The Forest Hills Northern Huskies ran on a hot and humid Thursday morning at a hilly course in the woods of Manhattan Park. The Varsity Husky ladies took home the runner-up trophy, falling to a deep East Grand Rapids team. The Varsity boys placed 3rd, behind Caledonia and East Grand Rapids. For the first official race of the season on the hardest course of the year, it was a difficult race for most. However, there were still promising performances by many going into the rest of the season.
The girls Varsity was made up of Morgan Posthuma, Katya Bohatch, Norah Fanning, Rachel McSween, Janelle Posthuma, Elise Argue, and Kenzie Wilkinson. Morgan Posthuma had a tremendous run, breaking away from even the leading pack and winning the Pioneer Classic by a comfortable margin with a time of 19:23. Kenzie Wilkinson competed valiantly in her very first varsity race. Megan Dwarshuis was the first Northern runner to cross in the JV race, placing 9th. Freshman Reesie Bohatch and Hannah Callahan also had impressive runs, finishing 12th and 17th, respectively. Many other runners left it all out on the course and others learned what to improve on going into the rest of the season.
The Varsity boys for Pioneer were Andrew Wittland, Jack Neeley, Mitch Vredeveld, Caleb Mounts, Jack Callahan, Jonathan Schaefer, and Matt Posthuma. Andrew Wittland filled the position of lead Husky runner, finishing in 7th place overall with a time of 17:54. First time varsity runners Jack Callahan, Jonathan Schaefer and Matt Posthuma ran very well under less than ideal conditions and the intense fire of the Varsity level. Stand out performances were posted by Owen Purdue and Liam Hanlon, who finished 6th and 8th in the JV race. All boys saw what it would take to be able to win races in team points for later in the year.
All 39 girls and 28 boys that competed faced the course and competitors with aggression, strength and poise. While not all goals were met, it is good to know the high aspirations this team holds for itself. This race showed the effort of those who trained over the summer and was a good indicator of the competitive nature and ambitious goals of the team heading towards September.