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Beline Obeid

Blue Devils run to victory in Ohio

September 27, 2012
After defeating the top Michigan teams from around the state at the MSU Invitational, the Grosse Pointe South girls' cross-country team invaded Ohio this past Saturday, traveling to Dayton to race against a strong field of highly ranked teams at the 10th annual Centerville Stampede.

The meet featured three of Ohio's top five ranked Division 1 teams. When the dust settled, the South girls were not only victorious, but set a new meet scoring record (33) points.

South's top four runners all placed in the top 7 in the field of 145 competitors.

Springboro, ranked No. 2 in Ohio, was a distance second finishing with 55 points behind South.

Following were the No. 3 ranked, and host team, Centerville (93 points) and No. 5 ranked Walnut Hills (97 points).

The Blue Devil runners took control of the race early with Hannah Meier and eventual race winner Mary Kate Vaughn taking the lead and never giving it up.

Vaughn, a freshman and No. 1 ranked runner in Ohio, pulled away at the end to win the race in 17:48.

Hannah Meier gave South a second-place finish in 18:09.

Finishing in fourth place was South sophomore Ersula Farrow (18:19) with junior Kelsie Schwartz right behind in fifth (18:40).  

Haley Meier cruised into seventh place with an 18:58 and Christina Firl gave South a superb finish, placing 15th in 19:54.

"We came to Ohio to race the best field of non-Michigan teams as possible," head coach Steve Zaranek said. "This race gave us that opportunity. Our girls handled the new field of runners, the new course, and all the travel involved with confidence and full determination.

"Hundreds of spectators lined the course and were in awe of these Michigan girls from South.

"Even more impressive than the results was the sportsmanship displayed by the runners from both states. It was an extraordinary site."

Sophomores Mary Spencer and Megan Sklarski both finished in the top 20, adding to South's depth with senior Nicole Keller also finishing well.

All eight of the South girls earned medals.

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