By Mike Williamson – firstname.lastname@example.org
Despite being the defending Division 2 state champion and being ranked number 1 all season, the Chelsea boys’ cross country team came into the state finals at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn as the underdogs Saturday, November 3.
The Bulldogs had been without one of their top runners all season and were picked by some to not be able to overcome that Saturday as a strong Fremont team was picked to knock off the Bulldogs.
Chelsea proved the nay-sayers wrong and used a big team showing and claimed its second straight Divison 2 title by clipping Fremont by 13 points.
The Bulldogs finished with 121 points, while Fremont had 134, and Spring Lake third with 199.
The Bulldogs had three runners finish in the top 15 and two more run near personal best times on their way to the title repeat.
Chelsea had been without Senior captain Jensen Holm since early September with an injury, but others stepped up in Holm’s absence and carried the Bulldogs to the awards stand once again.
Carson Rabbitt, Foster Thorburn, and Will Scott earned All-State Honors for the Bulldogs.
Carson Rabbitt, Foster Thorburn, and Will Scott
Rabbitt finished 11th in 16:15, Thorburn 12th in 16:17, and Scott 14th in 16:18.
The three were expected to be the leaders of the team in Holm’s absence, but others need to step up and step up they did.
Juniors Zander Hartsuff and Joseph Norwood both ran their fastest times at any race course outside of the Bulldogs home course of Hudson Mills and helped put Chelsea over the top.
Hartsuff finished 39th in 16:55, while Norwood was 45th in 16:58. Sophomores Owen Smith finished 50th in 17:01 and Erik Reiber 67th in 17:10.
Chelsea’s top three runners ran their last race as a Bulldog Saturday. While most teams could not overcome that and would have a big drop off the following season. Coaches, runners, and fans know that things are different for the Bulldogs and a three-peat in 2019 could very well be possible because of the Chelsea Way of doing things.
Pictures by Mike Williamson