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2014 boys' cross country preview PHOTOS

  • Woodhaven junior Logan Kleam won The News-Herald Meet last year and qualified for his second con-secutive state final appearance. News-Herald File Photo
  • After a strong junior year, Roosevelt’s Dominic Davis is back as one of the area’s best cross country runners in 2014. News-Herald File Photo
Woodhaven

Hopes are high for Woodhaven this fall as several of its top runners are back for 2014, following a season that featured a News-Herald Meet championship and a second-place finish in the Downriver League.

This year, Warriors Coach Mike Dennisuk has a roster of more than 30 runners, which he said makes this season’s squad one of the biggest in school history.

Leading the way is junior Logan Kleam, who has qualified for the state meet each of the last two years and in 2013 claimed both the News-Herald and the DRL title.

Joining Kleam among the team’s top runners will be juniors Kory Johnson, Caleb Keyes, Eric Wilkewitz and Pavan Dav, as well as senior Christian DeBlois.

Battling it out for varsity spots will be seniors Erik Haener, Brandon Doran and Devin Carey, along with juniors Nick Bolduc and Joe Mertic, with seniors Nikko Romero and Mason Kolmetz set to contribute, as well.

On Sept. 6, Woodhaven is scheduled to host the Warrior Classic at Lake Erie Metropark.



Roosevelt

Last season, Roosevelt won its fourth consecutive league title and qualified for the state finals for the second time in as many seasons.

To help keep those successful streaks alive, the Bears will have one of the best runners in the area back in senior Dominic Davis. Among his accomplishments as a junior was a third-place finish at the league meet, a fourth-place finish at The News-Herald Meet and a sixth-place finish at regionals.

Two other returners for Roosevelt are junior Isidore Harris and sophomore Carson Cappaert.

Coach Justin Keyes said he’ll be relying on some newcomers in 2014, as well, and he’s optimistic about the progress they’ve made.

“We have lots of new runners who are catching on quickly in hopes of making it five straight Downriver League championships this season,” he said.

Roosevelt will compete at the Warrior Classic on Sept. 6 at Lake Erie Metropark.



Anderson

With a strong a group of experienced runners, Anderson heads into the new season with a chance to make some noise in the Downriver League.

Seniors back for 2014 are Ryan Sander, Anthony Kroll, Austin Guyer and Tyler Tertelling, along with sophomore Garrett Brown and junior Josh Miller.

In 2013, Sander had several top-10 finishes during the year, as well as an 11-place finish at regionals.

“I expect us to compete at a high level,” said Titans’ Coach Sam Childs. “With this many talented, hardworking seniors, we have to demand great things of ourselves.”

Rounding out the lineup is senior Angel Leka, along with sophomores Uriel Gonzalez and Joe Kowalsky and freshman Joe Burke.

Anderson will be running at the Sept. 6 Warrior Classic at Lake Erie Metropark.

Trenton

Led by 2013 state meet qualifier Brett Navarre, Trenton will head into the 2014 campaign looking to battle it out against the area’s best teams.

As a junior, Navarre had several finishes in the top 10, including a seventh-place finish at The News-Herald Meet.

Fellow returning seniors running with him will be Alex Boettner, Sam Martin and Jonathan VanPaepeghem, as well as junior Nick Roberts.

“I think that we will be very competitive in a tough league,” said new Trojans’ Coach Rich Lee. “We have some runners that are veterans and have been working very hard this summer. I believe their hard work will be doing the talking when the season begins.”

On Sept. 6, Trenton will be at the 28th annual Running Fit Detroit Titan Invitational in Northville.



Allen Park

This season, Allen Park will field its smallest boys team since 1998.

However, Jaguars Coach Paul Vockler said the top runners for the Jaguars are poised to make a big impact this year.

Leading the team will be senior Alec Keaton, who has returned after a earning a spot at the state finals last year. Keaton came on strong late in the season and had four consecutive top-10 finishes, including a fifth-place finish at regionals.

Running with him will be seniors Ben Lewis and Austin Goulasarian, along with juniors Jared Rieden and Matt Skarbinski and sophomore Ryan Lafferty.

Fighting for a final varsity spot will be junior Alex Rieden and freshmen Drew Johnson and Indrit Gusho.

Allen Park is one of several area teams scheduled to run at the Sept. 6 Warrior Classic at Lake Erie Metropark.



Carlson

As Carlson heads into the new season, it will go forward with its top two runners back in senior Mark Klingel and junior London Baran. Klingel will lead the way for the Marauders after placing in the top 20 at all league events last year.

Carlson Coach Matt Jablonski said some of the team’s young runners could make a big impact, as well.

“I think that we have some potential, especially with the freshmen boys we have joining the team this year,” he said. “If the freshmen can develop like we hope they will, I think that we can be competitive in the league.”

The Marauders will head to Northville on Sept. 6 for the 28th annual Running Fit Detroit Titan Invitational.



Kennedy/Truman

Leading the unified Taylor Kennedy and Truman boys’ team in 2014 will be returning seniors Jakob Muntz and Troy Busch.

Both runners competed at league events last year, with Muntz also taking part in regionals.

News sophomores on the Taylor roster are Jonah Huffman, Matthew Isaacs and Shane Sharbo.



Lincoln Park

This season, cross country is back at Lincoln Park and the team will be led by senior Nate Smith, juniors Jacob Gibson and Brandon Cervelli and sophomore Juan Pablo Gomez.

Sam Breen, who will be coaching the boys and girls, said he’s optimistic about the Railspliters this year.

“I think we will be competitive,” he said. “We have a group of kids that have been running all summer, getting ready to compete this fall. Our goal is to see how we stack up against the rest of the league and see if we can make a splash in our first year back.”

Lincoln Park is scheduled to travel to Lake Erie Metropark on Sept. 6 and join several other teams for the Warrior Classic.



Huron League



Flat Rock

Last season the Flat Rock cross country team qualified for the state finals, which was its first time making it in more than 20 years.

From that 2013 squad, three of the top five runners are back for Rams Coach Dave Merkel, as seniors Jason Johnson and Brandon Driscoll will run again, along with junior Roth Thoms.

Johnson earned several top-10 finishes at events last year, while Driscoll placed in the top 20 multiple times.

Also back for Flat Rock this fall are seniors Brandon Goocher and Kyle McWilliams.

The Rams were scheduled to open their new season on August 26 at the Nick Haynes Invitational at Whiteford.



Grosse Ile

After a fifth-place finish in the Huron League last year, Grosse Ile Coach Larry Swick said he expects his squad to come out stronger this season.

Lead runner Adam Sawicki is back after a big freshman year that included a trip to the state meet, as well as several top-10 finishes at events throughout the season.

“He's a lot stronger this year,” Swick said. “Adam is a ‘go-getter’ and a hard worker. He is a good student, as well. I will expect to see him running with the leaders again this year.”

Also looking to make an impact and provide leadership will be Red Devils seniors Cameron Colwell, Joe Benjamin, Sam Heilman, Matt Hoying and Nick Camilleri, as well as junior Jackson Kelly.

“This is a good group of guys,” Swick said. “They have worked super hard to get to this point. I am looking forward to a great season.”

Grosse Ile will travel to Lake Erie Metro Park on Sept. 6 and compete at the Warrior Invitational.



Riverview

A young Riverview team will go forward this season with three sophomores leading the way.

Pirates’ Coach Aaron Shupe said the trio of 10th graders will be Adam Skidmore, Max Grahl, and Anthony DePaulis.

“Were hoping that, as a young team, we can take a big step forward from last year and be more competitive as a team,” Shupe said. “Most of the team being underclassmen means we have to sort out who is going to be in our top seven and see who has improved since last fall.”

Riverview was scheduled to compete at the Mustang Invite in Northville on Aug. 26.



Huron

A small Huron team will be headed up by new coach Diane Flaim this fall.

On the roster, as of Aug. 20, were junior Darren Bigham, sophomores Nick Holbrook and Josh Stroupe and freshmen Noah Hamilton and Xavier Ryznar.

On Aug. 26, Huron was scheduled to compete at the Puddle Jumper Invitational in Milan.



Catholic/Private



Cabrini

A young Cabrini cross country team will feature five freshmen, two sophomores and three seniors this fall.

Leading the way for Coach Chris Gawel’s Monarchs will be senior Justin Querry, who will serve as team captain and likely be the No. 1 runner. Querry is coming off a big track and field season, as he just missed qualifying for the state finals in the 400-meter run.

Seniors Carlos Salcido and Nikolai Tomassi, both back for their fourth year of cross country, will both play a big role on this year’s squad.

Sophomore Michael Pomponio is a new runner for Cabrini cross country, but is expected to contribute this year after a big freshman season on the track and field team.

Returning sophomore Jack Kabara will likely be on this season’s varsity team, while freshmen Wyatt Slaughter, Matt Solodon, Joshua Berthiaume and Julian Campitelle will all battle for spots.

“We want to win back the league trophy,” Gawel said. “We’re hoping to make a good showing at the Catholic League Championship and then hopefully qualify somebody for states.”

The Monarchs are one of several area teams scheduled to run at the Warrior Classic on Sept. 6 at Lake Erie Metropark.



Richard

With several key returners on the roster, Richard could be set up for a big season in 2014.

Six of the top seven runners from last year are back for Coach Ben Madero’s squad, which won the CHSL Tri-Sectional C-D Division last year.

Senior Jack Randles will be leading the way, while also running for the team will be senior Michael Look, junior Donovan Wheeler and sophomores Kyle Solesbee, Tim Augustyniak and Jacques Sirois.

“They have been working hard all summer and I feel they will improve more during the season,” Madero said.

Newcomer Nick Hammond, who is a sophomore, was a track and field standout this past spring and qualified for the state finals in the 800-meter run.

One potential issue for Richard could be depth, however, as the squad was heading into this fall without anyone else on the roster.

“I'm hoping that with only eight runners, we don't encounter any injuries that will impede us having a successful season,” Madero said.

Richard was scheduled for a trip to Dewitt on Aug. 23 for the Michigan Catholic Invitational and is set to compete at the Homer Invite on Sept. 6.



Summit

Guided by Jordon Thackery, who is in his first year as head coach, Summit will head into the 2014 season with a strong group that features some experienced runners and leaders.

Thackery said senior Otto Kasbauer has a shot at qualifying for the state finals and fellow senior Jamieson Richardson will also be a big asset to the team.

Juniors Kenneth McGlory, Alex Moldovan and Chevy Lond are all expected to make contributions, as is sophomore Garrett Novak, who fell just short of making the state finals in both cross country and track and field as a freshman.

Other sophomores who will be looked to are Jared Crull, Andrew Gillon, James Maitland, Jared Lenart and Alex Blackburn.

Freshman Dylan Greene has also been working hard to prove himself, said Thackery, who has high hopes overall for his team this fall.

“From my perspective, I expect to win our league championship and be competitive most Saturday races,” Thackery said. “I am looking forward to taking over for a successful program and continuing to help our athletes obtain their goals and reach their full potential.”









Last Updated: 8/25/2014 3:30:53 PM EST

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