Boys Cross Country: Skyline’s Kessler sixth overall; Pioneer runs seventh at Division 1 State Finals

The Division 1 boys’ cross country finals at Michigan International Speedway featured a number of interesting story lines including the race for the team title between Brighton and Dexter. There also was the run to the finish line in the individual race along with Pioneer and Skyline, both of whom qualified as teams after last week’s Regionals.

Let’s get right to it – lace up your sneakers.

Brighton scored 136 points to finish a step ahead of Dexter for the title. The Dreadnaughts finished with 154 points while Saline took third with 188 points. Brighton took first to Dexter’s second at Regionals also in a close race and the two schools were among the favorites in the team race at MIS.

Plymouth’s Carter Solomon took first overall. The senior went 15:01.2 while Clarkston’s Brendan Favazza was second (15:06.0), Brighton’s Jack Spamer was third (15:17.1), Brighton’s Zacahry Stewart was fourth (15:30.7) and Plymouth’s Patrick Byrnes was fifth (15:33.3).


Which brings us back home to Ann Arbor.

Skyline’s Hobbs Kessler ran 15:36.1 to finish sixth overall, the only local runner to crack the top 25 on a chilly afternoon in Brooklyn. It was certainly a great showing for the junior runner – it certainly impressed his coach.

“I think Hobbs ran great,” said Skyline Coach Alex Moran. “He managed the conditions really well and stayed focused the whole time. We talked about how guys would be going out really fast the first mile but would then start to fall off as they hit the mud.

“Hobbs stayed calm early on and then started passing people as they came back to him. I think he also had one of the stronger finishes of the group up front. He got gapped pretty bad before the two mile but worked back up to the next group inside the stadium. I think if the race was another 50 or so meters, he could have been fourth. Unfortunately, that’s not the way it works so we’ll have to come back for it next year.”

Kessler helped lead the Eagles to a 13th place finish in the team race. The senior dominated Eagles finished with 326 points, only 25 points from 11th place.

Senior Thomas Young was 39th in 16:23.6, senior Isaac Darragh was 81st in 16:48.8, senior Sam Gardner was 91st in 16:56.9, senior Daniel Evans was 109th in 17:07.0. Sophomore Sanjay Rao finished in 17:10.0 and senior Freddy Villalobos finished in 17:30.6.  

Pioneer had an exceptional day at MIS. The Pioneers, who had only two seniors among their seven runners, finished with 236 points to take seventh place overall on the day.

A pair of sophomores led the way for the purple and white. Henry Monte Sano finished with a time of 16:02.7 to place 17th while Owen Johnson ran 16:20.3 to place 36th. Junior Ben Jakabcsin was 54th with a time of 16:34.4, senior Owen Rennich was 56th in 16:35.7 and junior Max Klarman was 73rd in 16:44.1. Sophomore Matt Ruud ran a time of 16:53.5 and was 87th while senor Drew Allen went 16:58.1 to finish 95th.

Huron senior Karsin Dass went 16:25.7 to finish 63rd overall for the River Rats.