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Runners leading path to finals



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The Girls Cross Country team is, front row, Mende Gleiss, Taylor Beach, Kelley Fitzpatrick, Jill Harris, Helen Jeffers; back row, Kaitlin Catania, Molly Jeffers, Kylie Knavish, Coach Kevin Breen, Natalie Smith, Lynsie Gram, Erin Billette, Sage Beauregard and Amanda Wakefield. Photo submitted (click for larger version)
October 26, 2011 - The Lady Wolves head into their races for the MHSAA Regional this Saturday after finishing fifth at the OAA Red Championship.

"We knew going into it we were going up against four of the top 20 teams in the state," said Girls Cross Country Coach Kevin Breen.

Natalie Smith led the team, finishing in fourth.

"She had a great day," said Breen. "She beat some of the top competitors in the state including Gabby Thivierge from Rochester Adams and she held tight to the front of the pack."

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Kaitlin Catania finished in 20th; Lynsie Gram in 22nd; Kylie Knavish; Erin Billette in 33rd; Sage Beauregard in 35th. Molly Jeffers and Mackenzie Proper made their mark by pushing other runners into lower places.

"Kaitlin also had a nice race," said Breen. "Lynsie really ran well. She PRed by 40 seconds. It was a big improvement on her last race. I think she has the capability to go even faster."

Throughout the season they have taking first place at two race at the Hanson Invite, second place finish at the Father Gabriel Cross Country Invitational, tenth in the Oakland County Championships, and six members finished in the top 30 at the Chesaning Invitational.

The team's biggest competition going to the regional meet is from Rochester Adams and Oxford.

"On a good day we might beat them by 15 points," said Breen. "On a rough day, we may lose by 15 points. It depends on who has the most heart. Ideally we want to make it to states and get one more race in."

He added the seventh and eighth runners will help by scoring extra points and taking the points from their opponents.

"It will be entirely a team effort," said Breen. "It is going to be tough."

The race is held at Goodells County Park, 8264 County Park, Goodells, Mich.

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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