By: Daniel Stickradt
CROSS COUNTRY: Seaholm wins record sixth straight Oakland County title; Novi boys repeat
BY DAN STICKRADT
MILFORD TWP. — Sitting on the sidelines all of the spring track season was a difficult task for Audrey Ladd to endure.
The Birmingham Seaholm senior is making up for last time this fall. She captured her fourth win of the season Saturday at Kensington Metropark near Milford, racing past the talented field at the Oakland County Championships.
Ladd’s 18:15.4 clocking led the field of over 220 runners and helped the Maples win their record sixth straight Oakland County title.
“It was hard, not being able to compete,” said Ladd. “I am glad to be back though. I feel great.
“Today, I wanted to be conservative the first mile,” continued Ladd. “By the time I got to the hills, I wasn’t so tired. I felt so awesome cause last year at this race, I didn’t run it well.”
Ladd and her Seaholm teammates amassed just 64 points to outdistance runner-up Clarkston (104). Milford claimed third with 134 points, while White Lake Lakeland (141), Troy (143), Lake Orion (198), Oxford (252), Rochester (257), Waterford Mott (257) and Rochester Adams (277) rounded out the top 10.
Clarkston had previously captured five straight county titles (2001-2005). Milford captured four straight back in the 1980s.
“You always hope in your mind that you can win, but in an area such as Oakland County, anything is possible,” offers Seaholm veteran coach Jeff Devantier. “I thought if we ran well, than we would definitely be in the hunt. There are so many good teams and runners here that it’s an amazing accomplishment to be able to win six in a row. We take nothing for granted. It’s big deal to get to six in a row.”
Meanwhile, Novi defended its boys county meet title with 73 points, 80 points ahead of runner-up Milford (153). Birmingham Brother Rice finished third with 159 points, followed by White Lake Lakeland (175), Clarkston (176), Lake Orion (205), Novi Detroit Catholic Central (233), Walled Lake Central (281), Pontiac Notre Dame Prep (291) and Oxford (303) in the top 10.
Notre Dame Prep’s Brendan Fraser outdueled Rochester Adams’ Matt Schram in a heated race, pulling away in the final mile to win in 16:00.1. Schram was second in 16:06.6.
“I got ahead just before the two mile,” said Fraser. “(Schram) went with me, though and I tried to kick it in after that. It was great to race against him. We’ve raced against each other for a long time.”
Lake Orion’s Michael Jarvis, in his first season of cross country, finished third in 16:22.4, while Novi’s Gabriel Mudel, Rochester Stoney Creek’s Harrison Steen, Lakeland’s Harrison Grzymkowski, Rochester’s Austin Remick, Catholic Central’s Ty Buckley, Novi’s Scott MacPherson and Rochester’s Kyle Johnson all finished in the top 10.
Novi landed four finishers in the top 15 and had six finishers in the top 40 to pull away from the pack of state-ranked schools. Twins Aric and John Landy finished 13th and 14th, respectively, while Trey Mullins (34th) aided Novi’s championship effort.
“I was proud of the way they ran. This is the first meet of the championship season and I think it gives them some confidence,” said Novi coach Robert Smith, whose team captured its fifth title overall. “They were bound and determined to defend their title. All they could think of was first place, but I wanted to keep their expectations in check.”
Milford’s runner-up showing came without the services of the Mavericks’ top runner, Dakota Giles, out with an injury.
“Second place today was great for those kids,” said Milford coach Brian Salyers. “To step it up against this competition and still finish second, what a great effort.”
Seaholm’s girls had three top-10 finishers overall, and had all five scorers cross the line inside the top 35 to aid the 40-point win.
Mott’s Rylee Robinson (18:30.7) and West Bloomfield’s Kyle Christopher-Moody (18:37.1) both took turns leading the race before finishing second and third, respectively. Victoria Helligent of Milford was fourth (18:43.5) and Seaholm’s Rachel McCardell fifth (18:46.3).
Clarkston’s Elizabeth Dalrymple crossed sixth (18:48.7) to lead the Wolves to the runner-up slot. Seaholm’s Emily Rooney, Royal Oak’s Grace Cutler, Farmington’s Abby Inch and Lakeland’s Madeline Rehm all finished in the top 10.
Kati Beckeman (20th) and Reagan McNally (33rd) also scored towards Seaholm’s winning total.
57TH ANNUAL OAKLAND
(10-8 at Kensington Metropark)
TEAM SCORES — 1. Novi, 73; 2. Milford, 153; 3. Birmingham Brother Rice, 159; 4. White Lake Lakeland, 175; 5. Clarkston, 176; 6. Lake Orion, 205; 7. Novi Detroit Catholic Central, 233; 8. Walled Lake Central, 281 9. Pontiac Notre Dame Prep, 291; 10. Oxford, 303; 11. Rochester Adams, 346; 12. West Bloomfield, 379; 13. Holly, 389; 14. Berkley, 412; 15. Birmingham Seaholm, 455; 16. Farmington, 457; 17. Royal Oak, 458; 18. Troy, 479; 19. Bloomfield Hills, 512; 20. Orchard Lake St. Mary’s, 538; 21. Birmingham Groves, 583; 22. South Lyon East, 612; 23. Rochester, 618; 24. Waterford Mott, 635; 25. Rochester Stoney Creek, 646; 26. Walled Lake Northern, 680; 27. Troy Athens, 688; 28. South Lyon, 747; 29. Ortonville Brandon, 775; 30. Waterford Kettering, 790; 31. Walled Lake Western, 823; 32. North Farmington, 897; 33. Farmington Harrison, 978; 34. Hazel Park, 1034; 35. Birmingham Detroit Country Day, 1082; 36. Royal Oak Shrine, 1116; 37. Auburn Hills Oakland Christian, 1125; 38. Bloomfield Hills Christian, 1169; 39. (tie) Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook-Kingswood, NTS; Clawson, NTS; Oak Park, NTS; Ferndale, NTS; Madison Heights Bishop Foley, NTS; Madison Heights Lamphere, NTS; Southfield Christian, NTS; Southfield A&T; Birmingham Roeper, NTS; Novi Franklin Road Christian, NTS; West Bloomfield Jewish Academy, NTS; Pontiac, NTS; Southfield Bradford Academy, NTS; Pontiac Academy for Excellence, NTS; Clarkston Everest Collegiate, NTS; Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes, NTS; Rochester Hills Lutheran Northwest, NTS.
TOP 30 FINISHERS — 1. Brendan Fraser (Pontiac Notre Dame Prep) 16:00.1; 2. Matt Schram (Rochester Adams) 16:06.6; 3. Michael Jarvis (Lake Orion) 16:22.4; 4. Gabriel Mudel (Novi) 16:22.4; 5. Harrison Steen (Rochester Stoney Creek) 16:28.9; 6. Harrison Grzymkowski (White Lake Lakeland) 16:33.2; 7. Austin Remick (Rochester) 16:33.5; 8. Ty Buckley (Novi Detroit Catholic Central) 16:37.6; 9. Scott MacPherson (Novi) 16:39.6; 10. Kyle Johnson (Rochester) 16:33.5; 11. Luke Wallace (Birmingham Seaholm) 16:41.4; 12. Nick Trevisan (Farmington) 16:42.6; 13. Aric Landy (Novi) 16:44.7; 14. John Landy (Novi) 16:46.1; 15. Alexander Ross (Birmingham Groves) 16:47.7; 16. Alec Miracle (Birmingham Brother Rice) 16:47.8; 17. Michael Tremonti (Birmingham Brother Rice) 16:49.0; 18. Jack Aman (Milford) 16:49.2; 19. William Eisert (Clarkston) 16:49.9; 20. Nicholas Fraser (Pontiac Notre Dame Prep) 16:51.3; 21. Nathan LaFramboise (Berkley) 16:51.9; 22. Zack Werth (White Lake Lakeland) 16:52.9; 23. Matt Tarry (Walled Lake Central) 16:52.9; 24. Jack Everts (Lake Orion) 17:00.3; 25. Nolan Bailey (Milford) 17:01.6; 26. Evan White (Milford) 17:01.7; 27. Marcus Jackson (Royal Oak) 17:03.4; 28. Cameron Cooper (Oak Park) 17:04.3; 29. Grant Davey (Birmingham Brother Rice) 17:06.0; 30. Luke Moore (White Lake Lakeland) 17:07.5.
57TH ANNUAL OAKLAND
(10-8 at Kensington Metropark)
TEAM SCORES — 1. Birmingham Seaholm, 64;
2. Clarkston, 104; 3. Milford, 134; 4. White Lake Lakeland, 141; 5. Troy, 143; 6. Lake Orion, 198; 7. Oxford, 252; 8. Rochester, 257; 9. Waterford Mott, 257; 10. Rochester Adams, 277; 11. Pontiac Notre Dame Prep, 325; 12. Walled Lake Northern, 364; 13. Berkley, 367; 14. Royal Oak, 398; 15. Birmingham Marian, 467; 16. Bloomfield Hills, 473; 17. Novi, 476; 18. South Lyon East, 510; 19. West Bloomfield, 515; 20. Rochester Stoney Creek, 544; 21. Birmingham Groves, 576; 22. Walled Lake Central, 589; 23. North Farmington, 591; 24. Holly, 627; 25. Walled Lake Western, 633; 26. Troy Athens, 701; 27. Ortonville Brandon, 774; 28. Auburn Hills Oakland Christian, 774; 29. Birmingham Detroit Country Day, 804; 30. Farmington Hills Mercy, 819; 31. Royal Oak Shrine Catholic, 852; 32. (tie) Farmington, NTS; Farmington Harrison, NTS; Hazel Park, NTS; South Lyon, NTS; Waterford Kettering, NTS; Bloomfield Hills Christian, NTS; Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook-Kingswood, NTS; Clawson, NTS; Oak Park, NTS; Ferndale, NTS; Madison Heights Bishop Foley, NTS; Madison Heights Lamphere, NTS; Southfield Christian, NTS; Southfield A&T; Birmingham Roeper, NTS; Novi Franklin Road Christian, NTS; West Bloomfield Jewish Academy, NTS; Pontiac, NTS; Southfield Bradford Academy, NTS; Pontiac Academy for Excellence, NTS; Clarkston Everest Collegiate, NTS; Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes, NTS; Rochester Hills Lutheran Northwest, NTS; Wixom St. Catherine of Siena, NTS.
TOP 30 FINISHERS — 1. Audrey Ladd (Birmingham Seaholm) 18:15.4; 2. Rylee Robinson (Waterford Mott) 18:30.7; 3. Kyla Christopher-Matt (West Bloomfield) 18:37.1; 4. Victoria Heiligent (Milford) 18:43.3; 5. Rachel McCardell (Birmingham Seaholm) 18:46.3; 6. Elizabeth Dalrymple (Clarkston) 18:48.7; 7. Emily Rooney (Birmingham Seaholm) 18:51.4; 8. Grace Cutler (Royal Oak) 18:58.8; 9. Abby Inch (Farmington) 19:06.8; 10. Madeline Rehm (White Lake Lakeland) 19:10.5; 11. Katie Osika (Waterford Mott) 19:12.5; 12. Mallory Barrett (Milford) 19:23.2; 13. Mallory Ferguson (Clarkston) 19:24.5 ; 14. Whitney Reid (North Farmington) 19:25.3; 15. Olivia Clymer (White Lake Lakeland) 19:27.3; 16. Megan Nichols (Auburn Hills Oakland Christian) 19:33.4; 17. Rylee Lukes (White Lake Lakeland) 19:42.5; 18. Megan Worrel (Troy) 19:48.7; 19. Allison Sherman (Lake Orion) 19:51.5; 20. Kati Beckeman (Birmingham Seaholm) 19:52.0; 21. Claire Kendell (Berkley) 19:53.5; 22. Emily Ferguson (Clarkston) 19:54.5 ; 23. Lauren Kaliszewski (Rochester) 19:57.6; 24. Alexis Munley (Waterford Mott) 20:04.9; 25. Emily Leipold (Lake Orion) 20:05.3; 26. Katie Scoles (Troy) 20:06.8; 27. Regan Lobodzinski (Milford) 20:07.3; 28. Katherine Ray (Novi) 20:11.9; 29. Hannah Palomino (Troy) 20:12.9; 30. Katherine Forsyth (Royal Oak) 20:13.0.
“Oatmeal and milk,” smiled Ladd. “It’s just something I do every morning. I don’t change.”
And why not, for oatmeal and milk is now the breakfast of champions after Ladd won the 57th annual Oakland County meet while leading the Maples to an unprecedented sixth straight county title. The Maples scored 64 points to finish ahead of runnerup Clarkston (104), third-place Milford (134), Lakeland (141),Troy (143) and Lake Orion (198).
On the boys side, Pontiac Notre Dame Prep’s Brendan Fraser outdueled Rochester Adams’s Matt Schram to win the individual title, while Novi successfully defended its team crown as Gabe Mudel placed fourth, leading four Wildcat runners among the top 14 in scoring 73 points. Milford was second with 153, Brother Rice was third with 159 and Lakeland (175), Clarkston (175) and Lake Orion (205) followed.
Both Lakeland and Milford were missing their top runners due to injury or illness, but the Wildcats were on a mission nevertheless.
“They were bound and determined to defend their title,” said Novi coach Robert Smith. “All they could think of was first place, but I wanted to keep their expectations in check.”
No need, for the Wildcats ran the course as if it were their own. The Wildcats stayed close and in front as Gabe Mudel placed fourth in 16:25, Scott MacPherson placed ninth (16:39), and Aric Landy (13th), John Landy (14th) and Trey Mullins (33rd) completed the scoring as Novi gears up for the next few weeks.
“It’s really important heading into the last month of our season,” said Aric Landy, of the triumph. “Hopefully it all gives us some momentum.”
With about five titles and as many runnerup finishes in the last 20 years or so, Novi seems often to be in the mix of leading teams.
“I love this meet, it’s such a huge group of quality teams here,” said Smith. “It’s the beginning of the championship season.”
Fraser, Schram and Seaholm’s Luke Wallace were pack leaders into the second mile when Wallace drifted back, making it a two-man race between Schram and Fraser, a pair of buddies with victory in mind. “I’ve known Matt a while, we’re friends,” said Fraser, who delighted in the competition. ”I got ahead just before the two mile … (but) he went with me, though and I tried to kick it in after that. It was great to race against him.”
Fraser clocked 16:00.3 for the victory with Schram following in 16:06 and Mike Jarvis of Lake Orion gutting out a third-place finish in 16:22.
“My first season of cross country,” said Jarvis, a senior, who had played football previously.
Stoney Creek’s Harrison Steen placed fifth in 16:28 and Lakeland’s Harrison Grzymkowski placed sixth in 16:33, a step ahead of Rochester’s Austin Remick (16:33).
Milford’s Jack Aman placed 18th to lead the Mavs with Nolan Bailey (25th) and Evan White (26th) following. “Second place today was great for those kids,” said coach Brian Salyers, whose top runner, Dakota Giles, was out with illness.
Brother Rice, enjoying a solid season, had Alec Miracle (16th, Mike Tremonti (17th) and Grant Davey (28th) leading the way.
Meanwhile, Seaholm’s girls continued stockpiling Oakland County titles as the dynasty-like Maples continue cruising. But Seaholm coach Jeff Devantier is always cautious, despite past success.
“We take nothing for granted,” he said, “(but) it’s big deal to get to six (straight titles), looking at the history of this county. I’m very happy.”
So were the Maples, one of the state’s premier teams the last five or six years. West Bloomfield’s Kyla Christopher Moody was leading until the second mile, when Waterford Mott’s Rylee Robinson took the lead. But Ladd got them both in the last mile and won in 18:15 with Robinson (18:30) and Christopher-Moody (18:37) following.
“Today, I wanted to be conservative the first mile,” said Ladd, “(and) by the time I got to the hills, I wasn’t so tired. I felt so awesome cause last year at this race, I didn’t run it well.”
Rachel McCardell was fifth (18:46) and Emily Rooney (seventh) for the Maples, with Kati Beckeman (19th) and Reagan McNally (32nd) completing the scoring.
Clarkston’s Liz Dalrymple placed sixth in 18:46 to lead the Wolves with Mallory Ferguson (12th) and Emily Ferguson (21st) following, while Victoria Heiligenthal placed fourth to lead Milford, whose Mallory Barrett (11th) and Regan Lobodzinski (26th) followed.
“We’ve been consistent at this meet, runners-up three years in a row,” said Salyers of the girls, who’ll gear up for the rest of the season.
Lakeland’s trio of Madeline Rehm (ninth), Oliva Clymer (14th) and Rylee Lukes (16th) continue to bring the Eagles up higher as they achieved their best county finish, “since I can remember,” said coach John Kababik, who has coached 40 years.
Royal Oak’s Grace Cutler placed eighth and Farmington’s Abby Inch was ninth, with Waterford Mott’s Katie Osika finishing 10th.