Velderman, who also was regional and O-K Silver Conference champion this fall, checked in at the finish line with a time of 19:03.6. It was her career-best clocking by seven seconds and it enabled her to inch closer to the school record of 18:55.6 set by Rachael Weber at the state meet in 2013. Weber also had the best individual Viking female placing at state in that race by capturing sixth place.
The Viking girls as a team finished in 16th place with 389 points after they had taken third in the regional meet a week earlier. Traverse City St. Francis was the state champion with 69 points, Benzie Central had 141 and Shepherd 181.
O-K Silver Conference champion Calvin Christian finished sixth with 219 points.
Freshman Jasmine Fisher, who improved all season long to take over the No. 2 slot for the Vikings, finished 114th with a time of 20:59.8. She was followed in the lineup by junior Megan Heft, making her second trip to state, in 128th at 21:07.1; junior Madison Snoeyink at 141st in 21:15.5, and junior Taryn Kilbane, also in her second appearance at state, in 155th place at 21:27.5.
There were 28 girls’ teams that qualified for the state championships, and there were more than 250 runners in the race.
The good news for Hopkins is that none of its top five runners will graduate next spring and its top two both are freshmen.