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Blue Devils off to running start

The Grosse Pointe South girls' cross country team won its season-opening event, thanks to the efforts of, from left, Megan Sklarski, Mary Spencer, Alexa Calas, Kelsie Schwartz, Anna Piccione, Ersula Farrow and Sarah O'Neill. photo by Courtney Geist.

August 29, 2013
The Grosse Pointe South girls' cross country squad began the 2013 campaign with an impressive win at the 15-team Mariner East China Park Invitational in St. Clair.

South won the meet taking 5 of the top 8 places in the field of 90 varsity runners. South's score of 22 points easily outdistanced second place Lutheran North (53). Rounding out the top five were host school St. Clair (103), Macomb Dakota (117) and Marine City (121).

Setting the pace for the Blue Devils was junior Ersula Farrow, who ran with defending Division 2 state champion Gina Patterson until the two-mile mark. Farrow pulled away during the final mile to win the 5k race with a time of 19:03. Patterson was second with a time of 19:18.

The Blue Devils' depth then shined as senior Kelsie Schwartz crossed the finish line in third place (19:47), followed by senior Alexa Calas in fourth (19:56).

On their heals were South runners Anna Piccione (sophomore) in sixth with a time of 20:08 and junior Mary Spencer in eighth with a time of 20:20.

Rounding out South's top seven varsity runners were junior Megan Sklarski (16th at 21:32) and junior Sarah O'Neill (18th at 21:44).

"Our depth was extremely impressive for such an early meet," head coach Steve Zaranek said. "Our girls were able to focus on one another and really used that to their advantage. The gaps were not large and our average time was well below 20 minutes per girl. This early meet demonstrates that our team has a great deal of potential this year."

All seven South varsity runners earned medals.

The junior varsity race also provided South reason to look forward to the 2013 season. South runners took 15 of the top 20 places in a field of 185 runners.

The Blue Devils were led by freshman Kamryn Leonard, who placed second overall with a time of 22:52. Also in the top 10 were South runners Alex Dulworth, Maggie Wright, Rachel Forcillo, Hannah Brauer, Andie Anger, Gen Martin and Erin Sullivan.

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