Falcons win OAA boys cross country crown | hometownlife.com | the Observer & Eccentric Newspapers and Hometown Weeklies
Falcons win OAA boys cross country crown

By Dan O’Meara • Observer Staff Writer • October 24, 2009

The OAA White Division boys cross country meet Wednesday was one of those rare occasions when a team can finish second and still win a championship.

Farmington was the runner-up to Royal Oak in the seven-school race, but the Falcons ended up on top of the overall division standings.

By finishing first in dual meets (7-0) and second in the division race, Farmington had a total of 13 points — one more than Royal Oak.

The host Ravens picked up seven points for their victory Wednesday, but they had only five dual-meet points after finishing in a three-way tie for second with North Farmington and West Bloomfield.

“We’re a little disappointed we didn’t win the league meet, but we are the overall White Division champions; so we can’t complain about that,” Falcons coach Charlie Stamboulian said, adding his top four runners usually run closer together.

“We’re happy but not completely satisfied. We know we’re a better team than the team that showed up today, but the season is not over yet. We’ll try to get everything figured out in practice.

“We’re learning each day how to be more mentally tough. Once everybody starts to figure out how to be stronger mentally and in the middle of the race, we’re going to be an even better team.”

Stamboulian was pleased the Falcons had five all-division runners. The top 15 received medals and all-division accolades.

Farmington was led by sophomore Nimantha Herath, who was fourth at Royal Oak High School with a personal best of 17:09.

Juniors Kevin Pitt (17:43), Cody Larsen (17:45) and David Hong (17:51) were ninth, 10th and 11th, respectively. Freshman Drew Lindman completed the team scoring with a 14th-place time of 18:02, a personal best.

Also running for Farmington were juniors Stefan Hayes and Christian Sherman. They were 17th (18:15) and 34th (19:19), respectively.

“Nimantha ran a gutsy race,” Stamboulian said. “There were three seniors in front of him and three seniors behind him. He was the top sophomore in the race, and he beat all the freshmen and juniors, too. Of the top seven guys, he’ll be the top returning guy next year.

“Drew Lindman had a personal best and earned his first medal. He listens to his coaches and works hard in practice. It’s nice to see his dedication pay off.”

Royal Oak’s Theo Kempf was the individual winner in 16:27. Four of the top five runners for the Ravens were seniors. All seven who competed for the Falcons are eligible to return next year.

North’s Anthony Williams and Alex Tobar are all-division runners, too. They were sixth (17:27) and 15th (18:10), respectively.

Jordan Russell finished 18th (18:17), Ben Anens 19th (18:21) and Mike Lett 20th (18:25).

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