Cooler temperatures and pristine course conditions led to an amazing day of racing at the 22nd annual Portage Invitational on Saturday, October 5. With 303 high school teams competing and just over 7400 athletes, the Portage Invitational brought the season’s toughest competition to date, but the biggest opportunity for the Sailors to shine. Numerous athletes ran both season records and life-time personal bests making this an exciting day for the team. In all, 25 SCHS athletes ran season-best records and 40 life-time personal records were achieved!
The boys varsity team finished in 22nd place out 44 teams with a score of 587 points, edging out regional rival Parma Western by just 1 point. The boys also improved their regional ranking by one spot, moving into the 8th position. Leading the way for the boys varsity team was Micah VanderKooi who finished in the 33rd spot with a season-record time of 16:38. Lucas VanDam was next across the line for the Sailor boys with a season-record time of 17:55. Brandon DeVries (18:14) and Ethan Luurtsma (18:21) rounded out the top 4 for SCHS, both with personal-best times.
The girls varsity team ended in 15th place out of 44 teams with 487 points. The girls varsity team also bested conference rival Thornapple Kellogg (21st place) for the first time this season and improved their regional ranking to 2nd. The girls varsity team was once again led by Lydia Tolsma, who ran a personal-best time of 20:20. Moriah Lanning was the 2nd finisher for the Lady Sailors also with a personal-best time of 20:21. Sarah Lanning (20:49), Kelsey Harkema (20:59), and Emily Langerak (21:17) ran personal-best times in the varsity race as well contributing to the team’s strong finish.
The boys junior varsity team finished in 10th place with a score of 314 points, just ahead of Thornapple Kellogg. Jared Winkle finished in the 49th spot with a time of 18:54 and was the first Sailor to cross the finish line, besting his previous personal record from 2018 by almost 1 minute. Joseph VanderKooi (19:20), Eric DeWeerd (19:23), and Caleb DeVries (19:25) finished 2nd, 3rd, and 4th for SCHS, all running personal-best times as well.
The girls junior varsity team earned a 2nd place finish with 94 points behind a very tough East Grand Rapids JV team. Abby Winkle was the first to cross the finish line for the Sailors in 5th place with a season-best time of 21:11. Mary Harkema was next across the line for SCHS, finishing with a personal-best time of 21:45 and in the 15th position. Halle Overmire finished in 23rd place with a season-best time of 22:05, and Rupa Charles in 26th place with a season-best time of 22:15. Twelve JV girls finished in the top 50 and earned a medal from their performances, out of 280 girls in the race.
Sailors race again on Tuesday, October 15 in the OK Gold Championship meet at Thornapple Kellogg High School.
To view the entire results online, please visit: https://www.athletic.net/CrossCountry/meet/157015/results or go to https://www.portageinvite.com/.