BY SAMANTHA ELLIOTT
The Grosse Ile boys’ and girls’ cross country teams are wrapping up a strong 2017 season and have been, quite literally, running away from their opponents. After finishing first at the first two Huron League jamborees, both Red Devil teams secured another first-place finish — and the league title — at the Huron League meet on Oct. 19.
“We had an outstanding day,” Grosse Ile coach Larry Swick said. “The kids came to finish; we prepared well and ran our best today. As the coach, I am happy to see improvement and personal records, but not only that, I watched them count on each other. The team really demonstrated their talent.”
The boys blew away their competition and finished in first with 39 points and three, top-10 finishes. Jefferson was second with 79 points and Riverview rounded out the top-three teams with 96 points.
James Gedris led the Red Devil boys, as he has all season with his run of 15:31.3, a full 25 seconds ahead of the second-place runner. Matthew Graver was third with a finish of 16:45.6 and Chad Donahue was ninth in 17:19.9. Aaron Amaya (17:48.3) was 11th and Noah Lopez (17:58.9) was 15th for the Grosse Ile top 20 and Joshua Ochab (18:33.2) and Jack Verdun (19:094) rounded out the runners in 26th and 38th respectively.
In the girls’ race, Grosse Ile was first with 42 points and all seven runners finished inside the top 25. Milan finished second with 55 points and Jefferson was third with 87. Alisa Erickson led the way with her fourth-place finish and a run of 19:24.3. Hannah Fulmer (20:28.1), Marisa Swick (20:44.7), Meghan Dieball (20:46.3) and Diana Nunez (20:49.3) stuck close and finished ninth through 12th respectively.
Ami Yezman (21:58.7) and Madison Swick (22:18.2) rounded out the Red Devil runners with their 21st and 25th place finishes.
Erickson has been leading all runners as a top runner in the league and region this season and placed second at the first two jamborees as well as the Wayne County Meet of Champions and the Gabriel Richard Invite.
“She is a hard worker with a very good (and) positive attitude,” Swick said. “She is closing the gaps, her times are coming down and she’s ready to break 19 minutes. This is what she’s trained for. I look for her to be competitive at the state level.”
On the boys side of things, Gedris has dominated the competition this fall. The junior has finished first in nine races this season and was fifth at the 2017 MSU Spartan Invitational in September. His Huron League Meet finish was a PR for the season. As a senior he finished fifth at the state meet. He is simply the kind of person Swick wants on his team.
“I have observed him grow and mature throughout his elementary and middle school years,” Swick said. “As his coach, I find him to be committed to doing his very best and his character is to succeed.”
Improving is always a desire for Gedris.
“I’ve been happy about winning the Wayne County meet and the Huron League meet in a meet-record time (but) I was a little disappointed about how I did at the MSU invite,” he said. “It was a tough invite with a lot of good people, but I would have liked to have finished better than 5th.”
As this issue went to press, the Oct. 28 regional race was quickly approaching, as the Red Devils prepared for what they hoped would be their best races of the season. Heading into the race, the boys are ranked third and the girls fourth. The goal for the state meet is simple; take the team.
“We will get a few individuals out,” Swick said. “But our goal is to attend the state finals as a team.”