CROSS COUNTRY: Saline Boys Rebound to Win SEC Jambo 2, Girls Take 2nd


MONROE - The Saline varsity boys cross country team rebounded to win the second SEC Red Jamboree at Munson Park in Monroe Tuesday. The Saline varsity girls team finished a strong second behind the two-time defending state champs from Pioneer. In the reserve races, the Saline girls took first and the boys were second.


Saline senior Max Pfeiffer was the first Hornet over the finish line as the Hornets ran a tight-knit race and bested Pioneer by three points. Just 34 seconds separated Saline's scoring five runners.

"That's the Saline team that I know and have seen in practice the past few months," said boys' coach Carl Spina.

The boys were disappointed in their run at the first SEC race two weeks ago. 

"All of our work since then has been on rebuilding that confidence and reminding them of who they are. And today they raced how we wanted them to, how we know they can, so we were excited with that," Spina said. "The SEC is a strong conference for cross country, and if we can win here, we can compete with anyone."

Pfeiffer crossed the finish line at 16:40 to finish fourth. Pioneer senior Owen Johnson won the race in 16:16.4.

Also scoring for the Hornets were Jason Whitton (7th, 17:00.2), James Harrison (9th, 17:01), Andrew Stern (12th, 17:11.7) and Truman Johnson (14th, 17:15).  Samuel Kulczak (17th, 17:22), Samuel Jackson (22nd, 17:38.1), Shane Pitcher (38th, 18:31.1) and Stewart Berryhill (42nd, 18:38.7) also ran for the Hornets.


"It was one of those days where all of our boys fought for every step; it was 17 minutes of a back-and-forth battle, and when our whole lineup does that, our whole lineup is the standout performer of the day," Spina said.

In the girls' varsity race, senior Madison Stern was the first to cross the finish line for Saline. The Hornets finished second with 43 points. Pioneer won with 19 points - fueled by the top four runners in the race. As dominant as Pioneer was, Saline was closer to Pioneer than third-place Dexter was to Saline.

Sophomore Rachel Forsyth took charge early and won the race in 18:17.3. Then a convoy of Pioneers, including Sarah Forsyth, Emily Cooper and Cookie Baugh, ran behind her to take second, third and fourth.

Stern was fifth in 19:07.6. Madison Wood (6th, 19:22.9) was right behind her. Mia Rogan (8th, 19:33.1), Laney Alig (11th, 19:46.8), and Mackenzie Sellenraad (13th, 19:56.7) completed the scoring. Lydia Alig (14th, 20:05), Sienna Snyder (16th, 20:13), Aubrey Stager (20th,20:39), Corynn Grady (21st, 20:39) and Abby Roth (32nd, 21:48) also ran for the varsity squad.

Saline won the girls' reserve race with a perfect 15-point finish, sweeping the top five spots. Grace Roth won in 20:38. Roth was followed by Claire Endres, Nancy Gage, Lucy Woehlke, and Madison Rogan.

Saline senior Mason Kipley won the boys' reserve race in 17:44 as the Hornets placed second. Hayen Clark (6th), Blake Mahler (7th), Luke Swanger (10th), and Andrew McNally (15th) finished in the scoring five.


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