Source: Sherman Publications

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Wildcats compete as Warriors

by Lance Farrell

August 15, 2012

Chelsea Johnson, a 2012 graduate of Oxford High Schools, jumps over a large fire during the Warrior Dash competition held in Mt. Morris. Photo provided.
Alec Smith, a 2011 OHS graduate, plows through the mud beneath some razor-sharp barbed wire. Photo provided.
How does a Wildcat become a Warrior? By running the Warrior Dash, that's how!

Several OHS Wildcats, past and present, took part on July 28-29 in a fiendish race unlike any they had ever run before.

Conducted annually in several locations across the United States, the Michigan chapter was held in Mt. Morris. The Warrior dash is 3.25 miles long, but is strewn with obstacles like a mud pit, cargo nets, and fire--yes fire!

So besides running, other verbs like trudge, scramble, crawl, slip, swim, hurdle, and leap were employed by the Oxford warriors--er, Wildcats.

OHS standout Brooke Kovacic ran the 5k in 28:06 which placed her first in her age group, second among all women, and 30th out of over 9000 entrants. It was Kovacic that broadcast the event to other OHS athletes. Alec Smith, a 2011 OHS graduate, called Kovacic a "great runner and leader," and due to her example a host of Oxford runners filed up to Mt. Morris.

Other Oxford participants include Brittany and Chelsea Johnson, Alec and Dylan Smith, and 2010 OHS grad Alex Pollack who, with a time of 24:32, finished first in his age group and third overall.

Pollack is a junior at Alma college where he is double-majoring in Chemistry and Integrated Physiology and Health Sciences.

Pollack said the race was "one of the funnest races" he'd ever run. "It was a blast!" He always tries his best in races, but was surprised how well he did. His mother ran the race as well, but Alex said he "left her in the dust," which is not very nice, Warrior or not.

Former OHS track star and current OCC student Alec Smith finished fourth overall with a time of 24:36, and said he had a great time at the Warrior Dash. It was a "very difficult course," though he had a lot of fun running it. His favorite part was the mud scramble under the barbed wire near the end of the race in which runners had to completely submerge themselves in order to clear the wires. He had to take a "couple of showers" to get completely clean, Smith quipped.

Runners had to clear some burning logs at race's end, and Smith admits he "lost some leg hair on that one." Even still, he can't wait to run again next year, and he encourages more Oxford residents to participate.

To learn more about the Warrior Dash, or to check up on how Oxford runners fared, visit