The Novi boys cross country team scored 84 points to reel in its fourth Oakland County championship in school history Saturday at Kensington Metropark’s Possum Hollow.
White Lake Lakeland, paced by individual winner Jackson Grzymkowski’s first-place time of 15 minutes, 56 minutes, finished runner-up with 122, while Rochester Adams and host Milford placed third and fourth with 153 and 187, respectively.
“Oakland County is one of our focal meets each year,” Novi coach Robert Smith said. “This part of the state is the hotbed of top programs. Most of the quality teams in the state come from Oakland County.”
The second-ranked Wildcats boasted four runners in the top 30 to earn All-County honors led by senior Joost Plaetinck, who wound fourth in 16:22, improving his time by 22 seconds from a year ago.
Also making the top 30 for Novi was Gabe Mudel, ninth (16:29); John Landy, 17th (16:38); and Scott MacPherson, 21st (16:43), while Adam Ditri added a fifth in 33rd with a personal-best 16:57.
“It was Adam’s turn to have a breakout race” Smith said. “This course does not give out too many P.R.’s. He is a bonafide top five guy for us, maybe a top two or three guy.”
Novi’s non-scorers included Scott Beaton (66th, 17:35) and Aric Landy (68th, 17:36).
“There is a traveling trophy that the winning team gets to keep until the county meet next year,” Smith said. “It’s a lot like the Stanley Cup for cross country. It’s full of history and memories.”
On Oct. 6, Beaton turned in his best performance of his four-year career Tuesday as Novi defeated South Lyon East in a KLAA Central Division meet, 20-43, at Cass Benton Park.
East’s Adam Caruso captured first in 16:52, but the state-ranked Wildcats gobbled up the next seven spots led by Beaton, who was clocked in 17:14.
“Scott set a career P.R. today, something that’s very hard for a senior to do at Cass Benton,” Smith said. “I see it as his breakout race.”
Beaton was followed by a tight pack of teammates separated by only eight seconds including: Trey Mullins, third (17:30); Chris Silva, fourth (17:33); Sagar Mehta, fifth, 17:37; Nate Wood, sixth (17:38); and Scott Sawyer, seventh (17:38). Alex Schafer (eighth, 17:47) rounded out the Novi varsity contingent.
Other finishers for East, which slipped to 0-4 in the KLAA Central, included Xander Cronin, ninth (17:49); Jack Marchand, 10th (18:25); Max Hoorn, 13th (18:39); Josh Clark, 14th (18:49); Carter Reeds, 16th (18:55); and Roy Swartzinski, 17th (18:58).
State-ranked Northville earned a second-place finish with 153 points in Saturday’s Portage Northern Invitational.
Rockford, led by individual winner Isaac Harding’s time of 15:01, ran away with the team title scoring 62 points. Saline was third in the 40-school Division 1 field with 166.
“Obviously we were thrilled to finish second at such a prestigious meet,” Northville coach Chris Cronin said. “We have had quality results all season at big invitationals, but the Portage really gives us a sense of how we compare with some of the state’s finest teams.”
Ben Cracraft was the Mustangs’ top individual in 10th place (15:47) followed by Conor Naughton, 23rd (16:12); Kenny Goolsby, 29th (16:18); Thomas Smither, 39th (16:23); and Nicholas Couyoumjian, 52nd (16:32).
Rounding out Northville’s top seven was Christian Freiburger (58th, 16:35) and Sean Coleman (106th, 16:56).
“We’ve been ranked No. 4 or No. 5 all season, and I think that’s where this team this team is right now,” Cronin said. “Our seniors have been rock solid all year. And junior Ben Cracraft and freshman Nick Couyoumjian have emerged as real stars. Simply put, we are excited about the opportunities in front of us.”
On Oct. 6, Salem’s Chaz Jeffress took individual honors in 16:16, but Northville swept the next five places to post a 20-41 KLAA Central Division dual meet win Tuesday at Willow Metropark in New Boston.
Cracraft was runner-up in 16:26 followed byNaughton, third (16:45); Smither, fourth (16:52); Freiburger, fifth (17:02); and Couyoumjian, sixth, 17:04.
Other top 10 finishers for Northville, which improved to 4-0 in the KLAA Central, included Jeff Baxter (eighth, 17:17) and Evan Ferrante (ninth, 17:24).
In Saturday’s Oakland County Championship, Novi Detroit Catholic Central placed sixth overall with 196 points led by Scott Smith, who captured All-County honors with a 28th-place finish (16:50).
Other CC scorers included Ty Buckley, 31st (16:53); Mark Borek, 34th (16:58); Ben Racine, 51st (17:20); and Avery Felty, 52nd (17:20).
Other finishers for the Shamrocks included Andrew Clark (72nd, 17:38) and Matthew Fosdick (76th, 17:41).
Novi Franklin Road Christian, which did not figure in the scoring, had four runners led by David Brooks, 229th (20:58); Nate Austin, 236th (21:55); Nate Buis, 241st (23:07); and Erik Westphal, 246th (23:40).