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Mott bears down, wins Grizzly Invitational WITH PHOTO GALLERY

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Rochester girls finish second

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ROCHESTER HILLS -- A different course and a different distance greeted runners Friday at the annual Grizzly Invitational cross country meet.

Instead of five kilometers, the contested distance was four kilometers which, unlike last season, included a jaunt through a wooded area on the Oakland University campus.

The shorter distance and the scenic trail made little difference to the runners, particularly those from Waterford Mott, who ganged up on the competition for a convincing victory.

Ryan Robinson led five Corsairs among the top 11 finishers as Mott scored 37 points to finish ahead of runnerup Midland (96), Port Huron Northern (108) and Oxford, who finished fourth with 147.

For the girls, Clay of Oregon, Ohio, won the team title with 74 points, finishing ahead of runnerup Rochester (85), Waterford Mott (100) and Oxford (109).

On the boys' front, Robinson, who clocked a winning time of 12:23.4, was philosophical about the subtle changes this season.

"We're a team that really loves that 5K distance," said Robinson, "but the 4K provides an excellent opportunity to ease your way into the season."

However, the Corsairs didn't just ease into the season, they arrived like gangbusters. While De La Salle's Mickey Davey, the early leader, duked it out with Brother Rice's John Penington and Troy's Kunal Tangri for the front, the Corsairs clustered together some 10-15 seconds behind with a formidable five which resembled a tightly-balled fist, ready to land the knockout blow.

Sam Albaugh, Kyler Bush, Blake Borkowski and Luke Peterson joined Robinson in the tight pack, which went deep into the race before heeding the final signal from coach Ryan Robinson Sr.

"We turned them loose at about 2 1/2 K," said Robinson Sr., who assigned each runner with a partner during the race. "We're very excited they were able to execute the plan."

Robinson sped to the front with less than a kilometer to go, leaving Davey for second (12:30), Penington for third (12:35) and Tangri fourth (12:37) in the final count. Albaugh was sixth, Bush was ninth, Borkowski was 10th and Peterson was 11th. Only 19 seconds separated the Corsairs' quartet after Robinson.

There was a synergy (today)," Robinson Sr. said. "It's a powerful thing (and) they all love it."

Borkowski, a senior, ran the first cross country race of his career and stepped in like a veteran, according to Robinson Sr.

For the girls, Clay was too much for the competition but area runners had their moments. Mott freshman Katie Osika, the latest in the line of standout runners from the Osika family, was second, a step ahead of teammate Alexis Munley. Both clocked 15:03, which trailed winner Haley Hess of Clay, who clocked 15:01. Rochester's Lauren Kliszewski was fourth and Tessa Fornari of Waterford Our Lady of Lakes was fifth (15:05).

Osika, in her first race as a high school runner, had to step lively to nip Munley. "So much different than middle school," she said. "Lexi pushed me through that (and) it was great."

Munley was delighted with her effort. "It was exciting (and) over with faster," she said. Allison Skelcy (seventh), Madison Payne (10th), Amanda Lewis (17th) and Emily Kowalczyk (47th) completed Rochester's scoring five.

Schirin Rangnick of Cranbrook-Kingswood was her team's top finisher by placing ninth. Notre Dame Prep's Lauren McGrath was 12th to lead the Irish, and Oxford's Heather Czarnecki was 13th to lead the Wildcats. Oliva Hankey placed 15th for waterford Our Lady of Lakes.

Boys cross country

Grizzly Invitational (Friday at Oakland University, 4K)

TEAMS - 1. Waterford Mott 37; 2. Midland 96; 3. Port Huron Northern 108; 4. Oxford 147; 5. St. Clair Shores Lakeview 166; 6. Birmingham Brother Rice 171; 7. Clay (Ohio) 195; 8. Troy 195; 9. Rochester 201; 10. Pontiac Notre Dame Prep 203.

INDIVIDUALS - 1. Ryan Robinson (Waterford Mott) 12:23.4, 2. Mickey Davey (Warren De La Salle) 12:30, 3. John Penington (Birmingham Brother Rice) 12:35, 4. Kunal Tangri (Troy) 12:37, 5. Matt Thomas (Port Huron Northern) 12:42, 6. Sam Albaugh (Waterford Mott) 12:48, 7. Jacob Greer (Midland) 12:50, 8. Kyle Repetto (Rochester) 12:53, 9. Kyler Bush (Waterford Mott) 12:54, 10. Blake Borkowski (Waterford Mott) 12:55, 11. Luke Peterson (Waterford Mott) 13:06, 12. Bradley Mallory (Port Huron Northern) 13:08, 13. Gabe Hogan (Oxford) 13:13, 15. Brendan Fraser (Pontiac Notre Dame Prep) 13:17.

Girls cross country

Grizzly Invitational

(Friday at Oakland University, 4K)

TEAMS - 1. Clay (Ohio) 74; 2. Rochester 85; 3. Waterford Mott 100; 4. Oxford 109; 5. Flushing 127; 6. Cranbrook-Kingswood 155; 7. Pontiac Notre Dame Prep 181; 8. Troy 194; 9. St. Catherine of Siena 251; 10. Waterford Our Lady of Lakes 253

INDIVIDUALS - 1. Haley Hess (Clay) 15:01, 2. Katie Osika (Waterford Mott) 15:03, 3. Alexis Munley (Waterford Mott) 15:03, 4. Lauren Kaliszewski (Rochester) 15:04, 5. Tessa Fornari (Waterford Our Lady of Lakes) 15:05, 6. Paige Deitering (Flushing) 15:28, 7. Allison Skelcy (Rochester) 15:41, 8. Jessi Lindstrom (Flushing) 15:43, 9. Schirin Rangnick (Cranbrook-Kingswood) 15:44, 10. Madison Payne (Rochester) 15:51, 11. Sydney Hess (Clay) 15:52, 12. Lauren McGrath (Pontiac Notre Dame Prep) 15:52, 13. Heather Czarnecki (Oxford) 15:57, 14. Addie May (Flushing) 16:13, 15. Olivia Hankey (Waterford Our Lady of Lakes) 16:17.

Last Updated: 8/29/2014 3:58:01 PM EST

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