By Lenny Sementi
Tuscola’s boys’ and girls’ cross country teams traveled west to Chrisman for one of the toughest races in the state, the Annual Cow Chip Classic. The 3-mile tour of the Chrisman country side boasts not only some of the top individual runners in the state but also four or five of the top small school perennial power programs including top five ranked in both boys and girls, Monticello. It’s always an early measuring stick for coaches like Tuscola’s Mike Rosenbaum.
“It was truly a day to build on,” stated the coach. “The Cow Chip is the first real test for a lot of teams to see where they stand against the rest of the area. It’s not really where you place individually but more about how you compete, almost everybody we put out on the course set a season best record on very tough course.”
Mason Day took off with the first flight of boys and crossed the line 18 minutes and 27 seconds covering the 3-mile course at a pace of just over 6-minute miles. The senior ended up in 47th out of over 500 runners. Not far behind was sophomore Logan Wallace m finishing in 54th overall with a time of 18:39. Riley Nolan and Nicolas Woods were next in line occupying the three and four spot for coach Rosenbaum. Both finished in the top 100 as Nolan traveled the course in a personal best 20:05 landing in 86th place, while Woods entered the chute in 20:36 taking 100th. Zach Mattingly (21:02) was the fifth flight entrant for the Warriors, Tanner Campbell the sixth and Caleb Haste the seventh.
Sage Stahler set a personal record in the girls’ race cruising through the pastures in 24:53 to take 54th overall. Mackenzie Harshbarger was two spots back in 56th with a 25:31 while Faithlyn Daugherty turned in a 25:31 to take 60th. Hannah Lemay set a season record by ending her day in 64th place with a 26:27. Hannah Hornaday was right on her heels in 65th with a 26:33 followed by Kenzi Heckler in 68th. Sam Simpson served as an alternate taking part in the open flight.
“While we’re not where we want to be as far as times and place yet, we did take some major steps in the right direction,” the coach stated. “Sage and Riley both PR’d, and Mackenzie Harshbarger shaved a whole two minutes off her personal best, I am very proud of all of their strong starts to the season.”