Michigan High School Sports – MLive.com
Loy Norrix runner Joe Billian eager for big-meet challenge of Portage Invitational

Wes Morgan, October 07, 2009 10:33 p.m.
Joe Billian

KALAMAZOO — Joe Billian, the soft-spoken leader of the Loy Norrix High School cross country team, has quietly put together a solid prep career.

The senior’s medaled in each invitational he’s entered over the past two seasons and is in the hunt to win an individual championship this season in the Southwestern Michigan Athletic Conference.

He likes big meets with big-time competition. Not even the state finals compares to Saturday’s Portage Invitational. And Billian’s hoping to keep shedding precious seconds by sticking with the pace-setters in an effort to dip below the 16-minute mark by the end of the season.

“You get a lot of confidence from running in the front of those races,” said Billian, who set a personal-record time of 16:23 recently at the Jackson Invite.

“In the biggest races you need to go out with the lead pack. You have to go out harder than you normally would.”

With four of the state’s top-10 ranked teams in Division 1 coming to Portage, Billian will get a finals preview on a course he’s run “probably 20 times.”

Categories: Track and Cross News

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