If the 1st Metro League Jamboree is anything to go by – the 2017 league battle will be a heck of a competition between two traditional rivals. Fielding two of the strongest teams to enter a Metro League Season, Linden edged out the Tiger Harriers 41-47, on the strength of their excellent top-end talent.
The Tigers, despite missing their joint-top runner Sam Deardorff, ran an excellent race that saw them outperform projections, but come up just short of a senior-laden and very strong Linden squad. Sophomore Adam Jesse continued his strong start to the campaign, again placing as the top Fenton runner and claiming the highest-ever jamboree placing of his young career. His personal-record time of 16:37 was good for 2nd place, with only Linden’s own Sophomore sensation, Tyler Buchanan, ahead of him to the line.
The Tigers then saw an impressive pack of runners stream in, led by Junior Nolan Day, Senior Mitch Chabot, and Freshman Sam Cox, who claimed 9th, 10th, and 11th place respectively, in times of 17:03, 17:08, and 17:14. Senior Peter Kennings finished off an amazing 47 second 1st- 5th runner spread by taking 15th in 17:24. While Cox and Kennings were able to edge Linden’s respective 4th and 5th runners, the Eagle’s strong top 3 saw them edge by with the victory.
Kenning’s placing ensured that the Tigers placed all 5 of their scorers amongst the 1st and 2nd-team All-Metro places, with the points accrued from this meet contributing 25% to their final league individual accolades.
Fenton continued their impressive string of depth-laden performances, as they again finished with 7 runners under 18 minutes, and put their top 9 all in the top-half of the varsity-only metro league race. Sophomore Logan Canada saw another 20+ second improvement, claiming 19th and 3rd-Team All-Metro points in a PR of 17:35. The 7th Tiger across the line was sophomore Ben Sheffield, 22nd in 17:49 and also earning All-Metro consideration. Senior Alex Ludwig ran 18:07 for a narrow PR and 27th spot overall, Sophomore Micah Dekraker finished 34th in 18:27, and Senior Brian Casey rounded out the 10 man Varsity squad with a 48th place finish in 19:20.
The Tigers quite obviously face a strong challenge from an experienced Linden squad in their quest for a 2nd straight Metro League Title, but performed admirably in their first outing. The first jamboree counted 25% towards their final league position. The next jamboree, also worth 25%, will take place at Flushing Valley Golf Course on Wednesday, September 27th, with the Championship Jamboree, worth 50% of the final placings, slated for Wednesday, October 18th.