Almont boys advance as a wildcard to state meet
November 04, 2009
TRI-CITY AREA — The Almont boys' cross country team managed an output of 85 points, good enough for a fourth-place finish at a Division 3 regional meet last Saturday.
Goodells County Park is where the action unfolded.
"It was a battle to the end as we anticipated," Almont Coach Rick Filar said. "Frankenmuth edged us in the tiebreaker (based on each team's sixth swiftest runner) for the final automatic qualifying berth," he noted.
'"Fortunately, we were able to place four runners among the top-20 finishers. That allowed us to move on as an additional team qualifier. This is the first time an Almont boys' squad has ever qualified for the state meet."
When the final standing were posted, Armada's 63-point total proved best. Caro pulled up second, thanks to an 81-point output.
Frankenmuth and Almont managed identical totals of 85, forcing a tiebreaker (based on each team's sixth swiftest finish) to determine which side would garner a third. The former earned that distinction, thanks to a 36th against a 47th.
That meant Almont appeared to be on the outside looking in as far as the upcoming state meet.
However, Almont learned that since they had four finishers among the top-20 that they would be headed to the state meet as well.
"It all happened so fast," Filar said. "When the team heard that we made it as a wildcard they were happy with the news," he emphasized.
Those four schools, plus anyone who raced to a spot among the top-15 finishers, all advance to this Saturday's Division 3 state finals at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn. Their race is slated to begin at 11:30 a.m.
Bad Axe pulled up fifth at Saturday's regional, accumulating 123 points en route. They were followed by Marlette (133 points), Reese (145), Birch Run (198), Montrose (232) and Cass City (277).
Capac and Vassar also competed but did not field complete squads.
Dylan Creger, third, 16:59; led Almont that day. He was backed by David Burkland, 10th, 17:54; Josh Klebba, 11th, 17:54; James Strachan, 20th, 18:43; and Cody Corbin, 43rd, 19:50.
Gideon Gaiter, 24th, 18:56; paced Capac's three-runner contingent. Joe Cutino, 56th, 20:40; and Justin McDonald, 67th, 23:17; also represented the Chiefs.