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North runners, from left, Sydney benson, Natalie Schaefer, Katelyn Carney and Allison Francis, ran well at last week’s jamboree meet. Photo courtesy of Scott Cooper

October 11, 2012
The No. 1 ranked team in the nation didn't disappoint last week as Grosse Pointe South's girls' cross-country squad won the second Macomb Area Conference Red Division jamboree meet at Stony Creek Eastwood Beach. Head coach Steve Zaranek and his Blue Devils finished 7-0 and won the regular season title with a 14-0 mark. Zaranek gave his top runners a week off to heal nagging injuries and recharge the batteries. The rested runners were able to blow away a majority of the fi eld. Grosse Pointe North, under head coach Scott Cooper, also enjoyed success, taking third at 5-2 and third in the regular season division mark at 10-4. Sterling Heights Stevenson was second at 6-1 and 12-2. The Blue Devils dominated this jamboree meet, taking the top four places and fi ve of the top six. In fact, all four runners fi nished the race within a step of each other. Senior Haley Meier won with a time of 18:40, followed by sophomore Ersula Farrow at 18:40.4, senior Hannah Meier at 18:40.8 and sophomore Kelsie Schwartz at 18:41. Junior Christina Firl was sixth with a time of 19:11. For the Norsemen, their top fi nishers were freshman Katelyn Carney, senior Allison Francis, junior Sarah Rustmann, senior Natalie Schaefer, freshman Alaina Streberger, freshman Ashley Brown and freshman Sydney Benson. "Carney had a great race, running in the 19s for the second race in a row," Cooper said. "She is going to be a great force on this team for the next four years. "Sarah Rustmann continues to run smart, going out conservatively and coming on in the second half of the race. She has become a very consistent runner. Francis and Schaefer are also running great and holding their own as the veteran runners on the team." North fi nished its regular season 12-4 overall. "Currently five of the top eight runners are freshmen," Cooper said. "This has made things interesting since they do not have a lot of experience in cross-country races, and yet they are up in the top and doing great. Keri Hryciuk is the latest freshman who is No. 8. This makes Rustmann, Francis and Schaefer that much more important as they are the veteran, experienced runners." "My veteran runners have shown a lot of class bringing along these new freshmen and helping them even though they are threatening their positions." Last weekend, South won the 37-team Wayne County Championship at Willow Metropark in Plymouth. Other topranked competitors included Northville and Plymouth Salem. Without the services of Haley Meier, out with an illness, the Blue Devils still managed to take the top three places in the fi eld of 193 runners and the next three placing in the top 20. Hannah Meier led from start to fi nish to win with a season-best time of 17:45, followed by Schwartz, who was second with a career-best 17:53, and Farrow, third with a time of 18:27. South is the only team in the state with three 17-minute 5K runners. "We hope to soon add Haley to this group. She is almost there," Zaranek said. "One goal we have is to put our fi rst four runners under 18 minutes at the state fi nals. It is something that has never been done before in Michigan." The Blue Devils' next three finishers, Firl (19:27), Megan Sklarski (19:27) and Mary Spencer (19:28) each broke the 20-minute barrier. South's top six in the junior varsity race were Alex Dulworth (21:03), Sarah O'Neill (21:06), Meghan Dziedzic (21:12), Caroline Forster (21:20), Natasha Boelstler (21:26) and Abby Passamani (21:27).

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