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Beline Obeid

Blue Devils off and running

Grosse Pointe South cross country team members are boys head coach Mark Sonnenberg, Alex Rothmann, Joseph Kalmar, Matthew Wholihan, Griffin Murray, Earl Allard, Kevin Biglin, Jack Kuchta, Megan Sklarski, Mary Spencer, Sarah O'Neill, Reanna Raymond, Maddie McDonnell, Katie Kuhr, Margaret Costello and girls' head coach Steve Zaranek. Photo courtesy of Steve Zaranek

September 04, 2014
The Grosse Pointe South cross country programs got off to an excellent start with a combined score good enough to win the team championship at the East China Invitational hosted by Marine City Saturday, Aug. 23.

Both South's girls and boys finished third in their respective divisions.

"We are off to a very good start," girls' head coach Steve Zaranek said. "The girls have been preparing well and were ready for this early season test. The first race of the season is always difficult and it is good to get in a big race before the school year begins."

Leading the way for the girls was senior Mary Spencer.

Her time of 20:58 was good for seventh place overall in the field of 77 runners representing 12 teams.

Senior Megan Sklarski followed by placing 11th with a time of 21:36.

"One of our top goals was to run as a pack and work well with each other," Zaranek said.

That goal was achieved as the Blue Devils' top six finished within 90 seconds of one another and all earned top 30 medal awards.

Sklarski was followed by sophomores Katie Kuhr (21:39), Maddie McDonnell (21:48) and Reanna Raymond (22:24), and senior Sarah O'Neill (22:31).

Freshman Margaret Costello was close behind in her first high school race and posted a time of 23:14.

South also put four runners in the top 10 in the junior varsity race. Placing first overall was freshman Hannah Lemanski, who led from start to finish, covering the 5K course in 22:37. Finishing fourth was sophomore Lauren Michels at 23:13, followed by junior Natasha Boelstler with a 23:32.

"Our top eight junior varsity girls all broke 24 minutes with outstanding, very competitive races," Zaranek said.

Also under the 24 minute mark were Marie High, Elizabeth Sullivan, Andie Anger, Hadley Griffin and Rachel Harris.

For the boys, under head coach Mark Sonnenberg, the runners were seniors Alex Rothmann, Joseph Kalmar, Kevin Biglin and Jack Kuchta, and juniors Matthew Wholihan, Griffin Murray and Earl Allard.

Grosse Pointe South's next competition is the 25-team Algonac Invitational Saturday, Sept. 6, at Algonac High School.

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