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Boys X-country team places 10th in state

Back row: (left to right) Christian Corrion, Logan Bruni, Jacob Schenten, Noah Jenkins, Brad Vandecar, Joey Ufolla, Gabe Hogan. Coach Row: Don Richmond, Head Coach Matt Johnson, Dylan Smith, Kieve Johnson (click for larger version)
November 13, 2013 - With a score of 295 points, the Oxford High School varsity boys cross country team placed 10th at the state finals Nov. 2.

"They came ready to perform and they were just ecstatic to walk away in the top ten in the state," said Head Coach Matt Johnson.

Gabe Hogan led the boys with 16:24.1; Jacob Schenten 16:27.1; Logan Bruni 16:27.3; Joey Ufolla 16:50.4; Bradley Vandecar 16:59.3, Noah Jenkins 17:18.5 and Christian Corrion finished with 17:39.8

Hannah Long represented the girls team as single qualifier after finishing in the top 15 at the Oct. 26 regional meet held at Anchor Bay High School. At the state meet, she placed in the top 100 with a personal best of 19:30.

Johnson said it was a year ago that boys team came to him and told him that they would condition hard enough and fight to make it to the state finals.

The boys kept true to their word by not only just qualifying for state finals, but becoming regional champions.

The Wildcats took first with a score of 90, Romeo followed in second with 91 points and Lake Orion took third with 96 points.

"They kind of pulled it out of nowhere," Johnson said. "Our goal was just to try to fight hard enough to squeak into the third spot because top three go to state finals, but the boys pulled it off as an upset. Everybody was dumbfounded. It was pretty sweet and fun to see the celebration on their faces when I told them because they had no idea they were that close."

Leading the Oxford boys was Jacob Schenten with a time of 16:57; Gabe Hogan, 16:58; Joey Ufolla, 17:22; Logan Bruni, 17:26; Bradley Vadecar, 17:29; Noah Jenkins 17:59 and Christian Corrion finished with 18:07.

The girls team unfortunately, just missed qualifying for states by seven points as they placed fourth at regionals.

"It was a hard day for them because (for) the past several years, they've qualified for state finals," Johnson noted.

Leading the Lady Wildcat runners was Hannah Long with 20:00; heather Czarnecki 20:30; Sabrina Smith, 20:47; Jenna Feeney, 20:50; Reilly Squarcia, 20:57; Cristiana Bruce 20:59 and Kristen Godwin finished with 21:09.

Speaking of the state meet, Johnson said it was interesting to see that out of 17 teams in Oxford's league, four of those teams finished in the top 10 at the state finals.

"That shows you how competitive our league is," he said. "We've only had a couple of years being in class A where we race in that division, so to be Class A Regional Champions is a major benchmark to hit. Being top 10 in the state was just icing on the cake. It's just exciting."

Trevor graduated with degrees in English and communications from Rochester College. He wrote for his college and LA View newspapers before joining The Clarkston News in May 2007.
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