How about a high-five for the Shrine girls? The Lady Knights won the cross country regional championship -- just as they’ve done five years running.
Shrine placed five girls among the top ten Saturday for a low score of 24, well ahead of Grosse Pointe Woods University-Liggett and Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes, who had 82 apiece.
Morgan Button ran the 5-kilometer course at Goodells County Park near Port Huron in 20:08, placing second of 59 runners. Madelyne Luddy (4th/21:01), Grace Nagle (6th/21:04), Gabby Schmidt (7th/21:16) and Clare Romano (10th/21:19) gave Shrine a pack up front.
Not to be outdone, the Shrine boys also won the regional championship – their third in a row. Ben Kendell led all finishers at 16:20, while Matt Arce (4th/17:28), Connor Lockman (8th/18:01), Mike Guirey (13th/18:25) and Kyle Pawloski (30th/19:49) also scored for the Knights. Shrine totaled 49 points, eight better than Our Lady of the Lakes.
“Winning the regional meet was one of our major goals for this season,” Head Coach Wright Wilson said. “The girls really wanted to get this fifth one, because it shows we have a strong program, not just one or two good girls, and because it matches the streak that Southfield Christian put together before we broke through to the top.”
Only two teams in the state have a longer active regional streak – Grosse Pointe South and Saline.
Saturday’s victories enabled Shrine to extend other streaks: the girls have qualified for the MHSAA state championship each year since 2005, while the boys have been there each season since 2008. The top three teams in regional meets advance to the state meet, held next Saturday at Michigan International Speedway.
“That’s really what everyone’s been shooting for all year,” Wilson said. “When you run at the state meet, no matter where in the pack you finish, it shows your season is a success. It’s a very memorable experience for all of our runners and we hope to make a splash this weekend.”