Grosse Pointe South runners, from left, Ersula Farrow, Kamryn Leonard, Sarah O'Neill, Megan Sklarski, Alexa Calas, Anna Piccione and Mary Spencer. Photo courtesy of Steve Zaranek
September 12, 2013The Grosse Pointe South girls' cross country team traveled to Algonac to compete in the 26th annual Muskrat Classic last weekend.
The South girls dominated the field of 15 Division 1 teams with a point total of 18 (15 is a perfect score).
Grosse Pointe North placed second (56), followed by Chippewa Valley (100), St. Clair Shores Lakeview (127) and Berkley (134).
"We had perfect weather and a great week of training," head coach Steve Zaranek said. "The girls were excited and ready to run.
"We witnessed some major improvements in performance and the team camaraderie was at an early season high. This was an extremely successful competition for our entire team."
In all, 120 South runners took to the course in the varsity and open races.
Leading the way was the dominant performance of junior Ersula Farrow. She took the lead from the start and never looked back, winning with a time of 18:17.
"Ersula ran with extreme confidence and she set the tone for our team," Zaranek said. "Farrow's performance was just 10 seconds off the all time course record (Hannah Meier — GPS — 2011).
The Blue Devil runners did not let up taking four of the next six places with senior Alexa Calas finishing second with a career-best time of 19:04. She was followed by sophomore Anna Piccione's own career-best (19:30) third place finish.
"It was amazing to watch Ersula, Alexa, and Anna come through the finish line 1-2-3 with such tremendous performances," Zaranek said.
Right on their heals were junior Mary Spencer, taking 5th place at 19:34, and junior Megan Sklarski in seventh at 19:46.
"Having our top five all under 20 minutes at this point in the season shows us we have we have the potential to compete with many of the state's top teams once again this year," Zaranek said. "I know our girls are excited for the big competitions coming up over the next several weeks."
Also earning medals for South were junior Sarah O'Neill (21:39) and freshman Kamryn Leonard (21:48). Both ran season best times.
South team members also dominated the open race taking six of the top 10 places. South was led by Alex Dulworth, Maggie Wright, Gen Martin, Hannah Brauer, Andie Anger, and Maddie McDonnell.
As for Grosse Pointe South's boys' team, it was eighth with 187 points.
Port Huron Northern won with 28 points, followed by Lakeview with 50, Grosse Pointe North with 125, Berkley with 159, Chippewa Valley with 166, Anchor Bay with 168 and Sterling Heights with 171.
Leading the way for head coach Mark Sonnenberg's Blue Devils was Nicholas Debrunner, who was 21st with a time of 17:31.
Other finishers were Michael Gates, 22nd with a time of 17:38; Zach Due, 35th with a time of 17:58; Jack Kudntz, 54th with a time of 18:58; Kevin Biglin, 55th with a time of 18:59; Sam Beckius, 56th with a time of 19:05; and Charlie Warren, 57th with a time of 19:08.