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Napoleon High School runner Alex Darnell won the 5K event at home against Manchester and Grass Lake high schools in 16 minutes, 57 seconds.  Photo by Jeff Steers, JTV Sports.

By Jeff Steers
JTV Sports

(September 29, 2020 9:03 PM) Two of the top two teams in the Cascades Conference met at a Napoleon tri-meet on Tuesday behind Ackerson Lake School.

Only the two teams did not run against one another.

Manchester High School – with five of the top eight runners at the meet – earned the conference win with 29 points.

Napoleon finished with the top two runners in the boys’ run, but finished with 37 points. Grass Lake was third with 60.

In the girls’ race, Kailee Sandoval dominated the race in leading the Warriors to a pair of wins. Grass Lake finished with 29, Manchester tallied 35 points, and Napoleon 56.

Alex Darnell and Hugo Gamez of NHS finished 1-2 in 16:57 and 17:28 respectively in the boys’ race.

But the Flying Dutchmen took five of the next six spots as Devin Mackenzie took third place (17:31), Nathan Kippnick was fifth (17:48), Preston Mackenzie placed sixth (18:21), Caiden Kippnick finished seventh (18:22), and Bobby Romberger placed eighth (18:30).

Grass Lake runner Matthew Rankin finished fourth in 17:43.

In the girls’ race, Kailee Sandoval won by two minutes in 18:59. The Warriors remain undefeated in conference action following wins over Manchester and Napoleon.

But it was a huge win over Hanover-Horton last week that has Sandoval excited. The Comets had not been defeated in a Cascades Conference dual meet in nearly 20 years.

“We have a big group of freshmen joining us this year,” Sandoval said. “The freshmen girls really didn’t know about the rivalry (with Hanover-Horton).

“They were asking why we were so happy (following the win). For the upperclassmen, it felt really good.”

Grass Lake placed all five runners in the top 10 at the tri-meet. Isabel Spencer finished fourth (21:13), Ava Viegelahn placed fifth (21:14), Madison Basham was ninth (21:49), and Ella Kraus finished 10th (21:53).

Manchester runners Allie Koch and McKenna Marsh were second and third respectively in 20:59 and 21:04.

Napoleon was led by Madelyn Norman who was seventh in 21:30 and Ann Joseph in eighth place with a time of 21:34.

Kailee Sandoval of Grass Lake High School finished the 5K at Ackerson Lake School in just under 19 minutes on Tuesday.
Photos by Jeff Steers, JTV Sports.

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