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Runners cut time to place at state finals



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November 02, 2011 - Runners are heading to state finals after successful races at the MHSAA Regionals last Saturday at Goodells Park.

Clarkston Boys Cross Country team finished in second place with 96 points, earning a spot at finals. Romeo took first place with 93 points and Lake Orion took the third spot with 97 points.

Sam Tanielian led the pack, finishing in third with the time 16:12. Nick Moore finished in 17th; Adam Bruderick, 21; Michael Culver, 24; Daniel Byrne, 31; and Ian Brennan, 45.

The Girls Cross Country team finished in third with 83 points, with Rochester Adams and Oxford taking the top two places.

"It was pretty darn good," said Kevin Breen, coach for the Lady Wolves. "We knew it was going to be a close race with Oxford and Macomb Dakota for the third spot. Then, we had a surprise and Lake Orion was thrown into the mix. Oxford has been goal of ours all season to get a bit closer."

Leading the runners was Natalie Smith, who finished in fifth place in 18:53.

"She got out strong," said Breen. "Maybe a little too strong. I was worried a little bit. But she finished really well and right where we expected."

Kaitlyn Catania finished in 12th place, cutting her time down by 30 seconds to 19:37.

"She had an amazing race," Breen added. "She was in 16th place and in the last quarter mile of the race she ended up passing quite a few runners.We saw a jump in time I was hoping for. I knew they were ready for it. I think they surprised themselves a little bit with the times they ran. We just hadn't had the right course for it. The girls went out there, ran well and competed.""

Sage Beauregard finished in 20th; Lynsie Gram, 21; Kylie Knavish, 25; Molly Jeffers, 37; and Erin Billette, 45.

"Sage and Lynsie really stepped up and ran well," Breen added. "All of the girls are ready to go under 20 minutes. These girls practice every day together as a group. For Kaitlyn to go out there and run 19:37, they should be excited for states and the opportunity to do well under 20 minutes."

The goal for the state finals is to finish in the top 15.

"It will be a tough crowd," Breen admitted. "But I think the girls are ready. We are going to have to drop some time if we want to do well. The girls are excited and are mentally as well as physically prepared."

The state finals is Saturday at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan.

The races begin at 2 p.m. for the girls team and 3 p.m. for the boys.

Admission is $7 per person, for everyone ages 5 and up and no credit cards are accepted.

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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