From staff reports
BROOKLYN — Only one runner stood between Holly Bullough and a state cross country championship on Saturday.
That one runner happened to be defending state champ Kirsten Olling.
The Breckenridge runner won her second state crown with the Traverse City St. Francis freshman her closest competition.
Olling won the Division 4 title in 17:59.6, while Bullough was second at 18:31.7 — seven seconds ahead of the third-place finisher and 33 ticks in front of the fourth-place runner.
"It was a good day," St. Francis coach Ben LaBelle said. "Holly ran an excellent race. The sky is the limit."
The St. Francis girls team finished seventh and the boys 17th.
Traverse City Central's girls placed fourth in Division 1, the Trojan boys were 10th, Benzie Central placed fourth in both boys and girls in Division 3, and the girls teams from Bear Lake and Harbor Springs were second and third, respectively.
"This was like winning to me because we had such a great division," TC Central girls coach Lisa Taylor said. "The first three teams were so dominant. They were ranked nationally. I was hoping we could get fourth. When the girls heard what place we got, they all celebrated like we won."
Birmingham Seaholm, Grosse Pointe South and Saline occupied the top three spots in Division 1.
The Trojans were led by Molly Peregrine's 18:29 to finish 24th and earn all-state. The top 30 runners in each division each all-state honors, and Peregrine finished 31st last year.
"She has come on with a vengeance," Taylor said of the junior who missed a large chunk of this season with an injury.
Central had seven runners in the top 92 — and six of those return next season.
TC Central's boys finished 10th on the day, led by Anthony Berry's time of 15:47 that made him the fastest freshman at the finals regardless of division, and also was the only one to break 16 minutes. The time was the fourth-best in TC Central history.
Kyle Dotterrer ran a 15:53 — a time that puts him at eight-best in school history.
TC Central has had only nine runners get under 16 minutes and two of them were Saturday.
"We got a couple kids under 16, which was something we wanted to do," Central coach John Lober. "I think we can walk out of here and say, 'Top 10 in the state is pretty good.'"
TC West senior Alec Ondrajka placed 88th with a 16:25, a time that broke his personal best by 10 seconds and is the 13th-best time at West.
"He's a pretty happy guy," Titans coach Ross Dye said. "He told me he never dreamed he'd be here."
Kingsley's Jake Keena placed ninth in Division 3 with a 16:03.2 after setting his personal best last week in regionals with a 15:52 at Benzie.
"He actually took someone at the finish," Stags coach Julie Alpers said. "It was a great race. I actually thought he ran a better race today. It was a great way to end the season."
Benzie finished fourth in Division 3, led by Alyssa Bennett's seventh-place finish and a 13th by Bryce Cutler.
"Our two junior girls — Alyssa and Bryce — both had exceptional races," Benzie coach Asa Kelly said. "They stuck their noses in there and ran with the best girls in the state and got all-state."
Kyle Bailey (25th) and Max Gaft (28th) were all-staters for Benzie's boys.
Six of the Huskies' top seven girls runners — and all of the top seven boys — return next season.
Manistee'a Annie Fuller was second overall in Division 3 in 18:10.8, while Charlevoix sophomore Amber Way was fourth in 18:13.6. The Chippewas' Ashley Lindeman was also in the top 10, finishing ninth.
Bear Lake's girls were runners-up in Division 4, led by Keena Gilbert's 20th-place finish and Faith Moerdyk in 22nd.
Harbor Springs' girls took third as a team, paced by Rhi Cullip's seventh-place finish and an all-state effort by Jessica Worm (27th). Abby Fifarek's 28th-place finish led Grand Traverse Academy to a 12th-place finish as a team.
Suttons Bay freshman Dani Merwin earned all-state honors with a 26th-place finish in 20:07.
"It was just off her personal best, but she ran a great race," Norse coach Mark Smith said.
In Division 4 boys, Bear Lake was ninth, Harbor Springs 11th and Mancelona 14th. Shayne Dingman took 25th in 16:58.9 to earn all-state honors. The Mancelona girls were 18th, led by Isabella Tremonti's 21st-place run.
Glen Lake's Kaitlin Grigg earned all-state honors by finishing 22nd in Division 4, while Gaylord's Charlend Howard was16th in the Division 2 boys race.