The Saline varsity cross country team ran a strong race. But they weren’t catching Ann Arbor at the MHSAA Division 1 Regional at Lake Erie Metropark Saturday afternoon.
The Pioneers came startlingly close to the perfect score of 15 – finishing with 19 points. Saline was comfortably in second place with 58 points.
The top three teams in the region qualify for the state meet. Bedford grabbed the final spot with 99 points.
“We ran well. Pioneer has a great team with a couple of great coaches. They came out and they weren’t going to be beat. But we ran well too. We’ve been having problem getting all of our guys running well in the same race. We did that today,” Spina said. “And the important thing is we qualified for the state meet.”
Saline senior Anthony DeKraker spoiled Pioneer’s perfect finish. He finished second in 16:08.3. Pioneer’s Nick Foster won the race in 15:36.5 seconds.
DeKraker was the only non-Pioneer to finish in the top six.
“Anthony ran a good race. It was a tough one, because he was kind of out there on his own. He was behind Foster but he was also ahead of the guys behind him. So he just had to do it all himself out there,” Spina said.
Jevin Nishioka was 11th for Saline, finishing in 16:30.2. He ran alongside senior Josh Cook and pulling away at the end. Cook was 13th in 16:35.4.
“Jevin ran well. He’s been fighting injuries and it’s so hard to trust yourself and that you’re healthy,” Spina said. “Joshua has been one of our more consistent producers all year long.”
Junior Simon Pfeiffer was 17th in 16:49 and junior Will Downey was 12th in 16:52.6 – to complete the Hornet scoring.
“Simon did a good job of bringing his friend Will along with him today. Will had one of his best races out there,” Spina said.
It was the second best time of Downey’s career.
Right behind Downey was senior Aidan Delfuoco, who was 20th in 16:54.
The spread between Nishioka and Delfuoco was just 24 seconds, which Spina was glad to see.
Sophomore William Minnette was 32nd in 17:13.
The Hornets are now focused on the state meet. Their coach believes the Hornets can bring home hardware.
“If we’re running well we can finish anywhere from first to fifth,” Spina said.