Cross Country: All-State Runner Madi Wood, 4th, Leads Saline to 3rd at State Meet

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 11/03/2019 - 00:35

Led by sophomore Madi Wood, fourth in the state, the Saline girls’ cross country team finished third at the MHSAA Division 1 final Saturday at Michigan International Speedway.

Wood finished the 5K event in 18:02.4 - her best time yet except for a very fast and possibly short Portage course earlier this year. The Hornets finished with 182 points. Pioneer won the championship with 80. Traverse City Central was second with 113.

Pioneer Sofia Dudek won the race in 17:00.4.

Wood, who placed 34th as a freshman and missed all-state honors by a few seconds, had the kind of race that will make her one of state’s most-watched runners when she starts her junior year.

Saline senior Nicole Dillman placed 48th in 19:14.5. From there, Saline’s next three placers finished in a pack. Sophomore Madison Stern (74th, 19:31.3), sophomore Claire Endres (79th, 19:33.3), and senior Ella Wohelke (84th, 19:37) contributed to the Hornet scoring. Seniors Haley Greene (153rd, 20:16.7) and Jenna Allman (159th, 20:20.1) also ran for the Hornets.

Here are some race notes:

  • Wood and Pioneer sophomore Sara Forsyth have been dueling the last three weeks. While Dudek ran away with the SEC Red, regional and state meet, Wood and Forsyth have had interesting battles. At the SEC, Wood bested Forsyth in the final 800. At the regional, it was Forsyth with the upper hand after a late kick. At the state meet, it was Wood winning by 12 seconds. Forsyth finished ninth. Barring any transfers, up and coming freshmen or other developments, Forsyth and Wood will be the ones to watch in the SEC Red next year. They’ll also be among the elite returners in the state.

  • Among freshmen and sophomore runners, Saline had three girls in the top 33. Pioneer also had three. And despite losing Dudek, they’ll be strong again next year with three in the top 12 among freshmen and sophomores.

  • Wood’s time of 18:02.4 was 47.2 seconds faster than last year’s time.

  • Dillman, who made all-region last week, ran in her third straight state meet for Saline. She improved her time by 13.5 seconds and improved 35 places from last year.

  • Stern ran in her second straight state meet. The all-region sophomore improved by 13 places from last year’s race.

  • Endres, who earned all-region honors last week, raced in her first state meet. In fact, last year, Endres didn’t run for the varsity team at the regional. So she’s come a long way this year. Endres also improved on her regional time by 2.5 seconds and would have set a PR were it not for the Portage race that seems to have skewed everyone’s records.

  • Woehlke ran her final race as an XC runner. She ran a whopping 42 seconds faster than she did at the regional and ran her first sub-20 minute time of the season. Her time of 19:37 was the second-fastest of her career - a half-second behind last year's state meet time. Her 84th place finish was the best of her career - 13 spots better than last year. It was a great way to go out for the senior, who was a member of the state meet and regional teams all four years.

  • Greene knocked more than 25 seconds off her regional time and 35 seconds off her SEC championship time. That’s a nice way to finish your high school cross country career.

  • Allman couldn’t match her regional time. Allman had never ever run a regional before last week, let alone run in a state meet. But the Saline senior stepped in last week when senior Katelyn Szafranski bowed out because she wasn’t at her best. Allman made a point Szafranski’s willingness to do what was best for the team. Good for Katelyn. But good on Jenna, also for seeing to it that the sacrifice of a teammate was noticed.

Tran Longmoore's picture
Tran Longmoore
Tran Longmoore is a veteran community journalist. He is founder and owner of TheSalinePost.com. He is co-publisher of The Saline Post weekly newspaper. Email him at [email protected] or call him at 734-272-6294.

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