By Takashi Gould
Led by senior Capt. Matt Greve, the Dexter boys' varsity cross-country team won its fourth consecutive regional title at Willow Metropark on Saturday.
The Dreadnaughts went 1-3-11-14-22, scoring 51 points (2nd place was 90) in a 39-point rout.
Seniors Matt Greve and Joe Wendorf led the way for Dexter, having taken control of the race from 2 kilometers to the finish. Throughout most of the competition they were stride for stride with a runner from Garden City and Salem, but with 800 meters to go, Matt instantly put 40 meters on the field and cruised to the finish.
Joe came into the final 200 meters going back and forth with the runner from Garden City and in the final 30 meters he was edged out.
Alexey Vermeulen looked stronger from last week's race, and he was hovering around the seventh spot for about 4 kilometers, but the chase pack ultimately caught up with him. Alexey finished in 14th place.
Mike Hauke started the race hitting the goal splits right on, and finished 11th. Blake Loudermilk did an outstanding job as the team's No. 5 runner. His plan was to stick with the best No. 3 runner in the competition, and he did just that.
Sophomores Luke Bottomley finished sixth and Casey Hanson finished seventh in their first regional race.
This senior athletes are the first since the 2007 season to win a regional title in four consecutive years, and the fourth in the history of the Dexter boys' cross country program.
"It's obviously a big deal, but one that the boys knew going into this season was something that was very realistic and we had to make sure everyone was accountable and did their jobs," coach Takashi Gould said. "Like the past years, we're just building momentum and confidence going into the big meets."
The team will travel to Michigan International Speedway on Saturday. The boys will race at 2 p.m., and the girls will race at 3 p.m. The award ceremony begins at 3:45 p.m. Spectator admission is $7 per person. Online tickets can be purchased at www.ticketleap.com. Credit cards will not be accepted for on-site ticket purchases.