Girls Varsity Cross Country

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6.0 months ago @ 11:02AM



Buckley's Harrand Repeats, Livingston Leads Whitmore Lake Run in MIS Debut

By MHSAA.com report

BROOKLYN — Whitmore Lake freshman Kaylie Livingston is the next great thing in MHSAA Lower Peninsula Division 4 cross country, but those ranks still belong to Buckley senior Aiden Harrand.

Harrand parlayed her Michigan International Speedway racing experience and veteran savvy into a second straight individual championship Saturday, as well as a Division 4 course record.

Harrand and Livingston ran together most of the race before Harrand pulled away slightly down the stretch to win in 17:38.9. Livingston was second in 17:44.7, also eclipsing the previous Division 4 mark set by four-time champion Kirsten Olling of Breckenridge in 2013.

Whitmore Lake’s Kaylie Livingston led her team’s title win with an individual runner-up finish.“It was a little nerve racking, because she’s a good athlete, but I have — I don’t want to say seniority — but I’ve been here longer. I have experience being here,” Harrand said. “I was freaking out, but I knew in the end I could probably hold my own.”

It was the fourth top-five finish for Harrand, who was fifth in 2020 and second in 2021 before winning the last two years.

Understanding the unique characteristics of the MIS course may have given her an edge against a runner who appears primed to take the next three Division 4 crowns.

“Definitely the finish, because I know the finish is longer than a normal finish,” Harrand said. “I feel like I had a little bit of an advantage in that aspect of when to kick it in and when to keep holding it.”

Livingston had a phenomenal freshman season, winning 10 of 13 races heading into MIS. Her three second-place finishes were to runners who placed high in Division 3.

“Running this course was great,” Livingston said. “I’ve been coming here since I was really little, watching everyone run. It was nice to run here for the first time and run against Aiden.”

Although the individual victory eluded her grasp, Livingston got a championship as the top runner for a Whitmore Lake team that scored 78 points to win the team title by 34 points over Johannesburg-Lewiston.

The Trojans put five runners in the top 49, with sophomore Carina Burchi taking sixth, sophomore Sofia Robertson 20th, senior Natalie Meadows 30th and sophomore Elodie Weaver 49th.

Ranked third in Division 4 before the meet, Whitmore Lake won its first team championship since 1996. The Trojans have won four MHSAA titles.

“It was great,” Livingston said. “We worked really hard all season. All the girls put in all the work. I’m just happy to see it pay off.”