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Aug 2019 - The Haslett girls golf team got their season off to a fantastic start by winning the Portland Invitational in fine fashion Friday, defeating Grand Ledge and Lansing Catholic 345 - 356. Haslett was led by Sydney Dausman (72) and Oliva Stoll (74), who also finished 1-2 in the nine team tournament.
“We’ve got a pretty young team, but I think we’ll be pretty good though. We’ve got two players who have played some golf outside this high school season – that play competitively and that will help out our team quite a bit.” Haslett head coach Chris Mory said of the effort. “Olivia and Sydney both played summer tournaments and competitively and they probably each played ten events this summer which is really good prep coming into our season. Then we have four, maybe five other players that should all on good days be able to help out.” The other finishing golfers for Haslett were Prabhleen Pawar, Kylie Humble (pictured), and Lucy Fortier.
The invitational also saw strong performances from Holt’s Nateda Her who came in third with a score of 76, Grand Ledge’s Vienne Sereseroz (79), Lansing Catholic’s Hannah Hauser (82) and playing on her home course Portland’s fourth year senior Julia Savage (84).
“The course is kind of old so it plays as a walking course, and it’s a little short. There are a lot of obstacles which make it a good course to play. Our season is just starting and we are excited to see what is going to happen.” Savage said about the event. “My game has definitely gotten better, I’d never picked up a club before freshman year but I’ve four years now and have gotten a lot better. My role on the team as a senior is that you get to take on more responsibilities so this year we are doing team bonding and it’s a lot more fun to organize that than it is just to take part.”
Final Team Scores:
Grand Ledge 356
Lansing Catholic 356
Portland (Red) 382
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It was a morning fit for celebration. Forty-five teams came together from far and wide to participate in the annual Bret Clements Invitational cross-country meet, in honor of a man whose commitment and legacy to his Bath running community remains unforgotten.
“Bret was a true runner. He ran the Northern Michigan runners cup, he placed first in states in the mile, he his little brother Tim and the Mckenna brothers placed first in the two-mile relay when the ran for Bath. He also ran two years for Lansing Community College and went into the Marines for two years. He was a true runner. Cross and track were his two loves.” Rob Clements, Bret Clements father explained of his son’s running pedigree. “It’s amazing to see this many schools come out to a class C/D school, like Bath is, but to see that many schools participate and to see the progression of the way this race was run in the beginning when they first started running it we were waiting here until six, seven o clock for timing and now there isn’t hardly a day where it isn’t one, two o’clock and we aren’t packed up and heading home. It’s just a boon for the community to see this many people come to Bath.”
The teams and runners from Haslett dominated the middle races. The lady Vikings had two freshmen finish in the top ten with Lauren Hunter winning the Class 2 Women’s race (5k) in fantastic fashion (19:20.38), coming in 18 seconds ahead of the second-place finisher Libby Munderloh of St. Louis, and CC Jones finishing eighth overall at 20.09.20.
“There are a lot of hills. There were down hills and a ton of pretty steep hills so it made it challenging and by the end you could feel the effects of the sprinting up the hills.” Lauren Hunter commented after the race. Hunter has been the team’s top finisher so far this season and continued that at the meet despite the unique course challenges. As a team, they had a trophy earning third place finish coming in between Ann Arbor Gabriel and Chelsea.
“Last year our numbers were thin Taylor (Conley) was our front runner. Taylor was a brand-new runner to cross country so with her trying to figure it out she’s come along. Now with two freshmen coming in – they’ve been running for a long time. Lauren has always been a front runner so our goal today for Lauren was to go from wire to wire and she went wire to wire. We wanted CC to be in top six and she was right there. We are working on our 3, 4, and 5 and if we can get them a little bit quicker and run a little bit tighter as a group, we can make it to states and that’s our number one goal for these girls.” The women’s team has improved dramatically coming into this season and has the perfect blend of excellent youth, and established seniors. The team as a whole is guided by their senior varsity runner Brooke Bradley.
“Brooke’s sister Marissa ran for us for four years – top ten time at Haslett. Brooke came in and she’s a basketball player as her number one sport. That’s always tough as a basketball player she’s almost six foot tall and that’s tough.” Homan said of his senior leader. “The first couple of years I’ll tell you she struggled and almost quit a couple of times but she stuck it out. She’s just the best leader a coach could ever have. Whatever we ask her to do she just does it. She’s always looking out for the ones that you tend to miss…she just does the right the things at the right time. She’s always looking out for everybody and she’s a great leader.”
When asked what it was about cross country, and what was it that made Bradley stick with it, she didn’t hesitate in her response. For her it was all about being a part of the Vikings program. “It’s the team atmosphere and how close everyone is because it’s so team oriented. It’s really important to be together as a team to do well” Bradley commented. A big part of her being drawn to the sport of running came from the commitment Homan dedicated to her growth as a runner. “He pushes me, and he supports me in my other sports, and he supports me in my life. He understands what we are doing and he has a higher standard for us than we even have for ourselves. He has great confidence in us which is awesome.”
The men’s team was unstoppable in the meet, winning the fifteen-team race by 60 points 42-102 over Ada Forest Hills Eastern! The men had five of the top thirteen finishers led by Stephen Henry & Danny Ezzo at 4th and 5th overall. Henry and Ezzo were complemented by super sophomore Espen Lehnst and fellow seniors Joseph and Mitchell Ecklund.
“There’s a lot of teams here and we don’t usually go to a lot of big meets. It really lets us show who we are to a bunch of people.” Mitchell commented of the event and his team’s success post-race. “When I was in eighth grade, before I came up we didn’t even have five people. One of our guys got injured and we didn’t even have enough people to even finish a race and get points. Just to go from not having five people and not being able to score any points to this is remarkable.
Homan has watched his men’s team progress through the years to become the champions they are today. “It’s been a lot of fun with that incoming freshman class four years ago I knew there was some talent but bonding was what was really going to get them to the next step. Through the next four years they have been nothing but great leaders, good ambassadors, and I’ll tell you whatever type of workout I tell them to do they’re going to do it. The never complain, they just do it.” Haslett cross country head coach Mike Homan said of the men’s team post-race. “We set the goal for the race to have five guys in the top eleven, and we had five guys in the top eleven. These are little benchmarks right now; our big goal is top three at states. Times come and go but if we make top three that is something they’ll have for the rest of their lives.”