Gorgas, Johnson highlight Indians strong day at Holly Invite

Jason Wesseldyk

This year’s running of the Holly Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 16, was a special one for the event, as it celebrated its 50th anniversary.
It was also pretty special for a pair of Saugatuck runners.
Junior Corey Gorgas won the Division IV boys’ race with a time of 15:54, while classmate Thea Johnson won the Division IV girls’ race with a time of 19:20.
But wait, as they say in those annoying infomercials, there’s more.
Not only were those times the fastest in the Division IV races, but they were also the fastest among any competitors in the event’s morning session, which is comprised of Divisions III, IV and V. As a result, Gorgas and Johnson each earned the Star of Stars Award.
“As it turned out, Corey’s time was not only the fastest time of the morning session, but it was the fastest time of the day, including Divisions I and II,” Saugatuck coach Rick Bauer said. “And Thea’s time was the second fastest in all divisions.”
A total of 105 schools competed throughout the day.
Johnson’s performance helped the Saugatuck girls take top honors in the race with 40 points. Jackson Lumen Christi was next with 52 points, followed by Hanover-Horton and Breckenridge with 115 points each.
Saugatuck entered the race ranked six in the Division 3, while Lumen Christi was ranked ninth in the division.
Fellow juniors Natalie Martinson and Taylor Conner joined Johnson in the top 10. Martinson placed third with a time of 20:26, while Conner was seventh at 20:40.
The junior tandem of Megan Jenkins (14th at 21:33) and Lily Francis (15th at 21:33) crossed the finish line at virtually the same time and rounded out the scoring for Saugatuck.
On the boys’ side, Bauer knew his team was in for a challenge.
Saugatuck entered the meet ranked third in Division 3, with Caro at No. 2 and Hanover-Horton at No. 1.
Caro ended up winning the race with 48 points, followed by Hanover-Horton with 57 points and Saugatuck with 88 points.
Gorgas, who beat out the defending state champion in Caro’s Yami Albrecht (second at 16:03) led a trio of Indians among the top eight finishers. Freshman Nik Pettinga was fifth at 16:49, while senior Keegan Seifert was eighth at 17:11.
Senior Corbin Blink placed 32nd at 18:18 and junior Mason Harvath-Garrens placed 42nd at 18:50 to finish as Saugatuck’s fourth and fifth runners.
Earlier in the week, the both Saugatuck teams won the first SAC jamboree of the season, which the Indians hosted at FennValley Winery. The boys team finished with 22 points, while the girls were one better at 21.


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