By Travis Smola
Vicksburg’s cross country teams are competing well despite tough competition in what is, once again, a very difficult conference.
In one of their most recent matchups, against Allegan, the boys lost a close one to the Tigers, 26-29. Jacob Malocha and Joey Loriso were the top finishers for the Bulldogs. “On paper on the boy’s side they were supposed to beat us,” Head Coach Lucas Wolthuis said. “We ended up with a closer score than what was supposed to happen on paper. I challenged the kids, our top two, to get between their second and third runners, which they did, which was awesome to see.”
Overall the boys are ranked around seventh in the conference.
The girls’ team came away with a resounding victory against Allegan at the meet. An Allegan runner won the race outright, but Sawyer Barton, Savina Centofanti, Sam Richardson, Avalee Goodman and Hannah Fenwick took the next five spots after that, helping lead the Lady Bulldogs to a 20-41 victory.
“We wanted to see the girls negative split today, so start off with a little bit more of a controlled pace and then see their second and third miles be stronger,” Wolthuis said. “They came out a little bit stronger than what we wanted to do, but they still came away with some really solid times close to some personal bests.”
The teams have only run a couple other individual meets this year. Both teams defeated Edwardsburg on September 10, but they fell to Otsego, which is once again one of the toughest opponents in the conference. Wolthuis expects Plainwell to be a major contender this year too. But the girls’ team is in good position to make some noise at the end of the year.
“Our girls’ team is in a really great spot right now,” Wolthuis said. “They’re ranked third in the region.”
That is the last spot to go to state and he expects the team to keep dropping its times as the conference and regional meets approach. “I’m really impressed with where they are at and how they’re doing,” Wolthuis said of the girls’ team. “They’re a great group of young ladies who work very hard and I think they have a lot of good things ahead of them.”