Boys Cross Country: Pioneer finishes 11th at D-1 State Finals (see WLLA photo gallery)

The Pioneer boys’ cross country team finished another strong season with an 11th place finish at Saturday’s MHSAA Division 1 State Final at Michigan International Speedway.

Pioneer crossed the finish line with 317 points, just missing out on the top 10.
Brighton finished first with 141 points followed by Caledonia (175), White Lake Lakeland (194), Northville (204) and Romeo (221). Saline finished eighth with 259 points.

Owen Johnson, who took first at Regionals the previous weekend, ran a time of 15:47.7 and landed 15th in his final high school race. The senior finished first in five races this year including at both SEC Jamborees.

The Pioneers had three other seniors in the lineup and all three went out with strong performances on the challenging MIS course.

Senior Owen Johnson crosses the finish line at MIS.


Pioneer’s Matt Ruud reaches the finish line at the State Finals.

Senior Matt Ruud was 40th (16:11.83), sophomore Vincent Peterson Sand was 76th (16:34.34), senior Peter Florence was 168th (17:09.12), senior Fred Wallace was 184th (17:17.49), junior Chase Klapthor was 194th (17:19.59) and sophomore Aaron Sterken was 225th (17:57.43).

Skyline had two runners qualify for the State Finals. Junior Nicolas Fry finished in the top 30 with his time of 16:00.14 which landed him 29th overall. Sophomore Luke Suliman also qualified but did not run.

Pioneer’s Peter Florence.

It was another great season for the Pioneers. They won the first SEC Jamboree and then lost to Saline by just three points at the second Jamboree on Sept. 28. They finished second to the Hornets – by just five points – at the Lake Erie Regionals on Oct. 30 to qualify for the State Finals.

Pioneer won state titles in 2008 and again in 2017 and were runner-ups in 2009 and 2005.

MAIN PHOTO: Pioneer’s Chase Klapthor (left), Aaron Sterken and Fred Wallace help each other out after completing the challenging MIS course.


Skyline junior Nicolas Fry (right) finished 29th at the State Finals.