The Portage Invitational is one of the important cross country meets teams use to judge where they are at compared to some of the best teams in the state. This year, 40 teams met at the starting line at Portage West on Saturday and both Skyline and Pioneer finished near the top of the pack.
Brighton finished first overall with 102 points as the Bulldogs had three runners finish among the top eight places. St. Xavier (Ohio), who will not be invited to the MHSAA State Finals in November for obvious reasons, ran second with 113 points.
Dexter had two runners in the top 11 and three in the top 26 to finish third overall with 149 points. Saline was a close fourth (163) followed by Skyline (238). Pioneer (sixth) and Zeeland West (seventh) finished with 260 points. Caledonia was eighth (263), Pinckney ninth (316) and Hartland tenth (321).
In a sprint for the finish line, Dexter’s Owen Huard was third in 15:04.0, just a few ticks behind winner Mhalicki Bronson of Defiance (15:00.3) and Jack Spamer of Brighton (15:02.7).
Skyline junior Hobbs Kessler was seventh (15:23.6) and Pioneer sophomore Owen Johnson was ninth (15:36.6).
The Eagles at the finish line:
The Pioneers at the finish line:
1. 9. 10 Owen Johnson15:36.6
2. 37. 10 Henry Monte Sano16:22.2
3. 53. 11 Ben Jakabcsin16:34.6
4. 70. 12 Drew Allen16:44.0
5. 91. 11 Max Klarman16:57.7
6. 94. 10 Matt Ruud16:58.6
7. 113. 10 Fred Wallace17:09.7