The best runners in the state motored on down to Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn on Friday for the MHSAA Cross Country Division 1 and 2 State Finals. And while things were quite different in 2020 – each division race was divided in two races with final results based on the times and there was a limited number of spectators allowed in the stadium – just having a state finals was a nice reward to this challenging season.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the MHSAA decided to split the state finals into two races for each division to limit the number of participants for each race. The first race was for Regional third-place teams and individual qualifiers and the second race was for Regional winners and second-place teams. The final results would be determined by times.
The Dexter boys’ cross country team ended up 15th in the Division 1 race with 380 points, six better than Farmington and just 11 behind Rochester Adams. The Dreadnaughts qualified for the state finals after running second at the Regionals at Willow Metropark in New Boston last Saturday.
Romeo, ranked No. 1 all season, backed it up on the course by winning the team championship with 124 points. Caledonia was second with 156. Rockford landed third (236), Novi fourth (239), Ann Arbor Pioneer fifth (243) and Traverse City Central sixth (265).
Conor Kolka, who was third at Regionals, led Dexter at MIS. The senior placed 37th with a time of 16:12.54.
Senior Sam Melvin, 14th at Regionals, placed 68th with a time of 16:27.49.
Senior Nathan Gariepy, who ran eighth at Regionals, finished in 16:38.83 and finished 102nd for Dexter.
Other Dexter top finishers were freshman Brandon Anderson (143rd, 17:01.51), junior Josh Lamb (195th, 17:28.02), junior Zachary Sawin (203rd, 17:33.11) and sophomore Owen Ackerman (224th, 17:46.60).
In the girls’ race, Dexter’s Amanda McGill finished with a time of 20:45.4 and placed 151st overall. Only a junior, she qualified after taking ninth at Regionals. McGill had an impressive run for the Dreadnaughts in 2020. She was first in four races and placed fourth in the SEC Championship meet and fifth in Pre-Regionals.