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Only 5K away from Jamboree in OAA

September 08, 2010 - Runners are showing off their footing and speed as they get ready for their upcoming busy weeks.

Both the Boys and Girls Varsity Cross Country teams compete in the West Bloomfield/Brother Rice Invitational on Saturday and their first OAA Jamboree is set for next Tuesday.

"They look really good," said Girls Cross Country Coach Kevin Breen. "I am confident to place more runners. With our team being as deep as we are we can have runners pop on and pop off varsity at any moment. Plus we have two strong freshmen."

The team ran in the Golden Grizzly Invite at Oakland University on Friday. He had two runners placing in the top ten, junior Natalie Smith in second place at 19:52 and sophomore Kaitlin Catania in tenth at 20:59.

Finishing third for the team was sophomore Erin Billette, 21:03; fourth, freshman Kylie Knavish, 21:22; fifth, junior Jill Harris, 21:59; sixth, junior Mende Gleiss, 22:10; and seventh, freshman Sage Beauregard.

"Unfortunately Andrea Butler rolled her ankle early in the race and was unable to continue," said Breen. "She is a very valuable member of our team and we hope for a quick recovery."

Breen added Billette had a stellar race.

"I think Natalie has more in her tank then she is showing," he continued. "She didn't have anyone to race against today. We are just waiting to see her go out there and pop a good one."

He expects Rochester Adams, Rochester and Troy to be big competition for Clarkston this year in the league.

Boys Varsity Coach Mike Taylor expects the talent of his top runners to come through in the next week.

During their first run at the Birch Run Invitational the team finished in third with 74 points, missing first place by three points.

"We didn't run as fast as we needed, too," he said, noting his young runners did the best. "Our upper classmen didn't run poorly but we were a little short than we needed to be to win the meet."

Adam Bruderick placed fifth overall out of 175 runners, with a time of 17:05.

Sophomore Sam Tanielian finished second for the team, in seventh place. Another sophomore finished in 16th in his first cross country meet.

He suspects the times to improve as they get closer to October and it's time to qualify for states.

"We have a good crew," he said going into the bulk of the season. "A lot of guys to contribute - Michael Culver, a junior, will have a good season. So fair he has looks good. Nathan Ross will contribute this year and Austin Yarger looks like he is going to help us out."

Other contributors are Jeremy Kelley and Nick Moore. He has two runners coming off of injuries and expects their talent to show through - Ian Brennan and Dan Byrne.

"If we are in the top seven on Saturday we are doing a great job for this time of year," said Taylor, adding with what he has seen far the boys can do it.

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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