Hunter Jones Advances to San Diego With Champs XC Midwest Victory
By Mary Albl and Doug Binder of DyeStat
Hunter Jones of Benzonia, Mich. picked up where he left off two weeks ago and won another regional title, this time at UW-Parkside in Kenosha, Wis. at the Champs XC Midwest regional.
Jones, girls winner Tatum David of Olney, Ill., and the rest of the top 10s in both of the championship races advance to the national finals in San Diego on Dec. 10.
Jones, who won the NXR Midwest race two weeks ago, ran 14:52.2 and won the regional by 10 seconds over Kole Mathison of Carmel, Ind. Noah Breker (Plymouth, Minn.), Cameron Todd (Indianapolis) and Benne Anderson (Allendale, Mich.) rounded out the top five.
Michigan will send four boys to the national meet, while Indiana and Ohio will send two apiece.
David won the girls championship in 17:16.3. Sophia Kennedy (Carmel, Ind.) and Paityn Noe (Huxley, Iowa) finished second and third and will join Davis at national championship meets in both Portand and San Diego.
Jessica Jazwinski from Shelby, Mich. finished fourth and Helen Sachs of Holland, Mich., the NXR Midwest champion, was fifth.
When Ellie Shea competes, she makes sure to make it count. Despite not many races this fall, the junior from Belmont, Mass. dominated the historically challenging Van Cortlandt Park course in the Bronx, N.Y. on Saturday to win the Champs (formerly Foot Locker) Cross Country Northeast Regional title.
Shea won the 5,000-meter race in a time of 17 minutes, 10.7 seconds to qualify for the Champs XC National Championships.
A year ago, Shea was sixth in the regional race with a time of 17:55.3.
Second place went to previously unbeaten Karrie Baloga of New Windsor, N.Y., crossing the line in 17:24.9. Baloga, the NYSPHSSAA Class B and New York Federation champion, qualified for her third trip to nationals.
Zariel Macchia of Shirley, N.Y., who won the Class A state title, was third in 17:47.9. The New England Champion Ruth White of Orono, Maine finished fourth in 17:51.8.
In the boys race, junior Drew Griffith of Butler, Pa., who finished second at the PIAA Class AAA race earlier this month, covered the 5K race in 15:20.9, edging out Sam Burgess of Framingham, Mass. (15:21.3).
A year ago, Burgess was ninth in 15:29.6. Third place went to Paul Bergeron of Westford, Mass. (15:30.8).
The top 10 runners from each championship race qualified for nationals.
– Mary Albl
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