Boys’ Cross Country Fields Newly Competitive Team


Lisa Samra

Eli Robinson ’23 strains towards the finish line at Gainey Athletic Complex Wednesday.

After many years of underperformance, the boys cross country team finally has the runners to make some noise.

“We have a really deep team, filled with some really talented young runners,” said Daniel Rietberg, coach of the cross country team. The top five runners on the team score based on place, so it’s important to develop a team with depth rather than relying on a couple star runners. 

It’s not just the coach who thinks the team has potential this year too. Every year, Michigan XC Speed Ratings, an independent organization, gives a projected rank for all the teams in the state by division. They put East Grand Rapids third this year, only twelve points away from first.

The boys team has always stood in the shadow of the girls who have been at or near the top of their division for the past 20 years. These projections provide hope for the team who have only placed top three at states once, in 2014. 

The team still has some work to do, practicing rigorously for the biggest race before states, Regionals on Oct. 29. The team has to make top third at regionals in order to qualify for the state meet on Nov. 6. 

The team hopes to come into their potential and put their history behind them with quality performances this year. 

“I feel very confident with our team’s strength this season, and I think we will be very successful,” team captain Luke Dykstra ‘22 said.