Dexter Mens XC Fight Off Scorching Heat, Dust, & Foes For Strong Finish

From contributing writer Barbara Read:

In a bold move, coach Drew Collette of Dexter’s XC Men’s Team changed the team registration at the 51st Annual Holly / Duane Raffin Festival of Races on Saturday from the Division II race like last year to the Division I race. Dexter would have been the favorite to win the D2 race, and that is always an enjoyable position to be in as a team.

Collette told the boys they needed the tougher race to prepare them for the regional competition that is the gateway to states. He also told them if they kept their focus and ran as a group, they should be able to come in 2nd place as a team at the Holly race.

51st Annual Holly / Duane Raffin Festival of Races

In the blazing heat and humidity of Saturday, on one of the toughest courses of the season, while inhaling the billowing dirt thrown up by the pacesetting vehicle and other runners, they did it! Both the tight pack of varsity runners and the large group of reserve runners came in second place in their respective races. Though not a single Dexter runner set a PR Saturday, nearly every returning runner cut time off his performance last year at this brutal course.

Nathan Larson said of the race, “I thought coach overestimated when he was saying we should get 2nd [of 22 teams]. But we did!” Seth Read had been caught in the large wave of runners taking off from the starting line. He had difficulty making his way out of the massive pack. “Next time, at Jackson, I will try to start out faster from the gate to get ahead of the group, and hopefully have a smoother first mile,” he said.

Coach Collette said he was really proud of how the team worked together in the race, “I challenged the guys not to think about times, but to think about tactics and to race as a pack. In the end, we started the first mile of the race poorly, but all seven guys steadily moved up in the race together. They were really surprised to see the 2nd place finish, but it hopefully taught them the lesson we were aiming for: pack running wins races.”

Lucas Betzoldt and Nick McKenzie


The most notable performance in the oppressive heat came from Liam Buller whose stated goal was simply to win the JV race. He not only won, but in a race where places are separated by tenths of seconds, he finished 50 sec ahead of the second place runner from Detroit Catholic Central (17:33 to 18:22). Buller finished as the third fastest Dexter runner overall on Saturday behind only Nathan Larson (16:57) and Lucas Betzoldt (17:21). Noah Cobb ran the best freshman time of the day at 20:31.

The next racing opportunity will be split across two days. The reserve runners will compete at the Jackson JV Invitational at Ella Sharp Park on Friday, September 21st, at 5:30 p.m. followed by the women’s team at 6:10 p.m. The top 25 finishers will receive medals. On Saturday morning, the men’s and women’s varsity runners will complete at the same location. The men’s team runs at 10:00 a.m., and the women’s team will follow. The top 30 finishers receive medals, and the top two teams in each race are awarded trophies.

Nathan Larson

Dexter Men’s official times for Holly / Duane Raffin @ Springfield Oaks Park

Mens Division I Varsity

  • Nathan Larson 16:57.8
  • Lucas Betzoldt 17:21.9
  • Owen Huard 17:40.6
  • Nick McKenzie 17:52.2
  • Seth Read 18:04.6
  • Noah Hayter 18:08.6
  • Sam Melvin 18:09.3

Mens Division I JV

  • Liam Buller 17:33.6
  • Rishabh Kothari 18:39.2
  • Conor Kolka 18:50.1
  • Ransom Duncan 18:57.3

    Seth Read and Sam Melvin
  • Finnegan Bell 19:18.5
  • Wilson Kasischke 20:23.9
  • John Harm 20:29.2
  • Noah Cobb 20:31.4
  • Adam Hauser 20:57.6
  • Nathan McConnell 21:13.3
  • Nathan Gariepy 21:40.4
  • Josh Lamb 21:51.5
  • Nathan Biggs 22:53.6
  • Jonathan Adamczyk 22:55.0
  • Zachary Sawin 23:00.5
  • Thomas DesRosiers 23:02.1
  • Cameron O’Day 23:20.0
  • Trevor Aeschliman 23:30.5
  • Chase Lutz 23:40.1
  • Griffin Bentley 23:52.8

    Noah Hayter
  • Andy Jordan 24:37.0
  • Noah Schultz 24:47.9
  • Evan Bursch 25:00.1
  • Samuel Fitzpatrick 25:16.6
  • Matthew Bauersfield 25:27.1
  • Vincenso Sencich 25:38.6
  • Thomas Bauer 29:35.1
  • Andrew Petik 31:09.8
  • Quentin Hurdle 33:12.9



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