Bos Buzzes to Repeat as D2 Champion

November 3, 2012

By Bill Khan
Special to Second Half

BROOKLYN — Julia Bos of Grand Rapids Christian seems to answer more questions about the style of her running, rather than the substance.

Bos runs with her mouth wide open, something she has done ever since becoming a competitive runner.

“Have you ever swallowed a fly?” was a question posed to her Saturday at the MHSAA Lower Peninsula Division 2 meet at Michigan International Speedway.

“Once I caught a bumble bee this summer; it wasn’t very fun,” she said. “It stung me on the tongue. I spit it out right away. It was all fuzzy. I’m just thankful I’m not allergic to bees.”

Bos has a ready response to inquiries about her signature facial expression.

“People ask me why and I say, ‘Optimum oxygen absorption,’” she said. “I don’t really think about it consciously. I’m just going, ‘If I look silly, oh well, it works.’”

Indeed it does.

Bos repeated as the Division 2 champion with a time of 17:20.4, the second-fastest of the day in all four divisions. West Bloomfield’s Erin Finn won Division 1 in 17:07.9.

Bos, who was undefeated as a senior, bolted to the lead and was never threatened, winning by 28.7 seconds over Cedar Springs sophomore Kenzie Weiler. Bos reached the mile in 5:20, about five seconds faster than usual, as she wanted to dictate the terms of the race.

“I was aggressive early on in the race,” Bos said. “Last year, the first mile was really slow. Everybody in the front was trying to be tactical. We went out in 5:40 something. That was really slow for a state meet. This year, I tried not to think of the people by me and go at my own pace.”

Bos almost quit cross country before ever realizing her potential as a back-to-back MHSAA champion who will have her choice of major college programs at which to further her career. She said the pressure to succeed became too much until two years ago when she took fourth at MIS and led Grand Rapids Christian to the team title.

“I had kind of a revelation during my sophomore year,” she said. “I was basically trying to put all the pressure on myself and run for myself and be, ‘Oh, my word, I just always have to win,’” she said. “I would get so nervous during the school day if we had a meet after school; I could hardly take it. I almost quit the team, actually.”

Her coach and parents talked her out of it.

“I realized it’s so much more fulfilling to run for God and not for myself and not for other people’s expectations,” Bos continued. “I know that He will be happy with whatever I do, whether it’s a (personal record) or a slower day, as long as I do my best.”

Ada Forest Hills Eastern romped to the team championship by a 93-150 margin over Spring Lake. Grand Rapids Christian was third with 182 points, as Grand Rapids-area schools took five of the top six places.

Senior Ciara Cullen was fourth among team runners and sixth overall in 18:10.6 to lead Forest Hills Eastern, which had five runners cross before Spring Lake’s No. 4 runner.

Junior Mary Kostielney was 15th among team runners in 18:42.8, freshman Lauren Allard was 20th in 18:58.9, sophomore Abigail Bowman was 24th in 19:11.2 and senior Angela Ottenwess was 30th in 19:20.1 for Forest Hills Eastern.

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PHOTO: Grand Rapids Christian senior Julia Bos puts the finishing strides on her second straight MHSAA Division 2 championship. (Click to see more from

Kent City's Evers Selected for NFHS National 'Coach of the Year' Honor

By Geoff Kimmerly senior editor

January 11, 2023

Kent City cross country coach Jill Evers has been named the 2021-22 National Coach of the Year for girls cross country by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Coaches Association.

Evers was selected by a committee including representatives from all eight NFHS sections – Michigan is part of Section 4 with Illinois, Indiana, Iowa and Wisconsin.

The following brief bio includes an excerpt from Evers’ coaching philosophy, which nominees were asked to submit after being identified as candidates for the awards.

Jill EversJill Evers joined the Kent City athletic staff as an assistant cross country coach in 1991 after previously coaching a season each at Allegan High School and Allegan Middle School. She took over Kent City’s girls and boys varsity cross country programs in 1993 and also has served as head girls track & field coach since 1993. She led Kent City’s girls cross country team to a Lower Peninsula Division 3 Final runner-up finish in 2021, the program’s second runner-up finish under her leadership, and she’s also guided Kent City’s girls program to 15 league and seven Regional titles and nine total top-eight Finals finishes. She previously was named an NFHS Section Coach of the Year for girls track & field in 2006 after leading Kent City’s girls track & field team to its first MHSAA Finals championship in that sport, and inducted into the Michigan Interscholastic Track Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2012. Evers also is a longtime science teacher at Kent City and advisor and mentor for a variety of school activities in addition to coaching.

“I know people say, ‘Athletics is an extension of the classroom,’ but I believe it's so much more than that. While participating in sports, young people can learn about themselves and others, challenge themselves and grow physically, mentally, emotionally, and socially. Athletics is where we learn life lessons, such as how to lose with grace, cheer for teammates and even opponents, win with humility, deal with adversity, empathize with others, respect all those involved, be grateful for healthy bodies and opportunities to compete and push ourselves beyond what was originally thought possible. Success is different for each person, but I believe cross country lends itself to individual success. Everyone can improve and learn lifelong healthy habits. Everyone can set and achieve goals. Those who aren't as fast often earn the respect of the more gifted runners because of their perseverance. It is my job as a coach to encourage, motivate, and challenge all students who want to participate, and then congratulate them for a job well done.”

Three more Michigan coaches earned honors in Section 4. Mark Posey was honored in boys golf after leading Big Rapids to a 10th-place finish in Lower Peninsula Division 3 in 2022 after four straight Finals runner-up finishes. (There was no LP boys golf season in 2020 due to COVID-19.) Lake Orion boys lacrosse coach Ronald Hebert was honored after guiding his team to the Division 1 Quarterfinals last spring after taking the Dragons to the Semifinals in 2021. Scott Werner was honored in girls track & field after leading Pewamo-Westphalia to a runner-up finish at the Lower Peninsula Division 3 Finals. P-W shared the LPD3 Finals championship in 2021 and has won titles four of the last nine seasons (not counting 2020).

The NFHS has been recognizing coaches through an awards program since 1982.