Grass Lake High School runner Kailee Sandoval won the Cascades Conference final at Ella Sharp Park on Wednesday. Photo by Jeff Steers, JTV Sports.
By Jeff Steers
Two local runners are hitting their strides just at the right time.
Vandercook Lake High School senior Andrew Frohm has run three personal best times in a row, while Kailee Sandoval of Grass Lake was only five seconds off her best time.
Both were individual champions during the Cascades Conference cross country finals at Ella Sharp Park on Wednesday.
Hanover-Horton dominated the team aspect of the finals, winning both the boys’ and girls’ titles. The Comets were nearly perfect in the boys’ race, scoring 16 points.
The Hanover-Horton girls’ team scored 42 points, placing four runners in the top 10.
Sandoval finished the 5K course in 19 minutes, 35 seconds – just five seconds off her personal best. She won the event by nearly 40 seconds.
“Inside my own head I am acting like there are a number of girls in front of me,” Sandoval said of the race. “This sets me up for a personal best at the regionals.”
A number of local teams will compete in the Michigan High School Athletic Association Division 3 regional on Friday, Oct. 25 at Ella Sharp Park.
The top 10 in each race earned all-conference honors and the next eight are honorable mention.
Allie Koch and Mary Bradshaw of Manchester finished second and third respectively in the girls’ event. Reagan Fazekas of Hanover-Horton was fourth; Lizzie Williams of Michigan Center finished fifth; Molly Latimer of Manchester took sixth place; Jersey Franks of Michigan Center placed seventh; Krissy Johnson, Kathryn Childs and Kelly Fielder of Hanover-Horton finished eighth through 10th place for the Comets.
Hanover-Horton won the girls’ title based on dual meets and the conference final. Manchester was second and Grass Lake finished third in the final standings.
Andrew Frohm of Vandercook finished the 5K course in 16:19. It is the third consecutive race he has earned a personal best time.
The senior battled Dean Reynolds of Hanover-Horton in the first mile.
“As soon as I get around that tree (just a quarter mile from the mile marker) I took off,” Frohm said. “I know the Hanover-Horton runners don’t like gaps.”
He finished eight seconds in front of Reynolds – and a large contingent of Comets.
Hanover-Horton runners Garrett Melling was third, Rogan Melling placed fourth, Andy Swihart finished fifth, Shane Sauber was seventh, Richard Haislip was ninth, and Logan Shepherd finished 10th – all earning all-conference honors.
Alex Darnell of Napoleon was sixth and teammate Hugo Gamez was eighth to break up the Comets’ onslaught.
All of the top 10 runners finished the course in under 18 minutes.
The Comets easily finished in first place and Napoleon placed second in the final Cascades Conference standings.