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After coming close earlier this season, Dexter senior Owen Huard shattered the Dexter boys’ cross country record Saturday, October 5 when he ran a scorching time of 15:04.0 at the highly touted Portage Invitational.

Huard’s time beat the former record of Bobby Aprill by 11 seconds. The previous record by Aprill was set in 2007 in 15:15. Huard just missed earlier this season when he ran a 15:17 at the Early Bird Invite at Hudson Mills.

“The school record was a major goal for Owen this year.” Coach Drew Collette said. “Last year he ended the year a full 30 seconds away from the record.”

Huard gave up baseball, devoting an entire year of running for the first time in his career. His strength would grow immensely and it has paid dividends.  

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“I’m incredibly proud of the drive and focus he has displayed to put in consistent work over four years to get to this stage,” Collette said.

The Portage course was amazingly fast as 23 or the top 25 runners in Division 1 set personal records.

“Portage is always fast if the footing is firm. While there is a hill you hit twice, there are a lot of downhill and flat sections” said Collette.

The competition is steep at Portage with seven of the top 10 teams in Division 1 and two top 10 teams from Ohio and Indiana also at the race.

The Dreadnaughts entered the invitational ranked 3rd in D1 and came home with a third-place team finish with 149 points. Number 1 ranked Brighton won the race with 101 and Ohio’s # 2 ranked St. Xavier was 2nd with 113. SEC foes Saline, Ann Arbor Skyline, and Ann Arbor Pioneer finished 4th-6th. All are ranked in the top 10 in D1.

Six of the seven Dreadnaught runners ran PR’s and the top four earned medals.

Nathan Larson finished 11th with a PR of 15:41.9, Seth Read 26th with a PR of 16:07, and William Buller 30th with a PR of 16:15.9 all earned medals for Dexter.

Finnegan Bell set a PR of 16:49.4 to finish 79th, Conor Kolka was 122nd in 17:12.4, and Masanari Kimura 137th in 17:19.7.

“I’m really proud of our entire team. We always focus on October and progressing, but it can be hard as a high school athlete to be patient and keep a long-term view,” Collette said. “Yesterday was a good break thru and a confidence boost for the kids heading into the final phase of training.”

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