The 2017 Clinton Middle School Cross Country program has continued to improve since the program began in 2013. The team set the school mark in medals with 71 and earned 4 trophies. The program earned 7, 16, 24, 36 and 71 medals respectively over the past 5 seasons. “I wasn’t sure what to expect this season as we had 17 new runners join the program” said Coach Delezenne.
The first half the of the season is getting kids to just be able to run a full race without walking. Coach Delezenne believed “it was the Madison Invite on October 2nd where I saw us take huge strides as a team.” The runners continued to get stronger and faster.
The girls team was consistently led by Cassie McNatt, Samantha Coots, Allison Bowles, Maliah Piatt, Paige Shankland, and Emma Shankland. All of these girls are eligible to return next year which looks to be a promising year in 2018. The team was really young this year as Cassie McNatt, Mykell Brodie, and Julianne Hernandez were the only runners with cross country experience. “I could see the potential the first week of practice and over the course of the year, they didn’t disappoint” said Coach Delezenne. Emma DesJardins, Alexis Blaze-Connolly, Faith Blackburn, and Emerson Crysler rounded out the girls team.
The girls team was able to win the Madison Invitational, Hudson Invitational, Sand Creek Invitational, Michigan Mega Jamboree (5th-6th grade division), runner-up at County Championship, and concluded the season by winning at Sand Creek. “I thought we had a chance to be in the mix at Hudson but was pleasantly surprised with beating 44 other teams” said Coach Delezenne. After Hudson, I sat down with the girls and talked about expectations heading into the Sand Creek Invitational and informed them that they now have a target on their backs. The girls team went on to win 5 of the last 6 invitationals and took 2nd at the other meet over the last 3 weeks of the season.
The boys team was led by 3-year runners, Gabe Nelson and Samuel Hoffman. Eric Neff was a consistent runner while Caden Zbikowski and Lucas Goodman joined the team late but quickly provided depth to a very young boys team. The boys team also included Jacob Welch, Justin Celmer, Bridger Freeman, Dylan Bowles, Ethan Washburn, Ethen White, and Jarrod Walden.
Medals earned this season – Gabe Nelson, Allison Bowles, Samantha Coots, Cassie McNatt, Maliah Piatt, Paige Shankland, Lucas Goodman, Samuel Hoffman, Emma Shankland, Eric Neff while 7 other runners earned a medal.
The record board changed quite a bit this year. With the distances changing from race to race, pacing is used to determine times.
8th grade records set this year – Gabe Nelson 6:18 (T-2nd).
7th grade records set this year – Caden Zbikowski 6:56 (4th), Cassie McNatt 6:43 (1st), Emerson Crysler 7:26 (2nd), and Julianne Hernandez 7:41 (3rd).
6th grade records set this year – Lucas Goodman 7:09 (3rd), Samantha Coots 6:52 (1st), Allison Bowles 6:58 (2nd), and Maliah Piatt 7:05 (4th).
The middle school program will graduate Gabe Nelson, Samuel Hoffman, Dylan Bowles, Eric Neff, Jarrod Walden, and Mykell Brodie to the high school team.
The MHSAA made a change for the 2016 season allowing 6th graders to officially be part of MSXC. Is your child interested in joining MSXC next season? Email Coach Delezenne at email@example.com for more information.
Not participating in a school sport during November and December? Any 5th-8th grader can join the Polar Bear Club. It will run Monday, Wednesday, and Thursdays until Christmas Break.