still ran well.
“The boys were again the top team of the day beating all four of the ranked D2 teams and all three of the ranked D1 teams that were there.”
Otsego’s first four runners all placed in the top 10 of the 104-runner Cougar Division field, with all 10 of its runners finishing 31st or better.
The duo of senior Hunter Zartman and junior Colin Mulder set the tone for the Bulldogs, placing second and third, respectively. Zartman’s time of 16:07 was second only to Gull Lake junior Koby Fraaza (15:46), while Mulder checked in at 16:19.
Sophomore Chase Brown joined Zartman and Mulder in the 16s with a 16:57 that was good for seventh.
“The guys up front are doing their job, but I also like how our four through 12 runners are improving,” Long said.
Sophomore Mason Kolhoff was right behind Brown in eighth place at 17:01, while twin brother Logan Kolhoff was 13th at 17:13 to complete Otsego’s list of scoring runners. Junior Andrew Kubiak (16th at 17:32), senior Tyler DeHaan (21st at 17:45), junior Andnet DeBoer (24th at 17:51), freshman Colin Wesseldyk (27th at 17:59) and junior Isaiah Wilkins (31st at 18:07) also competed for Otsego.
The Otsego girls got a team-best effort from sophomore Claudia Stachura, who was seventh at 19:50.
“On the girls’ side, Grand Rapids Christian ran really well,” Long said. “They’re always a powerhouse and I always expect a good race with them. And with a total of five ranked teams there, our girls finishing second to them was a great showing for us.”
Freshman Chelsea Glessner (13th at 20:13), sophomore Joy Wolfe (14th at 20:17), junior Bri Mosher (33rd at 21:34) and sophomore Brinley Badders (35th at 21:37) joined Stachura as scoring runners.
Sophomore Elizabeth Burrill (37th at 21:38), junior Ashley Goodrich (45th at 22:13), senior Maria Germain (58th at 22:40), sophomore Emma Conniff (65th at 23:09) and junior Emma Koppers (95th at 25:35) also ran for Otsego.
“I really think the girls have a long way to go in their improvement, so I like where we’re at right now,” Long said.