Cross Country

Holly, Lakeland win boys titles at Holly Nike Duane Raffin meet WITH PHOTO GALLERY

  • Kyle Garbovits of Lakeland (from left), Austin Mandernach of Grand Blanc and Tristan Fackelman of Walled Lake Central round the curve.
  • Grand Blanc's Drake Gauthier (from left), Catholic Central's Mark Borek and Brenndan Canavan round the curve.
  • Lakeland's athletes celebrated their victory.
  • A pair of Walled Lake Western athletes got a photo opportunity.
  • Lake Orion's Jack Everts (center) was sandwiched by Peter Tkac (left) and Nathan Stadwick of Rochester Adams.
  • Holly's Nate Frasier was on his way to victory.
  • Holly Athletic Director Deb Van Kuiken was seeing red with the champion Bronchos.
  • The Irish from Pontiac Notre Dame Prep were on the course.
  • Fatigue set in for the Birmingham Seaholm athlete after the race.
  • This Oxford trio was chilling, waiting for something to happen.
  • The Lakeland runners talked it over after the race.
  • Walled Lake Central's Jeff Dunagin (left) and Rochester's Kyle Johnson were racing with a purpose.
  • Lauren McGrath of Pontiac Notre Dame Prep is relieved after crossing the finish line.
  • Nike had a hand in this captivating design poster.
  • Holly runners were prominent with their red uniforms.
  • Jack Halpin of Birmingham Seaholm kept his balance after rounding a tricky curve.
  • Adam Beck of Rochester Adams was running strong again.
  • Chaz Jeffress (left) of Salem and Andrew Lorant of Lake Orion were pacesetters during the race.
  • Lauren McGrath (from left), Savannah Pfeffer and Emily Mulrenin stood in front of the visually-captivating shelter of the Pontiac Notre Dame Prep cross country team.
  • Walled Lake Central's Tristan Fackelman finished just ahead of Lakeland's Jackson Grzymkowski.
  • Dilon Lemond of Holly rounds the curve on his way to a top-10 finish.
  • Hartland's Luke Rotarius (27) was just ahead of Oxford's Gabe Hogan.
  • Bryce Van Asselt of South Lyon took it to the limit.

Frasier takes individual honors

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DAVISBURG - With a home course advantage and an enthusiastic red-clad following, conditions were ripe for success for the Holly boys cross country team at the 47th annual Nike Holly Duane Raffin Festival of Races Saturday at Springfield Oaks County Park.

That is, except for early morning showers, which made the challenging course a bit more soggier and the footing more cautious than usual.

Otherwisde, the Bronchos were at their best as they captured the Division I race. Nate Frasier toured the 5K course of twists and turns in 15:59, the fastest time of the day.

Dilon Lemond and Kurtis Cooley were among other top finishers for the Bronchos along with Zac Felix and Blake Staffne.

Red and White, Holly's school colors, was prominent among the gathering at the Bronchos' home site, where Frasier was on the mark.

"It feels really good, I wanted to win it last year," said Frasier, recalling a tight race with Brother Rice's John Penington and Grand Blanc's Grant Fisher before Fisher won.

Penington ran Friday at the Spartan Invitational and Fisher, a national cross country and track champion, was in his warmups, sitting this one out.

Risky course conditions, though, was a factor in keeping him out. "It's always good to be here with the team," he said, "(but) it's tough watching everyone race, wishing I could be there. "(But) I'll be back in about a week."

Frasier was disappointed he wasn't there, too. So he did it his way. He went to the front and was never headed. "That's one of the keys, control the race and not let them pass me," he said.

Coach Richie Brinker was delighted with the results. "They ran with a little more incentive, being a home meet," said Brinker. "We were chanting Raffin's name early this morning, hoping he'd help out with the rain.

Duane Raffin, the legendary former Holly cross country and track coach, is for whom the meet is named. He died several years ago. His widow, Jeanne, gave Frasier the Star of Stars award, in honor of Raffin, for the top Division I-II competitor.

While Lakeland's boys didn't have a home advantage, they were familiar with the course. The Eagles won the Division I race by scoring 73 points. Blake McComas (fourth) and Jackson Grzymkowski (sixth) were the top finishers as Lakeland had four runners in the top 16. Trevor

Learmont was 15th and Kyle Garbovits was 16th.

Novi Detroit Catholic Central, led by Scott Smith's ninth-place finish, was second with 111 points and surprising Walled Lake Central placed third with 124, nudging out Lake Orion, who finished fourth with 135.

"They ran great today," Lakeland coach Joe Verellen said. "We're very proud. We jumped back from our (dual meet) loss to Mott."

Tristan Fackelman placed fifth in 16:27 to lead Walled Lake Central, who had four runners in the top 27 and made a quantum leap forward from its 13th place finish last year.

Lake Orion's Andrew Lorant, who challenged Salem's Chaz Jeffress for a while, placed second in 16:12. Jeffress inched away the last half of the race after both had run practically together the first half of the race.

Adam Beck of Rochester Adams placed third, Kyle Repetto of ROchester finished seventh and Kyle Johnson of Rochester was 10th, a place ahead of Gave Hogan of Oxforfd, who finished 11th.

For the girls, Oxford placed third in the Division 1 race with 136 points as Heather Czarnecki (ninth), Hannah Long (24th) and Ashley Vican (26th) were the top finishers.

Rochester Adams, led by Jordyn Hoole (13th) was fourth with 140 points and Lauren Kaliszewski (fourth) and Allison Skelcy (11th) led Rochester to a fifth-place finish.

Tessa Fornari of Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes won the Division IV race by more than a minute, finishing in 18:56. Teammate Olivia Hankey was fourth in 21:03. Megan Nichols of Oakland Christian was sixth in 21:14.

Last Updated: 9/14/2014 6:06:27 AM EST