Contributed By Barbara Read
The Dexter girls' varsity cross-country team needed to make it into the top three at regionals to qualify for the state meet on Saturday. Scoring 66 points, they beat Livonia Churchill by a single point to earn second place.
"Congratulations to our regional runner-up champions. What a fantastic day of racing,” coach Cheryl McLean said.
The varsity runners placed in the top third of the finishers and had a strong showing at Willow Metropark. Alison McLean ran the course in 19:19 to finish 8th overall. Alex Ammann (19:34.21, 10th) and Robin Jackson (19:34.91, 12th) could only be distinguished by tenths of a second. These were all-time best times (PR) for both girls. Elizabeth Greve finished 17th with a time of 19:56. Paige O’Piela (20:02, PR), Cailin McLean (20:27) and Rylee Hanson (20:50) rounded out the team.
“We are so excited about going to the Michigan International Speedway and running in the state meet,” McLean said.
In the post-regional meet, Dexter had seven of the top 12 finishers which shows the strength of the girls’ team even in the reserve race. Charlotte Read finished in first place with a time of 19:59 (PR). Elise Dombkowski (20:48) took 3rd place, while Madeleine Nicholas (20:59) and Marissa Butler (21:00) finished one second apart for 5th and 6th places.
Grace Latshaw (21:07, PR) was Dexter’s fifth finisher, placing 8th in the race. Mara Bottomley (21:14) and Caroline Darr (21:18, PR) finished in 11th and 12th places out of 85 runners.
Other notable achievers in the post-regional meet were Emily Bishop (22:12) and Isabel Kipke (23:44) who both made PR times. Abbie Betzolt (21:41) and Allison Murphy (23:36) ran season best times at the meet.
Five Dexter girls ran under the 20-minute benchmark: Alison McLean, Alex Ammann, Robin Jackson, Elizabeth Greve and Charlotte Read.
The team will travel to Michigan International Speedway on Saturday. The boys will race at 2 p.m., and the girls will race at 3 p.m. The award ceremony begins at 3:45 p.m. Spectator admission is $7 per person. Online tickets can be purchased at www.ticketleap.com. Credit cards will not be accepted for on-site ticket purchases.