ST. JOSEPH — There was no easing their way into the 2013 cross country season for the Sturgis High School boys and girls varsity teams Tuesday at the St. Joseph Invitational. And they certainly weren’t alone, as the heat and first taste of competition were shocks to the system for most squads in the deep field.
In an event that featured a race for underclassmen and another for juniors and seniors, the scores were combined for the final standings. Overall, the Trojans boys were fifth and the girls finished 11th. Grant Brown clocked in at 17 minutes, 47 seconds to lead the boys, followed by Shawn Bell (18:22) and Trevor Sprowls (18:34). Peyton Boughton (seventh in the upperclassmen race) turned in a 20:24, Andrea Hernandez crossed the line in 24:50 and Sarah Miller finished in 26:06 on the girls’ side.
The girl’s team improved from last years 13th-place performance even with tougher competition with the addition of Rockford and Grand Rapids South Christian,” Sturgis coach Emerson Green said. “The race had a bit of an overload factor with the heat and early season conditioning of the athletes. We are still a bit tired coming off camp last week, but we are excited that the girls team is well on its way to reaching a goal of being improved from the 2012 campaign.
“The boys team dropped from second in 2012 to fifth this year (only four points separated Sturgis from second-place finisher Portage Central). This was a great early season training run/race. We went out conservative due to the heat and our heavy training. We were not as strong in the second and third mile as we would like, but we see lots of room for improvement.”