Chieftains’ Parker wins cross country race, but Sturgis wins meet

DOWAGIAC — Cole Parker may have won the battle for Dowagiac, but visiting Sturgis won the war during the Wolverine Conference dual meet at Dowagiac Middle School on Tuesday.

Parker ran away from the field in winning with a time of 17:32.

The Trojans finished in the next five spots to post a win over the Chieftains. Dowagiac did not have enough runners to post a team score.

“Cole has put in some serious work this summer and is about to have a phenomenal cross country season,” said second-year Dowagiac coach Maria Kulka. “His work ethic has really put him on a different level. He truly has all the qualities that make an elite runner (talent, durability, determination, courage and work ethic). He will be attending (individually) a very competitive meet this Saturday in Allendale called the Orange and Gold Crown Tier Invitational.”

Jonathan Phillips finished ninth for Dowagiac with a time of 24:06, while Logan Wallace rounded out the top 10 with a 24:44. Noah Phillips placed 11th with a clocking of 25:25.

Sturgis grabbed the top five spots in the girls race to win 15-50 over the Chieftains.

Trojan Meah Yunker was the overall winner with a time of 22:50.

Dowagiac’s top finisher was Laura Schaller, who ran a time of 26:16, to finish eighth. Erin Beck was ninth with a 26:30.

Despite the losses, Kulka said she has seen improvement from her squad.

“I believe the season is off to a good start,” she said. “There were major improvements in 5k times this second meet. This is a good sign and it means we’re moving in the right direction. For all of the girls team, this is their first time running cross country at the high school level. They don’t have a ton of experience yet, but this can be improved upon throughout the course of the season. Our current focus, during practice, is building that aerobic base.

“One needs a solid base in order to reach the pinnacle of running and that’s why summer running is so important.”

As a team, Dowagiac will host Wolverine Conference powerhouse Otsego at 5 p.m. on Tuesday.

 

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