PETOSKEY – November 2, 2023 – St. Michael High School (SMHS), Northern Michigan’s only Classical Catholic high school, is very pleased to report that its 12th-ranked Boys Cross Country (XC) team pulled off a stunning upset win at last Saturday’s Regional, edging top-ranked Johannesburg-Lewiston and 9th-ranked Harbor Springs, 55 to 56 to 66. It was the second Regional win in school history and the first since 2020.
The unexpected victory came about via some gritty performances. Cody Bradley led the way, finishing second with a whopping 42-second personal-record (PR) of 16:28. Bradley took charge early and led most of the way, with the vaunted veteran trio from Jo’burg giving chase. Cardinal leader Malaki Gascho rallied late to nip Bradley and claim the Regional crown.
Lynus Cadarette and Russell Vandermus landed a ‘5-6 punch’ in 16:55 and 17:09, respectively, a 23-second PR for Vandermus – while Atticus Cadarette was 13th in 17:31, a 30-second PR.
Harbor Light senior and soccer star David Chamberlin rounded out the Guardian scoring as the team’s fifth-man, taking 35th in 19:23 in his late-season 5K debut. Ronan Weed and Elijah Pulver also competed for St. Michael with both runners also notching huge PRs. (St. Michael XC is a Co-op with Harbor Light Christian.)
“Our goal all week was to pull off an upset win at the Regional and the guys delivered!”, beamed Guardian Head Coach Larry Rudnicki. “Cody crushed it with a break-out performance. Russell and Atty also answered my challenge, both reaching a new level. Clearly, this victory wouldn’t have been possible without David. We’re all thrilled that he’s joined us, providing much needed depth to our young team.”
Coach Rudnicki continued, “It’s been a difficult season for us, plagued with low turnout, injury, and illness. Regardless, our guys have persevered throughout, and are pulling it all together just in time for the meets that matter the most. I couldn’t be prouder!”
The win marked the fifth consecutive ‘top two’ Regional finish for the Guardians. They return to Saturday’s XC State Finals with remarkable momentum, seeking a fifth straight ‘top ten’ finish and perhaps a bit more…
St. Michael’s special Saturday began with excitement all its own in the Ladies race. Despite losing its third runner, Sydney Feagan, to a season-ending injury, the Guardian ladies rallied to claim the third and final State-qualifying spot, squeaking past Gaylord St. Mary, 99 to 103. The Guardians return to Brooklyn for the third consecutive season.
2nd-ranked Jo’burg and 7th-ranked Harbor Springs easily qualified for the State Finals, taking first and second with 34 and 47 points, respectively.
As always, Jane Manthei led the team, landing in the runner-up spot with a PR-time of 18:57. Manthei stalked the early leader, veteran Jo’burg star Allie Nowak, then overtook her for the lead soon after the two-mile. Nowak held close, however, and then rallied in the final ‘K’ to claim the Regional title for the second straight year.
Veronica Paga was the second Guardian runner, clocking a massive 41-second PR, finishing 13th in 20:44. Kate Schlueter, Addie Kolka, Ella Nolan, and Catherine Hayes also competed for St. Michael, with Schlueter and Hayes improving their respective PRs by more than a minute – and Nolan besting her prior PR by nearly two minutes!
Coach Rudnicki commented, “I keep telling them all that they can go faster than they think – it’s a decision! So at a big race, on a fast course, in compliant weather… I definitely expect to see some PRs come crashing down – and did they ever! Honestly, I wasn’t sure we could make it in without Sydney on the line, but the ladies rallied and once again punched their tickets to State! What a wonderful day it was, for both teams! Thanks be to God!”
Full results are at www.athletic.net/CrossCountry/meet/223322/info.
The final race for both teams will be the Division-4 State Finals, this Saturday at Michigan International Speedway near Brooklyn. The Ladies race is at 9:30am and the Gents race is at 10:50am.
“As we conclude our seasons this weekend, we ask for your prayers for our safe travels and our success!”
St. Michael High School is High School with a Higher Purpose and a proud member of the Chesterton Schools Network, the largest and fastest-growing network of its kind in the country. Established in 2013, the St. Michael mission is to nurture and elevate a new generation of joyful leaders educated in the Classical tradition and truth of the Catholic faith. For information on SMHS, please visit the school website at stmichaelchesterton.org.