May 27 • 01:31 AM

Creger is state runner-up!

Almont senior runs personal best, team finishes 19th in Div. 3 boys' state cross country finals

November 10, 2010
ALMONT — Dylan Creger pulled up second with a blistering school time of 15:48.5, leading the Almont boys' cross country team to a 19th-place showing last Saturday at the Division 3 state finals.

Michigan International Speedway, in Brooklyn, is where the action unfolded.

When the final scores were added up, Grandville Calvin Christian's 107-point output set the pace. They were followed by Lansing Catholic (192 points), Shepherd (212), Frankenmuth (212), Jackson Lumen Christi (242), Hillsdale (250), Perry (263), Mason County Central (288), Flint Powers (289), Benzie Central (299), Schoolcraft (304), Napoleon (320), Freeland (336), Hemlock (340), Evart (350), Allendale (353), Whitmore Lake (374), Delton-Kellogg (379), Almont (429), Grand Rapids Northpointe Christian (434), Kalamazoo Hackett (454), Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central (455), Roscommon (469), Reese (569), Ida (599), Allen Park Cabrini (606) and Kingsley (660).

"We left M.I.S. pretty pleased with the way things turned out," Almont Coach Rick Filar said. "We would have like to have finished a little higher in the standings as team, but I am especially happy for the kids who were able to finish the season with a personal record," he noted.

Dylan Creger, of Almont, nears the finish-line last Saturday at the Division 3 state finals. photo by Kevin Kissane.
"In particular, Dylan Creger and David Burkland ran really well and were able to accomplish their goals. Those two boys led by example every day in practice. They push each other to do better, so to see them achieve their goals is a highlight of the eight years I have been coaching.

"Dylan missed an All-State spot by two places last year in cross country and he missed by a single spot this past season in track. To see his dedication and hard work rewarded with a second-place finish at the state meet, well that is wonderful.

"As for David, he put in more training mileage than anyone on our team this year, so it is nice to see him break 17:00 for the first time. He had a great year and I am glad he is only a junior. David has very high standards, so I expect a big season from him in 2011."

Heading into the meet, Creger thought he had the potential to enjoy a good day at states.

"This week I was looking over what the other runners had done at their regionals," Creger said. "My time was either the fourth or fifth fastest coming in so I knew there was a chance I could be up in the front if everyone did what they were suppose to do," he noted.

"Still, I knew that none of that mattered," Creger said. "I had to get it done today," he emphasized.

And when the starter's gun fired to begin the race, get it done is exactly what he did.

"There was a group of about 10 of us running together when we went through the mile mark at about 4:52," Creger said. 'We were beginning to pull away some from the others," he recalled.

"A half mile later I picked up the pace some, got away from that group and moved into second place. I was able to hold on to that position the rest of the way. It was a great feeling when I crossed the finish-line, I had done better than I expected."

David Burkland logged the second quickest Almont clocking that day. Burkland stopped the watch at 16:51.7, paving the way to a 54th.

Josh Klebba, 159th, 17:49.5; Kyle Robinson, 203rd, 18:19.3; and Josh Kunath, 205th, 18:20.8; rounded out Almont's top-five finishers.

Jesse Crawford, 240th, 19:08.5; and Cody Corbin, 248th, 20:46.3; also rep resented Almont that day.

Kevin Kissane has been covering high school sports for the Tri-City Times since 1985. When not standing on a field or court with his camera and notepad, he enjoys golf, travel and family. Kevin is a 1980 graduate of Capac High School, and is also a grad of St. Clair Community College and earned a degree in journalism from Central Michigan University.
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