Grosse Pointe South MAC championship runners are, from left, Anna Piccione, Mary Spencer, Ersula
Farrow, Kelsie Schwartz, Megan Sklarski, Kamryn Leonard, Sarah O’Neill and Alexa Calas. Earning All-
League Honors were Piccione, Spencer, Farrow, Schwartz and Calas. Photo courtesy of Steve Zaranek
October 24, 2013“Even after a superb week of training in no way could I predict 61 season best performances — especially with the cold, wet weather at Metro Beach,” South girls’ cross country head coach Steve Zaranek said after his Blue Devils dominated the entire MAC field of 33 teams with an incredibly dominant score of 26 points in last weekend’s race at Metro Beach.
South’s top five all placed in the top 13 and were led by the blazing-fast MVP performance of junior Ersula Farrow.
“Our girls, varsity and jv, did everything the proper way from the time we got off the buses until we left the park,” Zaranek said. “We were ready to perform at a very high level. The confidence to do so was present in every girl.”
Farrow was named the league’s most valuable player after a crushing performance. Her time of 17:39 is one of the state’s, and nations, top 5k performances of the year.
“Ersula took total command from the start,” Zaranek said. “She never let up and she maintained total focus. She ran an awesome, dominating race.”
South’s closest competition finished almost 60 points behind.
Rounding out the MAC’s top five were Sterling Heights Stevenson with 85 points, Utica Eisenhower with 88, Grosse Pointe North with 95 and Romeo with 106.
South, heavily favored coming into the all-MAC competition, did not disappoint. Placing second with a season-best performance was senior Kelsie Schwartz (18:18). Fellow senior Alexa Calas broke the 19-minute mark for the first time with a fourth-place time of 18:35.. Also earning All-League Honors were sophomore Anna Piccione, who crossed the line in 10th place with a personal best of 19:05, and junior Mary Spencer, who placed 13th in 19:08.
The sub-20 minute performances continues as junior Megan Sklarski placed 24th in 19:38, with freshman teammate Kamryn Leonard placing 28th in 19:56. Leonard’s time also marked another PR for South. Junior Sarah O’Neill completed South’s varsity line-up with a solid 20:41.
“This may be the first time we have ever had our top seven runners all under 20 minutes,” Zaranek said. “It was such a dominant performance by our girls. The MAC is one of the premier leagues in the state. The consistent quality of teams like North and Stevenson helps us so much.
“We bring out the best in each other. We are blessed in the MAC with these quality programs.”
The South varsity team will now attempt to qualify to the state finals for the 34th consecutive year (South holds the state record at 33 straight). South hosts the state regional at Lake St. Clair Metropark (Metro Beach) Friday, Oct. 25.
The varsity race is at 2:00 p.m., with the top three teams advance to the finals Saturday, Nov. 2, at Michigan International Speedway.