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Grosse Pointe South Girls Track Team Takes Regional Title

The Grosse Pointe South girls track and field team won a regional championship for the 17th time in the past 20 years.

The following information was reported by track and field coach Steve Zaranek.

Twenty five of Blue Devils’ 120 member team competed on the Grosse Pointe South track this past Friday and led the team to a dominant state regional title. It was South's 17th regional championship of the past 20 years.

The South girls completed dominated the field, including Cass Tech - last year’s state Division 1 runner-up to the Blue Devils.  The South girls pulled off a rare feat - placing in all 17 events.  Twelve were crowned regional champions - a record number for South and the highest in the state. South accumulated 225 points - 143 point more than their nearest competitor ( with 82). Rounding out the top five teams were Cass Tech (75), Renaissance (72) and Lakeview (61).

Grosse Pointe South distance runners led the way with extraordinary depth. In the first distance race, the 1600 run, South swept the first five positions led by the state qualifying performances ofregional champ Hannah Meier (4:47) and teammates Haley Meier (4:54), Ersula Farrow (4:56), and Kelsie Schwartz (4:59).  Carolyn Sullivan gave South a 5th place finish at 5:32.

The distance onslaught continued in the 800 as Meier (Hannah), Farrow (2:11), Meier (Haley) (2:14) and Schwartz (2:17) again dominated taking the first four places.  Meier's winning time of 2:07.2 was under the state mark she set last year at the state finals.

The same four raced to victory in the 3200 relay with a conservatively paced 9:14.  The South girls have the nation time of 8:59.

Kelsie Schwartz then went out and won the 3200 run (11:13) by a full 49 second margin over her nearest competitor. South's depth shined once again as freshman Alex Dulworth placed third (12:08), senior Carolyn Sullivan fourth in 12:10, and freshman Mary Spencer fifth in 12:11.

In all, South scored 97 points in the four distance races.

Complementing the South distance barrage, the South sprinters also dominated led by senior Caitlin Moore and record setting performances. Moore qualified to the state finals in the maximum possible four events.

Moore anchored both the 400 and 800 meter relays. The 400 team of Mia Perkins, Cierra Rice, Andrea DiCresce and Moore upset Cass by winning the event in a season best time of 49.7. Moore then teamed up with Perkins, Christy Ford and DiCresce to place second (to Cass) in the 800 relay.
Along the way, the South girls broke the school record running a 1:44.4.

Moore was not done as she sprinted to a new school record in the 200 dash and equaled her best time of the season in the 100 dash  -  qualifying to the finals in both events.  Perkins raced to a career best 12.8 in the 100 to place 6th while DiCresce also raced to a career best in the 200 (26.4) to place 5th. Rice also advanced to the regional finals and placed 8th.

South's depth continued to show as Lily Pendy and Kelly Langton each placed in the 400 dash (5th / 7th) while teammates Erin Ivers and Spencer Graczyk each placed in the 300 hurdles (4th / 8th). Ivers also gave her team a 5th place finish in the 100 hurdles.  "I was very proud of our hurdlers. Erin (10th grade) and Spencer (9th grade) were new to hurdles this year and worked so hard. It was a great thing to see the improvement that earned them regional medals."

In the final race of the day, South dominated the 1600 relay finishing under the 4 minute mark for the second time this season and winning by an 8 second margin over second place Renaissance.  The winning team included Pendy, Farrow, Meier and Meier.

As deep at South was on the track, the dominance continued in the field events.  South competitors took regional titles home in four of the five field events. Leading the way was double champion junior Aubryn Samaroo.  Samaroo's high jump leap of 5'2" won that event as did her throw of 33'9" in the shot put. Teammate Emily Jackman's toss of 103'2" earned her the victory in the discus while Madi Kaiser became a four time state finalist and three time regional champion as she cleared 9'3" in the pole vault to win. Although South did not win the long jump, the team took three place finishes as DiCresce placed 3rd, Samaroo, 4th and Alexis DeBrunner 7th. More points came in as sophomore Hannah Adams placed second (state qualifier) in the vault and freshman Elise Grever placed 5th in the high jump.

"Our girls are very ready for the state meet (East Kentwood H.S. on June 2). This team continues to work hard and improve. More importantly, they are great teammates and support one another like sisters. It will be a fun, exciting conclusion to the season.  We should be one of about 5 schools that will be in contention for the title.  Win it or not, I know each girl will give all they possibly can give to their South teammates" explained Coach Steve Zaranek.

Over 90 of the state's 150 Division 1 teams will compete at East Kentwood High School on June 2. .

Coaches, athletic directors and parents may submit results, highlights and photos by emailing sara.martin@patch.com.

Anthony J May 22, 2012 at 06:15 PM
Congrats ladies (and coaches). You make all who live in the GPPS district proud.
Anthony J May 22, 2012 at 06:24 PM
Dana, great pics, as usual. You've 'frozen a moment' for these young ladies that will last a lifetime. Now, on to defend the state title.

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