Three days after winning at Bath, Saline took control of the race for the SEC Red championship.
Saline placed five runners in the top 10 to win the meet with 35 points. Pioneer was second at 78.
The Hornets were the expected favorites when the season began and after winning at Bath, they were excited to start conference races with a win, coach Carl Spina said.
“We are not the only team that thinks they can win the SEC-Red this year. There are three teams in the SEC that will be top-ten at the state finals, and we love competing in a field like that. It's good for our program when the programs we see most often challenge us. We only get better because of that,” Spina said. “We didn't run really fast times, but we were focusing on a few other details today. In terms of execution of a race plan, I'd give it a B+, but the boys are good enough that we have a lot of room for error.”
Saline was led by sophomore Jevin Nishioka, who chased down Saline senior Aidan Carichner to take fourth place in 16:52.64. Carichner follower him in .23 seconds later.
Spina said he expects more good things from Nishioka.
“Jevin is really competitive, he has a lot of strength, and we've been working on speed since July, so I'm not surprised that he got Aidan at the line. I think we have about four or five different guys that could be our number one at any given race, so Jevin taking the lead for us today is not something that won't happen again,” Spina said.
Evan Koerschner was seventh in 16:55.16. Anthony Dekraker (9th, 17:05) and Joshua Cook (10th, 17;06) completed the Hornet scoring.
Connor Meehan (13th, 17:12), Aidan Delfuoco (20th, 17:25) and Neil Garg (38th, 18:07) also ran in the varsity race for Saline.
Saline picked up 10 points in the SEC Red standings today. There are two more SEC jamborees and each one is worth more points. Still, the Hornets are in front as of Tuesday.
“At this point, we're in control of the title and if anyone wants it, they'll have to come take it from us,” Spina said.
Adrian senior Jack Schafer won the race in 16:16. Pioneer sophomore Nick Foster was the fastest from the SEC Red, taking third in 16:48.
Saline won the JV race with 21 points. Pioneer was second with 45 points.
Junior Derek Liemohn won the race in 17:32.9. Sophomore Simon Pfeiffer was second in 17:42. Aaron Milley (5th, 18:02), Toby Mephan (6th, 18:15) and Grant Peters (7th, 18:29) finished in the scoring for Saline.
The Ann Arbor Running Company 3 Stars are:
- Jevin Nishioka – Nishioka was probably 10 yards behind Carichner with 100 yards to go. He caught and passed Carichner in the race’s final meters.
- Aidan Carichner – The Saline senior paced the Hornets once again.
- Evan Koerschner – The Saline senior cracked Saline’s top three for the first time of the season.