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Norsemen earn solid placement

Grosse Pointe North runner Sarah Rustmann, forefront, and her sister, Julia Rustmann, background, ran well for the Norsemen this weekend. Photo courtesy of Scott Cooper
September 12, 2013
The Grosse Pointe North girls’ cross country team competed in the Algonac invitational this past weekend and came in second place out of 13 squads.

Top runners for North and all earning medals were Sarah Rustmann, Katelyn Carney, Julia Rustmann, Nat Schaefer, Alaina Streberger, Maddy Denison and Keri Hryciuk.

North finished second to city rival Grosse Pointe South.

“Almost every single girl ran a personal record, but they should have because it was a perfect day to run and a very flat course,” head coach Scott Cooper said. “My top four looked tremendous again, all four getting out fast and together and settling nicely into a race pattern.

“Sarah Rustmann came from behind once again to take control of the race finishing in a time of 19:40, only 12 seconds off her all time best.

“Carney, Shaefer and Julia Rustmann all looked strong and fought hard throughout the race to keep a lead on the bulk of the runners.

“Streberger, Denison and Hryciuk also gave great performances bringing our fifth and final scoring position up a whole minute closer to the front pack.

We have a strong team but in cross country you are only as strong as your fifth runner, and we are working very hard to establish a solid five. Our front four are set, and we have about four or five great runners pushing to be the 5th, which makes for great competition, and competition from within breeds a stronger team.”

Grosse Pointe North boys’ cross country team also ran at the Algonac Muskrat Classic.

The Norsemen had 17 personal bests out of 39 who ran and finished in third, beaten only by two very excellent teams, Port Huron Northern and Lakeview.

“As we move forward, though, I think we can run competiitvely against Lakeview and we will have to as they are in our region,” head coach Diane Montgomery said.

Sophomore Connor Sickmiller took a minute off of his last race with an excellent 16:41 (good for 4th place overall).

Other standout performances for the Norsemen came from junior Joe Ciaravino, with almost a minute off of his personal best at17:21; sophomore Daniel Brady, with more than a minute improvement of 17:48; and senior Alex Brady, with a sub-18 performance of17:56.

Rounding out our scoring was senior captain, Pearce Reickert, with a strong 18:26.

“This day was important for us because the varsity boys ran much more competitively from gun to finish line than we have seen in our first two races,” Montgomery said. “They had a very specific and tangible goal in finishing in the top three, and they reached that goal.

“I think they glimpsed the possibilities of this season as well as the work they have to do in order to compete with a team like Lakeview. I feel confident, though, that these guys are ready to work together and work diligently to reach our yearly goal of qualifying to the state finals as a team.

“We are relatively young (our top three runners are underclassmen and two are only sophomores), but there is much we can accomplish this year rather than simply speculating about future years.

“Right behind our varsity seven, we have a solid line-up of runners. That also helps the entire team become stronger. In basketball, they say you are only as strong as your bench.

“In Cross Country, all runners get faster when the JV starts inching closer to those varsity spots.”

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