By Lenny Sementi
Both the boys and girls squads for Tuscola cross country coach Mike Rosenbaum have been gaining speed as the fall season progresses and this past Saturday they flexed their muscles again. The second year coach sent a combined 20 racers to the line in the inaugural Moultrie-Douglas county classic at Tuscola’s Wimple Park at the end of the day the team posted ten new personal records and a few more season best times collecting first place hardware in both divisions.
Not only did they claim team titles the Warriors also delivered individual champions as well. Senior Laney Cummings crossed the finish line in front of everyone in the girls race traveling the three-mile course in a personal best 21 minutes and 23 seconds averaging just over seven minute miles. The first year runner has PR’d every week of the season and has taken off over two minutes since her first outing.
Hortin, who led the entire race start to finish, came up two seconds short of a PR breaking the tape in 16:49 averaging five minute and 30 second miles. The first year phenom led a group of freshmen that swept the top four spots, including fellow Warrior Jackson Barrett. Barrett set a PR four the fourth straight week taking third overall out of nearly 40 runners. He pulled away late from two Okaw Valley runners helping to secure the team trophy and has erased over a minute and a half since the start of the season.
Rosenbaum’s crew put another pair inside the top ten and yet another freshman. Junior Riley Nolan and first year runner Will Foltz ended their day in seventh and ninth respectively posting PR’s of 18:13 and 18:33. Nolan edged an Okaw Valley runner at the finish as well helping Tuscola to a 19 point victory over the Timberwolves. The fifth and final scorer, first-year senior Aiden Beachy, was just outside the top ten in 12th overall, breaking 19 minutes for the first time in his young career posting a 18:59.
“With the boys we had four top ten finishers, including the county champ, Josiah,” coach Rosenbaum said. “I was really proud of how we competed against each other and against ourselves. We once again saw a lot of PR’s, which means we just keep getting better and better.”
Mason Veach was one spot back as the first alternate setting a personal record with a 19:02. Clayton Hausmann was the second alternate clocking in at with a PR of 20:21. Ben Hornaday, Thomas Brown and John Hagarty also toured the course and all set PR’s. Brown was done in 22:54 taking just over 8 minutes off his time since his first meet.
Cummimgs led charge for the first place girls who took first, second, sixth, seventh and thirteenth to win and added a fourteenth and fifteenth as alternates. Senior Brynn Tabeling was right behind her capturing second overall with a season best time of 22:12. Sophomore Reggan Smith and senior Hannah Hornaday were a few spots back in the sixth and seventh while Skylar Wilkins ended the scoring with a 13th place finish. Smith has PR’d every week of the year lowering her time by over three minutes. Kyla Gough PR’d as well in 14th place joining Kenzi Heckler, 15th, as an alternate.
“It was good to get the team wins on both sides this weekend,” stated the coach. “I was super excited to see Laney and Brynn go one and two and for both of them to run excellent races. Also, Reggan and Hannah being in the top ten really solidified the win for us.”