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TR girls’, boys’ XC both fourth in division at Under the Lights meet; TR girls champs at Big Hill Invite

Three Rivers Cross Country runners Reece Howes (left) and Sulley Zietlow (right) earned medals at Friday’s Under the Lights Invite at Grand Rapids South Christian. Zietlow finished eighth place overall in the race, third in their division while Howes took 35th place overall, 13th in their division.
Three Rivers Cross Country runner Lillie Kerr competes at the Under the Lights Invite Friday at Grand Rapids South Christian. Kerr finished 45th in the race and 22nd in their division, third among Wildcat runners.

GRAND RAPIDS — Both of Three Rivers High School’s cross country teams had good performances at a unique cross country event over the weekend.

The teams competed Friday at the 2023 Under the Lights Invite, hosted by Grand Rapids South Christian, a nighttime cross country event with runs starting as early as 6:30 p.m. and as late as midnight.

Competing in the twilight race beginning just after 9 p.m., Three Rivers’ girls’ and boys’ teams both finished fourth in their respective divisions out of the 12 teams competing in the girls’ competition and 14 teams competing in the boys’ competition. The girls notched 99 points, while the boys scored 75 points. There were two divisions in the twilight race, small school and large school, in which Three Rivers was classified in the small school category, with all divisions running at the same time.

Overall, among all schools competing in the twilight race, Three Rivers was eighth overall in the girls’ standings and fifth overall in the boys’ standings.

In the girls’ race, Three Rivers was led by senior Jenny Hernandez, who finished 12th overall with a time of 20:34. Rounding out the top seven finishers among all schools in the race for the Wildcats were senior Anezka Pradna (28th, 21:41), freshman Lillie Kerr (45th, 22:39), senior Emily Ventrone (48th, 22:44 and personal record), sophomore Gabby Kilbourn (82nd, 24:11), senior Izzy Jacobs (90th, 24:36), and freshman Brynn Copenhaver (96th, 24:54).

Hernandez and Pradna earned medals on the evening.

“Our girls continue their strong start to their season. In the first two meets we have beaten four Wolverine Conference opponents to start the year,” Three Rivers head coach Jason Muckel said. “We feel good about our progress and excited to see where this season goes.”

In the boys’ race, Three Rivers was led by junior Sulley Zietlow, who finished eighth overall with a personal-best time of 16:39. Rounding out the top seven finishers for the ‘Cats among all schools in the race were sophomore Reece Howes (35th, 18:09, personal record), senior Jacob Howes (47th, 18:29, personal record), sophomore Charlie Brauer (54th, 18:40, personal record), sophomore Jonah Zietlow (61st, 18:56), senior Isaac Perez (65th, 19:03), and sophomore Trey Hall (91st, 19:45, personal record).
Sophomore Dontrel Taylor (102nd, 19:58) and sophomore Aidan Martin (186th, 23:17) also set personal records on the night.

“As a coach, I do not feel like our boys have begun to reach their full potential. From last season to this season our returning athletes are light years ahead of where they were and improving every day,” Muckel said. “I am excited to see where this season takes them.”

TR girls champs at Big Hill Invitational, boys third

THREE RIVERS — Three Rivers’ cross country team got off to a good start in their first race of the season, with the girls’ squad taking first place at the Big Hill Invitational Tuesday, Aug. 22 with 76 points, while the boys’ team finished third with 110 points.

Jenny Hernandez led the way for the Wildcat girls, finishing fourth overall with a time of 21:40. Znezka Pradna (22:37) finished 8th, Lillie Kerr (24:27) finished 22nd, Emily Ventrone (24:28) placed 23rd, Izzy Jacobs (25:18) placed 25th, Gabby Kilbourn (26:03) finished 31st, and Brynn Copenhaver (26:42) placed 35th.

“Our girls’ team is fairly inexperienced as a team as we have many new runners to the program, but they are talented. I am proud of the girls for starting the year on such a high note,” Three Rivers coach Jason Muckel said.

On the boys’ side, the ‘Cats were led by Sulley Zietlow, who finished third overall with a time of 17:09. Jonah Zietlow (19:05) placed 21st, Reece Howes (19:25) finished 24th, Isaac Perez (19:47) took 30th, Jacob Howes (19:50) finished 32nd, Charlie Brauer (20:13) placed 38th, and Robert Yoder (20:46) finished 46th.

“The boys ran a strong performance. They feel like they could have ran better and are hungry to get back on the course and race again. It was a great start to our season,” Muckel said.

Constantine girls last at Big Hill, boys 8th

THREE RIVERS — Constantine’s cross country teams got their season started Tuesday, Aug. 22, with the girls’ team finishing 12th out of 12 teams at the Big Hill Invitational, and the boys’ team finishing eighth.

For the girls, Emma Schnepp led the way with a time of 27:54.1, good for 46th place overall. 73. Ava Muncie (30:26) placed 73rd, Kaitlyn Ross (34:24.4) finished 94th, Aimee Hochstetler (40:02.7) finished 112th, and Corinne Shoup (42:03) finished 118th.

The boys’ team was led by Robbie King, who finished 19th overall with a time of 19:02.3. Alex Avila (20:05.7) finished 34th, Logan Patmalnieks (20:12.2) finished 37th, Donovan Miller (22:34.5) finished 83rd, Brennan Piper (23:07.8) finished 91st, and Cole Bates (24:15.2) finished 97th.

Centreville girls XC finishes 8th, boys 13th at Big Hill

THREE RIVERS — Centreville’s cross country team was the third and final local team to compete in Tuesday, Aug. 22’s Big Hill Invite, with the girls’ team finishing in eighth place with 221 points, and the boys’ team finishing 13th out of 14 teams with a score of 350.

On the girls’ squad, Centreville was led by Ellie Reed with a time of 25:51, good for 28th place. Emmy Pritchard (27:15.7) finished 40th, Frances Mildenberg (28:58) finished 63rd, Ellie Miller (29:23.3) finished 67th, Matilda Roberts (30.31.3) finished 75th, and Autumn Schabes (32:31.8) finished 85th.

For the boys, Brendan Sre led the way for the Bulldogs, finishing 64th with a time of 21:42.7. Henry Sloat (22:12.2) finished 72nd, Oliver Mildenberg (22:25) finished 77th, Bryce Hekter (24:48.9) finished 102nd, Ben Reed (24:59.6) finished 106th, and Landon Marshall (26:00.9) placed 117th.

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