The starter’s pistol was fired eight days later than they anticipated but for the Malcolm boys’ cross country team, it was worth the wait. After illness within the ranks forced the team bus to turn around while on its way to the first scheduled meet of the season, the Clippers made a statement at the Sepy. 4 Johnson Country Central Invite.
Even with one of the team’s top runners unable to compete, six of the first 13 runners to cross the finish line at the Tecumseh County Club were in Malcolm jerseys.
Ty Brockhaus led the way with his second place finish in 18:13.
“Ty is an excellent racer,” Malcolm coach Brie Pulec said. “He knows how to get out, pace himself, and lead the way.”
Not far behind were John Boesen who placed fourth at 18:49. Jacob Schweitzer and Joey Brockhaus placed seventh and eighth respectively while Matthew Burbach and Tate Ele also earned hardware with their 11th and 13th place finishes.
“Our boys put in a lot of miles this summer,” Pulec said. “You can really see that through the personal records that happened at this meet.
“I definitely think there will be some competition for the top spots on our team. That will make all of them stronger and more determined. The sky is the limit with these boys.”
An already thin Malcolm girls’ team was missing two varsity runners due to illness. The lone Clipper to earn a medal was Grace Schleining. The senior placed 13th with a time of 24:07.
“Grace put in a lot of work over the summer and continues to do so,” Pulec said. “She has such a positive outlook as she works out and competes. No negativity.
“All those things make her a solid leader on this team.”
Addie Hejl finished just out of the hardware as she placed 17th.
Like many teams across the state, the Malcolm harriers have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. As they wait on some teammates to return to full strength, the coaches continue to preach safe and responsible behavior.
“The team has responded as well as a team can,” Pulec said. “They have taken all of the protocols in stride because they know it will make or break their season if they don’t.
“But, it doesn’t mean it hasn’t been hard, that they haven’t been upset by the things they have had to give up because of this pandemic. It’s hard to see them not able to participate in decades long team traditions. We remind them that if we don’t give some stuff up, then we might have to give it all up.”
The Clippers head to Milford this Thursday afternoon to compete in the Milford Invite. The girls' race starts at 5 p.m. and will be in a different location. Runners will start on the west side of the Welch Park softball fields and finish north of the elementary school.