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Pounding paths to finals

Sam Lanker, Grant Henley, Dan Billette, Coach Mike Taylor, Sam Tanielian, Scott Cousino, Nick Moore and Austin Draving. Photo provided (click for larger version)
October 31, 2012 - Runners are heading to the MHSAA Cross Country State Finals this week after finishing in the top three at the regional meet last Saturday.

The Lady Wolves finished in second place with 74 points. Oxford took first place with 65 points.

"We had a really strong performance," said Kevin Breen, coach for the Clarkston Girls Cross Country team. "We went out there ready. We would have liked to take first place but Oxford had an amazing race. My hats off to them. They have been working all season for it. We were still second place and had four in the top 20. It was a really strong race. We had a few PRs."

Freshman Nicole Hanson led the team at 18:44 for her fifth place finish.

Senior Erin Billette finished in eighth place at 19:02; sophomore Lynsie Gram, 14th, 19:14; senior Kaitlin Catania, 20th, 19:49; junior Sage Beauregard, 27th, 20:09; senior Molly Jeffers, 40th, 20:27; and senior Amanda Chamberlain, 46th, 20:33.

"It was pretty impressive," said Breen. "We had good times across the board. Everyone was really solid with their times."

The boys team finished in third place with 116 points. Romeo took first with 34 points and Port Huron Northern finished with 94 points.

Senior Sam Tanielian led the team and finished the race in 16:06 for his tenth place finish. Sophomore Daniel Billette took 11th place at 16:14; senior Nick Moore, 15th, 16:34; senior Austin Draving, 34th, 16:58; senior Scott Cousino, 46th, 17:14; freshman Grant Henley, 56th, 17:36; and sophomore Sam Lanker, 58th, 17:41.

Both teams head to the finals this Saturday and Breen said the goal for the Lady Wolves is to finish in the top 15.

"With this team and the training they have been doing we can break the top ten or at least break into the top ten," he added.

The top teams the girls are looking at are Seaholm, Brighton and Oxford - the same teams they have been watching all season.

"There are a lot of good teams there this year," Breen said. "From when I ran for Clarkston to now I don't think I have seen a meet so competitive. It should be an exciting race. If all goes well we will have some good performances ourselves and slip some fo our girls into the All-State spots."

The finals are at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan. The boys race at 2 p.m. and the girls race at 3 p.m.

Tickets are $7 per person for everyone ages five and up. No credit cards are accepted for ticket purchases. E-tickets can be purchased online at www.ticketleap.com.

Wendi graduated from the University of Michigan-Flint with a degree in communications. She wrote for the Michigan Times college paper and Grand Blanc View before joining The Clarkston News in October 2007.
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