Portage Invitational
Oct 9, 2004 at Portage MI

Preview

by Dan Wytko

Div 1 girls features MW#6 St. Ursula Academy Cincinnati OH travelling north to face MW#8 Goodrich MI, which is moving up from Div 3 for the challenge. Div 1 boys has national mile star Jeff See, whose Middletown OH team will test MW#10 Huron Ann Arbor MI. MW#6 Dexter MI boys are in Div 2.

October has come and this means it's time to get serious about cross country in Portage , Michigan . The Portage Invitational is the place to be if you are a team or individual that wants to determine where they stack up against the best teams in Michigan and the Midwest . One of the largest cross country invitationals in the country boasts loaded fields for each divisional race.

Division 4

Women

Big Rapids Crossroads Academy is currently ranked first, but will be challenged by Traverse City St. Francis , Suttons Bay , Ann Arbor Greenhills and Concord . Crossroads is the defending state champion.

Men

This race looks to be open to a handful of teams, with sixth ranked Vandercook Lake leading the field, followed by Traverse City St. Francis , Jackson Christian , Suttons Bay , Beal City , and Grand Rapids NorthPointe. Vandercook Lake is a past invitational champion, so they have the experience that may give them the advantage in a larger field.

Division 3 

Women

If it were not for Goodrich moving up to D1, this race would boast the five of the top six ranked teams with Goodrich ranked first followed by Hillsdale (2 nd ), Jackson Lumen Christi (3 rd ), Elk Rapids (4 th ), and Kent City (6 th ). Look for this race to provide for a tight finish.

Men

Third ranked Shepherd will be fighting off a handful of teams. Allendale (4 th ), Stockbridge (5 th ) and Lumen Christi (9 th ) will be the other contenders shooting for the black championship tshirts given to the winners.

Division 2 

Women

Defending state champions, East Grand Rapids is the favorite to win their second invitational title. However, Grand Rapids Christian (2 nd ) and Forest Hills Northern (3 rd ) will be there to see if they can knock off the champions. The past three champions of this race have won the state title the past three years.

Men

Midwest ranked Dexter is the two time defending state and invitational champion. They look to be the favorite again, but Dexter feels that they will face some stiff competition from Fremont , Chelsea , Gull Lake , Grand Rapids Christian, East Grand Rapids , and Forest Hills Northern…all ranked in the top ten.

Division 1

Women

Last year Cincinnati St. Ursula came and surprised a lot of teams with a second place showing. This year, the target is on their back as they come in as one of the Midwest 's top ranked teams. Goodrich is moving up from D3 to see if they can challenge St. Ursula , as is Rockford . Rockford is returning Rachel Wittum who has been out the past few weeks, but returned this past weekend. Don't count out Saline who is currently ranked second, as is Rockford , as a team to contend with for the team title. Traverse City Central should be in the mix of things too.

Men

Middletown – Ohio , brings Jeff See as the defending invitational champion, and looks to claim the team title this year. However, Ann Arbor Huron comes in as the state's second ranked team and might have something to say about the team title. Pinckney has had strong showings during the season and will be a major factor. This race is going to be extremely competitive as eight of the top 11 ranked teams are competing.

 

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