Macomb CountySeptember 18, 2013
Area athletes brave heat for MAC Red, Gold cross country jamborees
By Jason Carmel Davis and Thomas Franz
C & G Sports Writers
STERLING HEIGHTS/HARRISON TOWNSHIP — Boys and girls cross country teams from 13 high schools in the C & G Newspapers coverage area took to parks in Sterling Heights and Harrison Township for the first of two Macomb Area Conference Red Division and Gold Division jamborees Sept. 10.
Meets took place at Delia Park in Sterling Heights and Metro Beach Metro Park in Harrison Township, with runners taking to the courses for 5,000-meter runs in temperatures that nearly reached triple digits.
MAC White and Blue jamborees were postponed due to weather conditions, as the heat index reached 104 degrees Sept. 10. No makeup date was announced at press time. The second MAC White Jamboree is slated for Sept. 24 at Warren Mott High School. The second MAC Blue Jamboree is slated for Oct. 1 at Metro Beach Metro Park.
The second MAC Red Jamboree is slated for Oct. 1 at Metro Beach; MAC Gold Jamboree runners will meet again Oct. 1 at Center Line High.
Teams competing in the MAC Red Jamboree were Grosse Pointe North, Grosse Pointe South, Sterling Heights Stevenson, Utica Eisenhower, Macomb Dakota, Utica High, Macomb L’Anse Creuse North and Romeo High.
MAC Gold Jamboree participants were Warren Woods Tower, Roseville High, St. Clair Shores Lake Shore, Warren Lincoln, St. Clair Shores South Lake and Center Line High.
Programs without enough runners to field a complete team sent individuals to compete in the jamborees, as well.
There was much debate as to whether the MAC Red and Gold jamborees would be run Sept. 10, as temperatures soared into the high 90s. After a brief delay, coaches voted in favor of running the event, and the girls from Grosse Pointe South proceeded to get off to a quick start and never looked back, taking the team title at the MAC Red jamboree.
Ersula Farrow gained an early lead on the field and ran an intelligent race to not only beat the heat, but the other competitiors, as well.
“Ersula is just so good. Her role was to set a tone for our team. She’s that beacon out front that we focused on, and then everybody got in what we wanted them to do based on Ersula,” Grosse Pointe South coach Steve Zaranek said. “She ran really smart, enough to win with no trouble, but also not so hard to let the heat get to her.”
Farrow’s first place time of 20 minutes, 13 seconds was 27 seconds faster than her closest competition, teammate Kelsie Schwartz. South took four of the top five places and six of the top 10, with senior Alexa Calas coming in fourth, sophomore Anna Piccione in fifth, and juniors Mary Spencer and Megan Sklarski finished in seventh and 10th place, respectively.
“Even though the (heat) index was just slightly under the limit, we should not have run today, but we were ready. Our South girls have been running very strong, and they were just ready for all conditions, and it showed today,” Zaranek said.
Grosse Pointe North placed six girls in the top 30 to finish second in the team competition, and Utica Eisenhower took third, as senior Samantha Allmacher took third overall with a time of 20:50 to lead Ike.
On the boys side, Romeo teammates Jacob Domagalski and Alec Toreki paced off of each other to claim the top two spots. Domagalski broke away at the end to win in 17:17; Toreki finished in 17:26.
“Both are great runners; they train together. Jacob might get him one day, and then Alec might get him the next day. In the last race, Alec ended up winning, so it’s any given day. I really believe that we have one of the best one-two combinations in the state with those two,” Romeo coach Michael Buslepp said.
Romeo also placed two more runners in the top 10, Mitch O’Hair and Chris Frazer, and claimed the boys team title.
Macomb Dakota took second in the team competition by placing five runners in the top 20, with senior Bradley Bates finishing fourth overall in a time of 18:13. Utica took third, as senior Andrei Rotar finished third overall to lead the Chieftains with a time of 17:46.
The Roseville High boys cross country squad took home the team title, as the Panthers had six runners place in the top 15 in the race. Roseville senior Maleek Thomas finished second with a time of 19:17.
Clawson High junior Anthony Pizzo took home the individual title at the jamboree, finishing with a time of 18:38. Pizzo and Thomas were the only two runners to finish in under 20 minutes.
Pizzo’s sister — Clawson High freshman Katlyn Pizzo — won the girls individual title with a time of 20:29, besting second-place finisher, Center Line High senior Haley Boccomino (23:19), by 2:50.
Lake Shore’s girls squad took home the team title, with four runners finishing in the top 10 in the run.
South Lake junior Liam Steen placed third in the boys race with a time of 20:35, followed by Lake Shore senior Jacob Kler (20:41). Roseville junior Anthony Moss (20:43) rounded out the top five in the boys race.
Roseville sophomore Joseph Manfreda placed sixth with a time of 21:55, with teammate Chad Bradford (22:07) finishing seventh. Next was Lake Shore junior Nick West, who finished with a time of 22:10. Roseville’s Julio Rosario (22:18) and Center Line’s Jacob Alderson (22:22) round out the top 10 on the boys’ side.
On the girls side, South Lake junior Emily Ferrera placed third with a time of 25:04. Lake Shore junior Hailey Lynch (26:10) finished fourth, with Lake Shore junior Samantha Costanzo (27:51) rounding out the top five.
Lake Shore’s Kat Finn (28:03) finished sixth, followed by Center Line senior Julie Gabel (28:05), Lake Shore junior Alexandra Costanzo (28:09), South Lake’s Gay Kelly (29:11) and Roseville junior Eleni Haralambroulos (29:28).