Clawson High cross country members, from left, Raquelle Robbins, Claire Thomson and Abbey Lodato are leading the Trojans this season.

Clawson High cross country members, from left, Raquelle Robbins, Claire Thomson and Abbey Lodato are leading the Trojans this season.

Photo by Donna Agusti

Trio of runners helping put Clawson High cross country on the map

By: Jacob Herbert | Royal Oak Review | Published October 1, 2018


CLAWSON — Through the early stages of the cross country season, the Clawson High team has shown that it’s going to put up a fight. 

Freshmen Claire Thomson and Abbey Lodato, along with senior Raquelle Robbins, have done their part in putting the Trojans on the map. The results speak for themselves.

In the two varsity girls 5k races at the Macomb Area Conference Blue jamborees this season, Thomson placed first overall in each, posting times of 21 minutes flat and 20:34, respectively. 

Lodato posted a time of 22:19 in the first jamboree — which is a personal record — and finished fifth in the race. She placed 10th in the second jamboree with a time of 22:23. 

Robbins placed 12th and 18th, with times of 23:54 and 23:50, respectively.

Thomson and Robbins set personal records of their own earlier this season at the Detroit Mercy Titans X-Country Invitational Sept. 8. Thomson finished in 20:31.9, and Robbins crossed the line in 22:40. 

“All of them have a certain degree of athleticism coming in,” coach Dave Thomson said of the early-season success. “But all three of them have a tremendous work ethic that I’ve seen in all the sports that they’re doing.”

That work ethic began to show before this current season started. Going into his second year as coach, Thomson set up a summer training program. It was not mandatory, but the team was encouraged to meet every weekday morning at 8:30 a.m. at Clawson City Park for a run. Thomson said that Lodato, Robbins and Claire were all very consistent on showing up every morning, and that the hard work is starting to pay off. 

“With Raquelle, the progress that I’ve seen in her has been attributed to the mileage and her dedication to ‘I want to be at these practices and get my miles,’” the coach said of his senior.
With Claire attending the International Academy, and Lodato and Robbins being at the beginning and end of their high school careers, the girls are not able to spend much time together outside of cross country meets and practices. 

Thomson says, however, that the time apart does not affect them pushing each other when it matters most.

“The nicest thing I’ve seen is their ability to come together at practice and run as a group,” he said. “To support each other, to talk to each other and have that camaraderie even though they are separate throughout the day. They are all very positive, but they’re very competitive.”

Claire, who is Thomson’s daughter, added her thoughts on the relationship.

“They’re nice people to run with,” she said. “They’re good athletes and good friends.”

As the season progresses, each of the girls have their own goals they want to accomplish. For Claire, it’s getting her 5k time under 20 minutes and getting a decent place in county and regional meets. 

Thomson said that the Robbins has played a big part in helping the two freshmen focus solely on what’s ahead of them for the rest of this cross country season. 

“As freshmen … they don’t have that pressure of having everything on (them),” the coach said. “Raquelle is still there to fill that leadership role and say, ‘This is how we do things. This is how things are going to go,’ and she holds her own in a race as well.”