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 Macomb Lutheran North junior Amanda Wood competes at the Oct. 6 Macomb County cross country meet. Wood finished second out of 129 competitors.

Macomb Lutheran North junior Amanda Wood competes at the Oct. 6 Macomb County cross country meet. Wood finished second out of 129 competitors.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

Local runners test mettle at Macomb County Championships

By: Jason Carmel Davis | C&G Newspapers | Published October 11, 2018

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — Boys and girls cross country teams from Macomb County braved the elements at the Oct. 6 Macomb County Championships.

Twelve boys teams and 16 girls squads competed at the county championships, which took place at Stony Creek Metropark.

Romeo High swept the championships. The Bulldogs boys notched 41 points, while the girls tallied 36 points. Romeo in both 5K races had three runners finish in the top 10 — the most of any program at the county meet.


Fraser High junior wins boys run
On the boys side, Utica High was second with 82 points. Macomb Dakota (111 points), Utica Eisenhower (118) and Armada High (138) rounded out the top five.

Fraser High was next with 144 points, followed by New Baltimore Anchor Bay (175), Warren De La Salle (188), Clinton Township Chippewa Valley (221) and Macomb L’Anse Creuse North (266).

Utica Ford II finished 11th with 285 points, followed by Harrison Township L’Anse Creuse (296 points).

Fraser High junior Joey Tavalieri won the individual title with a time of 15 minutes, 54 seconds. His teammate, junior Brendan Cairney, took third at 16:40.

Also locally, Utica sophomore Carson Nicoletti was sixth at 16:46; Dakota senior Joseph Jaster was next at 16:49; Eisenhower senior Brian Jones took eighth at 16:51; and Utica senior Jeffrey Hitchcock (17:04) rounded out the top 10 in the race, which featured 109 runners.

Fraser coach Kevin Storai was proud of how his athletes performed. Tavalieri’s win gave Fraser its first county champion in program history. That came after the team won the program’s first division title by taking the Macomb Area Conference Blue Division crown.

“So, (Tavalieri’s performance) was pretty cool,” Storai said. “That was the second-best county finish in school history as well.”

Close girls race
The Eisenhower team finished second with 121 points, followed by Dakota (129). Anchor Bay (137) and Warren Regina (153) rounded out the top five.

Stevenson and Utica tied with 160 points, while Macomb Lutheran North was next with 199 points. Rounding out the top 10 were Armada (200) and Ford (263).

Chippewa Valley was next with 277 points, followed by St. Clair Shores Lakeview (321 points), Warren Cousino (373), Warren Woods Tower (388), Fraser (402) and Warren Mott (483).

Romeo junior Madelyn Malczewski won the girls run with a time of 19:42; Lutheran North junior Amanda Wood took second at 19:45; and Romeo senior Charlene Yarema (19:47) finished third.

Locally in the top 10, Regina freshman Grace Zdankiewicz was fifth at 20:07; Lutheran North freshman Allison Starkey (20:08) was sixth; and Eisenhower senior Andrea Barreto (20:12) finished eighth in a race that featured 129 competitors.

The second-place finish for Wood continued a strong year for the junior. Wood won a Catholic High School League jamboree race earlier in the season and took second place at a Sept. 28 Hanson’s Invitational Division 1 meet.

Wood said she completed more work in the offseason this year than in the past. She said she’s always felt that she’s a better track athlete and that she’s worked to become a better cross country runner.

“I would like to (earn All-State honors), but what I really would love is to get into the (18-minute range),” Wood said. “I feel more confident than ever in cross country this year — in my training, and in myself. I think it is so important to have confidence in yourself, because if you don’t believe in yourself, then how do you expect to meet your goals?”

Next up are regionals, set for Oct. 26-27 at various sites across the state.

The state finals will take place Nov. 3 at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn.

Sports Writer Mark Vest contributed to this report.