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Girls primed for state cross country finals WITH PHOTO GALLERY

  • Milford's Mallory Barrett (right) is ahead of Clarkston's Mallory Ferguson and North Farmington's Whitney Reid at the Oakland County meet. Area girls are conditioned and primed for the state cross country finals Saturday at Michigan International Speedway, where Birmingham Seaholm seeks to defend its D1 title while a host of other teams and individuals hope to score well. (MIPrepZone photo gallery by MARVIN GOODWIN).
  • Area girls are conditioned and primed for the state cross country finals Saturday at Michigan International Speedway, where Birmingham Seaholm seeks to defend its D1 title while a host of other teams and individuals hope to score well. (MIPrepZone photo gallery by MARVIN GOODWIN).
  • Area girls are conditioned and primed for the state cross country finals Saturday at Michigan International Speedway, where Birmingham Seaholm seeks to defend its D1 title while a host of other teams and individuals hope to score well. (MIPrepZone photo gallery by MARVIN GOODWIN).
  • Area girls are conditioned and primed for the state cross country finals Saturday at Michigan International Speedway, where Birmingham Seaholm seeks to defend its D1 title while a host of other teams and individuals hope to score well. (MIPrepZone photo gallery by MARVIN GOODWIN).
  • Area girls are conditioned and primed for the state cross country finals Saturday at Michigan International Speedway, where Birmingham Seaholm seeks to defend its D1 title while a host of other teams and individuals hope to score well. (MIPrepZone photo gallery by MARVIN GOODWIN).
  • Area girls are conditioned and primed for the state cross country finals Saturday at Michigan International Speedway, where Birmingham Seaholm seeks to defend its D1 title while a host of other teams and individuals hope to score well. (MIPrepZone photo gallery by MARVIN GOODWIN).
  • Area girls are conditioned and primed for the state cross country finals Saturday at Michigan International Speedway, where Birmingham Seaholm seeks to defend its D1 title while a host of other teams and individuals hope to score well. (MIPrepZone photo gallery by MARVIN GOODWIN).
  • Area girls are conditioned and primed for the state cross country finals Saturday at Michigan International Speedway, where Birmingham Seaholm seeks to defend its D1 title while a host of other teams and individuals hope to score well. (MIPrepZone photo gallery by MARVIN GOODWIN).
  • Area girls are conditioned and primed for the state cross country finals Saturday at Michigan International Speedway, where Birmingham Seaholm seeks to defend its D1 title while a host of other teams and individuals hope to score well. (MIPrepZone photo gallery by MARVIN GOODWIN).
  • Area girls are conditioned and primed for the state cross country finals Saturday at Michigan International Speedway, where Birmingham Seaholm seeks to defend its D1 title while a host of other teams and individuals hope to score well. (MIPrepZone photo gallery by MARVIN GOODWIN).
  • Area girls are conditioned and primed for the state cross country finals Saturday at Michigan International Speedway, where Birmingham Seaholm seeks to defend its D1 title while a host of other teams and individuals hope to score well. (MIPrepZone photo gallery by MARVIN GOODWIN).
  • Area girls are conditioned and primed for the state cross country finals Saturday at Michigan International Speedway, where Birmingham Seaholm seeks to defend its D1 title while a host of other teams and individuals hope to score well. (MIPrepZone photo gallery by MARVIN GOODWIN).
  • Area girls are conditioned and primed for the state cross country finals Saturday at Michigan International Speedway, where Birmingham Seaholm seeks to defend its D1 title while a host of other teams and individuals hope to score well. (MIPrepZone photo gallery by MARVIN GOODWIN).
  • Area girls are conditioned and primed for the state cross country finals Saturday at Michigan International Speedway, where Birmingham Seaholm seeks to defend its D1 title while a host of other teams and individuals hope to score well. (MIPrepZone photo gallery by MARVIN GOODWIN).
  • Area girls are conditioned and primed for the state cross country finals Saturday at Michigan International Speedway, where Birmingham Seaholm seeks to defend its D1 title while a host of other teams and individuals hope to score well. (MIPrepZone photo gallery by MARVIN GOODWIN).
  • Area girls are conditioned and primed for the state cross country finals Saturday at Michigan International Speedway, where Birmingham Seaholm seeks to defend its D1 title while a host of other teams and individuals hope to score well. (MIPrepZone photo gallery by MARVIN GOODWIN).
  • Area girls are conditioned and primed for the state cross country finals Saturday at Michigan International Speedway, where Birmingham Seaholm seeks to defend its D1 title while a host of other teams and individuals hope to score well. (MIPrepZone photo gallery by MARVIN GOODWIN).
  • Area girls are conditioned and primed for the state cross country finals Saturday at Michigan International Speedway, where Birmingham Seaholm seeks to defend its D1 title while a host of other teams and individuals hope to score well. (MIPrepZone photo gallery by MARVIN GOODWIN).
  • Area girls are conditioned and primed for the state cross country finals Saturday at Michigan International Speedway, where Birmingham Seaholm seeks to defend its D1 title while a host of other teams and individuals hope to score well. (MIPrepZone photo gallery by MARVIN GOODWIN).
  • Area girls are conditioned and primed for the state cross country finals Saturday at Michigan International Speedway, where Birmingham Seaholm seeks to defend its D1 title while a host of other teams and individuals hope to score well. (MIPrepZone photo gallery by MARVIN GOODWIN).
  • Area girls are conditioned and primed for the state cross country finals Saturday at Michigan International Speedway, where Birmingham Seaholm seeks to defend its D1 title while a host of other teams and individuals hope to score well. (MIPrepZone photo gallery by MARVIN GOODWIN).
  • Area girls are conditioned and primed for the state cross country finals Saturday at Michigan International Speedway, where Birmingham Seaholm seeks to defend its D1 title while a host of other teams and individuals hope to score well. (MIPrepZone photo gallery by MARVIN GOODWIN).
  • Area girls are conditioned and primed for the state cross country finals Saturday at Michigan International Speedway, where Birmingham Seaholm seeks to defend its D1 title while a host of other teams and individuals hope to score well. (MIPrepZone photo gallery by MARVIN GOODWIN).
  • Area girls are conditioned and primed for the state cross country finals Saturday at Michigan International Speedway, where Birmingham Seaholm seeks to defend its D1 title while a host of other teams and individuals hope to score well. (MIPrepZone photo gallery by MARVIN GOODWIN).
  • Area girls are conditioned and primed for the state cross country finals Saturday at Michigan International Speedway, where Birmingham Seaholm seeks to defend its D1 title while a host of other teams and individuals hope to score well. (MIPrepZone photo gallery by MARVIN GOODWIN).
  • Area girls are conditioned and primed for the state cross country finals Saturday at Michigan International Speedway, where Birmingham Seaholm seeks to defend its D1 title while a host of other teams and individuals hope to score well. (MIPrepZone photo gallery by MARVIN GOODWIN).
  • Area girls are conditioned and primed for the state cross country finals Saturday at Michigan International Speedway, where Birmingham Seaholm seeks to defend its D1 title while a host of other teams and individuals hope to score well. (MIPrepZone photo gallery by MARVIN GOODWIN).

Seaholm seeks to defend its state championship

As defending D1 state champion, Birmingham Seaholm will be back in familiar territory at the state meet. The Maples have won three of the last four state titles, and their reputation as a state power precedes them. While Seaholm is in the title mix again, so are Milford, Northville and Ann Arbor Pioneer, among other teams in a wide open field.

Among area teams, here’s a list of teams in descending order who could crack the top three D1 teams at state.

BIRMINGHAM SEAHOLM: The Maples have used a formidable trio, Audrey Ladd, Rachel McCardell and Emily Rooney, to win Oakland County, OAA Red and regional titles. Ladd was 11th and McCardell 16th at last year’s state meet, and Rooney, who has improved considerably since last year, has joined them. Kati Beckeman and Lily Tripp, although improved, may need to close the gap on their teammates even more for the Maples to crack the top three teams. Each has state meet experience, which could ultimately help. The Maples want to defend their title but they’ll be challenged. “There’s definitely pressure,” said coach Jeff Devantier. “We take nothing for granted. We’re just going to try and stay healthy, get them focused and hope for the best.”

NORTHVILLE: With four top-five finishes in the last four years, including a state title in 2013, the Mustangs show up to race in state competition. They’ve raced against the state’s top schools this season, won some titles and held their own against the best teams. Ana Barrott is a front runner which always helps in state competition, and Cayla Eckenroth, Nicole Cybul, Olivia Harp and Katie Chevoor are all experienced.

MILFORD: With two front runners in Mallory Barrett and Victoria Heiligenthal, the Mavs can be a factor in the state race. Both were top 10 finishers at last year’s state meet. But the supporting cast of Rachel O’Rourke, Natalie Black, Paige Saiz and Nicole Grindling will have to close the gap on their teammates to really make an impact in the team race. The Mavs have qualified for state in 16 of the past 21 seasons, and finished third at last year’s meet. The experience factor could play a big part in the team’s performance at state.

TROY: The Colts’ strength is depth with no huge gaps between their top six runners. Megan Worrel leads the pack, and if she’s able to crank out a strong race, the others will follow as Hannah Palomino, Camille Loken, Katie Scoles and Meghan Monaghan have been steady throughout the season. A top-10 finish at state is possible for Troy.

LAKELAND: The Eagles are gaining confidence, especially with their regional runnerup finish by point to Milford. Madeline Rehm and Olivia Clymer have state-meet experience, but Rylee Lukes, Emily Broman and Clare Bridgewater, all freshmen contributors, are at state for the first time. While Rehm and Clymer are good bets for solid state efforts, the freshman may have to grow up quickly for the Eagles to finish well in the team standings.

CLARKSTON: The regional champion Wolves are just steady and sure, with no individual standouts, but have nearly a half-dozen quality runners, most of which are freshmen and sophomores. Liz Dalrymple and Mallory Ferguson have been the lead runners with Emily Ferguson, Mia Patria, Emily Gustafson and Hailey Catania strongly supporting. Clarkston may need a perfect race to crack the top 10.

WATERFORD MOTT: The Corsairs’ top-end talent, regional runnerup Katie Osika, and fourth-place finisher Rylee Robinson, who ran most of the race without her shoes after they slipped off, will key Mott’s fortunes. Lexi Munley, who placed 12th in regionals, is regaining her conditioning she lost through injuries, which will ultimately help in the state race. Mott may not have the depth to finish high, but their lead trio will help their final score.

OXFORD: The Wildcats have steadily improved through the season and their runnerup finish to Clarkston at regionals secured their spot at state. With no individual standouts, the Wildcats depend on clustering its runners, much like at regionals where Bridget Cusick, Ashley Vican, Colleen Henderson, Paige Miller, Molly Long and Kerstin Hufstedler all finished within 21 seconds of each other. Oxford, though, may get lost in the huge mass of runners at state. Even so, they’ll have nothing to lose as they try to punch out a powerful effort.

Division 2

BIRMINGHAM MARIAN: The Mustangs are still trying to get familiar with distance running. Mary Semak led them to a third-place finish at regionals and Hannah Odeesh, Ava Johns, Jillian Samrah and Erin Moore have been steady as the Mustangs, if nothing else, hope to gain experience.

Division 3

WIXOM ST. CATHERINE: The Stars’ runnerup regional finish paved their way to the state meet. Clare Brinkman, Alex Worth, Shannon Ryan and Ann Borek, all steady and sure runners, will lead the attack at state, where the Stars hope to break into the top 10 teams.

INDIVIDUALS

West Bloomfield’s Kyla Christopher-Moody, a regional champ, could be the surprise of the meet, as she did during track season when she claimed third place in the 1,600-meter run. Farmington’s Abby Inch, North Farmington's Whitney Reid, both top-10 finishers at regionals, and Walled Lake Northern’s Sofanit Fisher and Walled Lake Central’s Haley Chinarian also hope to last a fast 5K at state.

Mid-season health issues have weakened Royal Oak’s Grace Cutler, who still managed a fourth place in 18:17 at the St. Clair Metropark regional. Teammate Katherine Forsyth, who did 19:02 at regionals, is running as well as she’s had all year. Berkley’s Claire Kendell hopes to crack the top 40.

Lake Orion’s Allison Sherman hopes to parlay her third-place finish at regionals, where she clocked 19:08, into a strong finish at state, while bringing teammate Emily Leipold along. Jordyn Houle and Maddie Dessy, both of Rochester Adams, and Rochester freshman Camryn Remick hope to gain experience.

In Division 2, Clawson’s Katlyn Pizzo, a standout wrestler on the Trojans’ squad, is making her third trip to the state meet after placing third at regionals. Pontiac Notre Dame Prep’s Lauren Neiheisel is also in the field along with South Lyon East’s Elizabeth Setsuda and Lauren Clark, Avondale’s Suzanne Pfieffer and Cranbrook Kingswood’s Zoe Baxter, eighth at regionals, and teammate Olivia Bowden, who claimed the final individual qualifying spot, are in the race.

In Division 4, Oakland Christian’s Megan Nichols, a regional champ, and Olivia Hankey of Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes, a third-place finisher at regionals, hope to medal at state.

Last Updated: 11/3/2016 6:35:02 PM EST


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