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South, North take 1-2 in jamboree

South freshman Kamryn Leonard was the team’s top varsity medalist at the DeLaSalle Invitational. Photo by Courtney Geist
September 19, 2013
The Grosse Pointe South girls’ cross country team’s five-year win streak continued in the Macomb Area Conference Red Division jamboree meet early last week as it jumped out to a 7-0 dual meet mark.

South girls dominated the meet defeating Sterling Heights Stevenson, Grosse Pointe North, Utica Eisenhower, Romeo, Macomb Dakota, L’Anse Creuse North, and Utica.

In the process, the Blue Devils earned five perfect scores of 15 and placed their first six runners in the top 10.

Leading the way for South was the 1-2 finish by Ersula Farrow and Kelsie Schwartz. Placing fourth and fifth, respectively, were Alexa Calas and Anna Piccione, and running to a seventh-place finish was Mary Spencer with teammate Megan Sklarski right behind in 10th.

Sarah O’Neill and Kamryn Leonard both finished in the top 25.

“This meet provided one of the most difficult challenges I’ve ever seen,” South head coach Steve Zaranek said. “The heat was overpowering. Our girls were extremely smart and followed our plan well. We were very prepared to take on the challenge of both the high level of competition along with the difficult conditions.”

North, under head coach Scott Cooper, finished second and beat everyone except South.

The Norsemen’s top runners were Sarah Rustmann, Julia Rustmann, Katelyn Carney, Natalie Schaefer, Maddie Gafa, Maddy Denison and Kari Hyrciuk.

“It was a very hot day and not a single PR was posted for the day,” Cooper said. “It is not often, out of 60 girls, no one runs their best race. The girls were strongly encouraged to go out slow and reserve their energy for later in the race.

In other action last week, North ran in the Autumn Classic out at Stony Metro Park.

The Norsemen finished second out of 15 teams, falling short by only eight points to Macomb Lutheran North.

The team’s top finishers were Sarah Rustmann, Carney, Schaefer, Julia Rustmann, Alaina Streberger, Hryciuk and Denison.

“I do not believe I have ever had a closer or stronger top 4,” Cooper said. “Rustmann squared, Schaefer and Carney are tremendous runners and all four are going full throttle right now.”

As for South, it went head to head with the top 30 teams in the state in the “elite” race at MSU. More than 120 teams in all were in attendance.

South placed sixth, running behind Northville, Birmingham Seaholm, Saline, Hudsonville and Rockford.

All seven South runners raced to season-best times with the top six all under 19:33.

Leading the way was Farrow at 18:17, followed by Schwartz at 18:28. Both earned medals for their performances. Following were Calas (19:14), Mary Spencer (19:20), Piccione (19:24), Sklarski (19:33) and O’Neill (20:34).

Seven new varsity runners received the chance to compete at the annual DeLaSalle Invitational at Stony Creek Metropark.

Under superb racing conditions, the South girls raced to a second-place finish.

South was led by the 21:48 fifth-place finish of freshman Kamryn Leonard.

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