Jacobs, Corunna Finish Title Quests

November 5, 2016

Second Half reports

BROOKLYN – Noah Jacobs’ race was done, but the job wasn’t finished.

Not by a long shot.

So, he took zero time to soak in the moment after he won the MHSAA Division 2 individual cross country championship Saturday at Michigan International Speedway.

Instead, he turned around and kept a close eye on the runners finishing behind him, hoping to see the white Corunna singlets not too far back.

The first teammate he greeted was his sophomore brother, Ben, who finished eighth in 16:01.8.

Before long, he would be reunited with the rest of his teammates. When the places were added up, not only did Jacobs win an individual championship, but he led his school to the team title.

Corunna beat reigning champion Fremont, 92-99, for its first MHSAA championship since 1997.

With his time of 15:28.0, Jacobs joined 1998 winner Jared Aldrich as the only Corunna boys to win the individual title. He won by 12 seconds over Pontiac Notre Dame Prep senior Brendan Fraser.

“I came into the stadium, and the wind was in my face,” said Jacobs, who recently committed to run for the University of Wisconsin. “It was a battle that last mile, it really was. It was one of the harder races I ever ran. The course was a little bit soft; it wasn’t exactly ideal. I’m proud. I gave it everything I had, and my team gave it everything they had. That’s all you can ask for. What I take away from it is it’s a great last race in my Corunna jersey.”

The cross country championship has eluded Jacobs, who has two MHSAA Division 2 track and field titles in the 3,200-meter run on his resume. He was 56th as a freshman, fifth as a sophomore and second to two-time champion Morgan Beadlescomb of Algonac as a junior.

Jacobs has a personal best of 15:00 in cross country and 8:55.57 in the 3,200, so he had hoped to put his name among the all-time greats who have ever run at MIS. That plan changed when he saw that rain from earlier in the week turned portions of the course into slop.

“Originally, I wanted to run in the 14s,” Jacobs said. “But running the warmup on the course and figuring everything out, it wasn’t worth my time to go out and only think about time. It wasn’t going to be beneficial. It was just going to end in a day I felt I could do more.”

Even with the graduation of Jacobs, Corunna should be well-positioned to repeat next year.

The Cavaliers ran only two seniors Saturday, the other No. 5 man Kyle Mesh. There might even be a future individual champion in the Jacobs household.

Ben Jacobs was fourth among non-seniors and the second sophomore in Division 2. His time was only 5.2 seconds slower than Noah ran as a sophomore at MIS.

“He was one of two guys who PR’d today,” Noah said. “He ran awesome. A lot of people in Michigan don’t know Ben that well. Ben’s a sophomore this year. He has a lot of big things coming. He’s faster in the mile (as a sophomore), but in the 5K he’s a little behind me, but we’re close.”

With junior Dakota Hundley placing 25th in 16:24.5, Corunna had three all-staters. The top 30 make all-state.

Sophomore Charlie Bruckman was 50th in 16:44.2 and Mesh was 52nd in 16:46.4 to round out Corunna’s scoring.

Fremont has won eight MHSAA championships, but was trying to repeat for the first time. Grand Rapids Christian finished third with 139 points.

Click for full results.

The MHSAA Cross Country Finals are sponsored by the Michigan National Guard.

PHOTOS: (Top) Corunna’s Noah Jacobs charges toward the finish for his first MHSAA cross country title. (Middle) Ben Jacobs (296), Noah’s brother, finished eighth to help the Cavaliers to their first team title since 1997, while Otsego's Alex Comerford (392) also posted a top-10 finish. (Click to see more from RunMichigan.com.)

Freeland's Hansen Smashes Longstanding Record, FHE Claims 1st Finals Victory

November 4, 2023

BROOKLYN — On the same day Rockford’s Dathan Ritzenhein set a course record at Michigan International Speedway that has never been approached, Kurtis Marlowe of Richland Gull Lake had a performance that was overshadowed.

But Marlowe’s winning time of 15:02.5 in the MHSAA Lower Peninsula Division 2 Finals in 2000 also stood the test of time.

Until Saturday.

Freeland junior TJ Hansen eclipsed the Division 2 record with his winning time of 14:52.8. Runner-up Solomon Kwartowitz of Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood also nearly broke the previous record, finishing in 15:03.3.

Even though it was apparent from earlier races Saturday that perfect conditions made fast times possible, Hansen didn’t set out to break Marlowe’s record.

“No, my goal was to go out and win,” he said. “Play strategy from the front, let others do the work, then just push it. Whatever time I got, I was gonna get. I knew it was going to take a time like that to win it today.

Henry Dixon sets the pace for Forest Hills Eastern's first team championship.“I usually run close to a (personal record) every year at this meet. It’s one of my favorite courses. It’s definitely unique here at the speedway, so I really like the course, I really like to run it.”

Hansen went through the mile mark tied for 11th in 4:54.3, but you could’ve thrown a blanket over the top 12 runners at that point.

It was a three-man race between Hansen, Kwartowitz and 2022 champion Connell Alford of Chelsea when they reached the two-mile mark in 9:46.

Hansen made sure there would be no drama coming down the stretch.

“I was just trying to stay calm, let them do the work, just sit back,” he said. “When I needed to go, I was gonna go. My goal was to stay relaxed.”

Kwartowitz had no complaints with his race.

“It felt really smooth,” he said. “It was great. I didn’t get a chance to race these guys a bunch this year. I did at Spartan (Invitational, in September). I was really hoping to end it with a victory.”

The boys Division 2 team championship was a toss-up between four teams for the second year in a row, with Ada Forest Hills Eastern coming out on top with 134 points. Pinckney was second with 156, East Grand Rapids third with 175 and Allendale fourth with 176.

Last year, 32 points separated the top four teams.

Junior Henry Dixon led Forest Hills Eastern, placing sixth in 15:16.0. Senior Liam Hinman was 29th, senior Brendan Hoving was 30th, senior Cooper Jacobsen was 38th and junior Tyler Endres was 82nd.

It was the first MHSAA championship for Forest Hills Eastern, which had a program-best finish of fourth in 2007.

Click for full results.

PHOTOS (Top) Freeland's TJ Hansen approaches the finish of his record run Saturday at MIS. (Middle) Henry Dixon sets the pace for Forest Hills Eastern's first team championship. (Photos by Dave McCauley/RunMichigan.com.)