Logan Wetzel came from behind to win his second straight individual regional championship and help Saline to its seventh straight team regional championship Saturday at Lake Erie Metropark.
Saline won the regional with 42 points, 63 points better than second place Bedford. Pioneer finished third with 112 points to grab the third state qualifying spot.
Wetzel’s race was the story of the day. Wyandotte Roosevelt senior Dominic Davis held a 40-50 meter advantage that Wetzel erased with astonishing ease in the final 400 yards. Wetzel and Hall planned to come out fast but the soft course made that difficult.
“David made a great move with a little over 800 left up that hill. I was just trying to close down the gap heading toward the finish. Luckily I had enough course left to get him at the end,” Wetzel said. “I was definitely going hard, giving everything I had to try and get out front of him.”
The victory gave Wetzel two straight individual championships. Wetzel, however, was more interested in talking about his team’s success.
“It’s great to be part of the Saline tradition. Bringing that trophy home means the world to the whole team,” Wetzel said. “It’s pretty cool to leave our mark on the program.”
Hall fell victim to the Davis move and had to settle for third place.
“We were planning to make our move but he took off and made his move. Logan caught him and I wasn’t able to,” Hall said. “Times were slower today for everyone because of the course. But I was second last year so I was a little disappointed. I think that as a team we ran pretty well today.”
Sophomore Evan Koerschner, who finished 14th as a freshman, ran a strong race and finished seventh in 16:48. Senior David Conzelmann placed 10th in 16:54 to earn all-region honors for the first time in his career.
Bryan Adamovicz passed three runners in the final 40 yards to finish 21st overall in 17:15 and complete the Hornet scoring. Josiah Humphrey was 22nd (17:15) and Sam Cayen was 24th (17:17).
Hall said he was glad to see Conzelmann and Koerschner earn all-region honors.
“They deserve the attention more than us,” Hall said.
The boys qualified to race as a team at the MHSAA Division 1 finals at 2 p.m., Nov. 1 at Michigan International Speedway.
“We’ve did something today that we were looking for. We’ve got a lot of good pieces going into the state meet,” Wetzel said. “I think we can have a great race as a team.”
Hall hopes to set a personal mark at the state meet and finish in the top 10 or 15. The Hornets are going to need top-notch performances like the one Hall is preparing for if they are to bring hardware home from MIS.