Morenci has a new all-state athlete following Saturday’s state cross country meet.
Zach Phillips turned in a top-30 performance—the requirement for all-state honors in the sport—while running his career best in the Div. IV race at Michigan International Speedway.
The junior crossed the line at 16:37 to place 21st out of a field of 150 qualifiers. His stamina in the final stretch assured the all-state honors.
“I must have passed at least 10 people in the last part,” Phillips said after the run.
He had no complaints from coach Brad Brown.
“That was an excellent run,” he told Phillips afterward. “To make all-state your first time here.…”
Brown noted that the competition was stiffer this time around, also. Phillips’ 16:37 would have been good for 10th place a year ago.
Nineteen runners crossed the finish line within 10 seconds in a crowded finish. Phillips was just five seconds out of 13th place.
Defending state champion Tim Jagielski was topped by a pair of runners this year, despite improving from the 2006 race. The senior finished at 16:02, behind winner Kevin Oblinger of Mt. Pleasant Sacred Heart (15:49) and Kyle Stacks of Concord (15:56).
In team competition, Potterville finished first with an average team time of 17:03.
In the Div. IV girls race, Lindsay Neal of North Muskegon won with a time of 18:29, topping second-place Cayla Nousain of Concord (18:44), winner of the regional where Morenci competed.