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Novi Men’s Cross Country takes fourth place at State Finals
10/31/16   Photo: Standing in pit row at MIS (first row from L to R): Trey Mullins, Matt Whyte, Alex Schafer, Prateek Bhola, Chris Silva. Back Row: Coach Samantha Hudson, Scott Macpherson, Aric Landy, Gabe Mudel, Nate Wood, John Landy, Coach Robert Smith

BROOKLYN, MI - The Novi Men’s Cross Country Team ended their 2016 season by coming in 4th place at the MHSAA State Finals on Saturday.

Lakeland High School took first place in the Division 1 Finals with a score of 125. Saline was second with 198. Brother Rice was third with 220, while our Wildcats placed 4th with a score of 225. Ann Arbor Pioneer came in fifth with 237 in the field of the best 27 teams in the State. Northville finished 7th with 257.

Although the weather was 60 degrees and beautiful, the course had deteriorated into a muddy mess by mid-afternoon. Consequently, the times were much slower than the races held earlier in the morning. Times didn’t matter, though, as each team had to muck its way around the course.

Senior John Landy led the way for our Wildcats. He placed 22nd in the team scoring (41st overall) with a time of 16:20. “John had a fantastic race” exclaimed Head Coach Robert Smith. “He was only 10 seconds shy of being an All-Stater”.

Senior Scott Macpherson (32nd, 54th, 16:30) was next for Novi. “Scott also ran extremely well today” said Coach Smith. “He finished strong and with a lot of pride”.

Sophomore Trey Mullins (54th, 82nd) completed the course in 16:44. “This was only 14 seconds off of his career-pr and it was his second-fastest time ever” observed Smith. “He had the smallest deviation from a career personal-best of anybody on our team today”.

Junior Gabe Mudel was in about 32nd place overall with 400 meters remaining in the race. “I honestly thought that that Gabe was going to make All-State (top 30) again this year” noted Coach Smith. “However, Gabe experienced a bit of vertigo and fell twice in the last 100 meters. It was remarkable that he was able to get up and complete the race. It was obvious that he gave 110%. I am very proud of him for his total effort. Had he not been able to finish we would have ended up in 8th place (one point behind Northville)”. Mudel’s time was 16:48 (58th, 93rd).

Senior Aric Landy (59th, 94th, 16:48) finished just .1 second behind Mudel. “Aric closed fast on Gabe at the line and almost nudged him across the timing pads. Aric ran a very good race”.

Only 28 seconds separated Novi’s 1st through 5th man. “We had the smallest pack time of any team today” said Smith. This was a major factor for us placing in the Top 5. This is proof that XC is a true team sport”.

Senior Chris Silva (91st, 139th, 17:06) and Junior Nate Wood (135th, 188th, 17:28) rounded out the varsity top 7. “These two guys have been running varsity for us all year. I’m sure it was an honor for them to represent Novi in the State Finals. They represented us well”.