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Top-ranked Ithaca girls run the table, finish off perfect season with D3 state title

  • The Ithaca High School girls cross country team won the first state title in program history Saturday at MIS. (Sun Photos by SKIP TRAYNOR)
  • The Ithaca High School girls cross country team won the first state title in program history Saturday at MIS. (Sun Photos by SKIP TRAYNOR)
  • The Ithaca High School girls cross country team won the first state title in program history Saturday at MIS. (Sun Photos by SKIP TRAYNOR)

BROOKLYN – The perfect season ended perfectly.

On Saturday morning from Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn the Ithaca High School girls cross country team capped off a perfect 2014 campaign by winning the Division 3 state title.

The Yellowjackets finished with 147 points on the day and bested Shepherd, which won the D3 title in 2013, by 11 points.

Ithaca won every meet it competed in in 2014 and ran the table as the top-ranked team in Division 3 team from week one through Saturday’s season-finale.

“I knew this year had the potential to be special,” said Ithaca coach Gene LeBron. “It’s a testament to these girls because they bought into something that is bigger than themselves.

“We knew it was anybody’s race and we didn’t go into it thinking we were going to run away with it. I’m just so proud of these girls because they really stepped up, they’re a different breed.”

Sophomore Courtney Allen led the Yellowjackets as she earned All-State honors for a second straight season as she placed 12th Saturday in 19:06.9. Allen was 11th as a freshman in the finals.

Amelia Freestone was 33rd in 19:56 with Hannah Thayer 46th in 20:17. Blaire Showers also finished 51st in 20:23 with Alyssa Mankey 61st in 20:28.9. Kurstin Kalisek was 106th in 21:07.3 with Erica Sheahan 120th in 21:14.3.

Shepherd senior Taylor Thrush earned All-State honors for a second time in her career via a 10th-place finish Saturday. Thrush, who was All-State as a sophomore via a 20th-place finish, finished with a time of 19:03.3. Sophomore Katelyn Hutchinson earned All-State honors for a second time as well as she was 26th in 19:42.8. Rachel Mathers was 40th in 20:09.8 with Abigail Moeggenberg 69th in 20:37.6 and Sarah Bellinger 81st in 20:44.5. Kylie Hutchinson was also 89th in 20:49.5 with Katie Powell 115th in 21:12.3.

St. Louis landed 14th with 321 points while Clare was 14th with 370 points.

Sophia Bradley, who missed All-State honors by one place in 2013, was 17th in 19:18 for the Sharks to nail down All-State honors. Megan Brown finished 62nd in 20:29.5 with Bethany Gurnee 79th in 20:43.4, Mallory Munderloh 102nd in 21:02.1 and Ali Serna 192nd in 22:59.7.

Sophomore Jasmine Harper earned All-State honors for a second straight season for Clare as she was 11th in 19:04.3. Holly Pummell was 97th in 20:56.4 with Hannah Brown 118th in 21:13.5 and Natalee Kunse 132nd in 21:26.3. Makenzie Harmon also landed 172nd in 22:13.9.

Individually Carson City’s Kaitlin Beyer notched All-State honors as she was eighth in 18:58.9.

Farwell’s Contessa Hammond was 52nd in 20:23.4.

In the Division 3 boys race Shepherd was fifth as it tallied 205 points. Clare landed eighth with 241 while Benzie Central won the state title with 87.

Shepherd’s Walker Priest and Tyler Travis both earned All-State honors as Priest was 16th in 16:23.2 and Travis was 24th in 16:32.8. Andrew Hutchinson was 75th in 17:21.8 with James O’Boyle 80th in 17:24.4 and Bryce Hegenauer 124th in 17:44.2.

Kyler Phillips earned All-State honors for Clare as he was 10th in 16:09.3. Kevin Spicer-Torres was 36th in 16:44.9 with Ben Haupt 64th in 17:14.1 and Chase Field 88th in 17:26.1. Jimmy Teall was also 161st in 18:10.1.

Individually St. Louis’ Evan Goodell earned All-State honors as he was 15th in 16:20.4.

Carson City’s Kolton Kavanagh was 66th in 17:15.7 while Kaleb Barrett was 114th in 17:38.9.

Ithaca’s John Lambrecht was 112th in 17:38.3 with Farwell’s Daylen Garver 139th in 17:54.1.

Last Updated: 11/3/2014 12:05:24 PM EST