Oakland County Runners Strong at Foot Locker Regional

Osika leads area qualifiers at Foot Locker RegionalSaturday’s Foot Locker Midwest Cross Country Championships in Kenosha, Wisc. had a distinct Michigan flavor with Oakland County runners providing a solid presence.

Shannon Osika, from Waterford Mott High School, placed third, leading three area runners who finished in the top 10 and qualified for the Foot Locker national championships Dec. 11 in San Diego, Calif. She’ll be making her second trip to nationals, where the top 10 runners from four regional races around the country will compete.

Under cold but sunny conditions, Osika, who has signed to compete for the University of Michigan next season, clocked 17:26.8 for the five-kilometer course, finishing just ahead of Erin Finn of West Bloomfield, who placed fourth in 17:28.2. Brook Handler of Rochester, the Division 1 state cross country champion, placed eighth in 17:35.1. Grand Blanc’s Gabrielle Anzalone, the Division 1 state runner-up, placed second in 17:25.1 to lead the Michigan contingent.

“It was a pretty exciting day,” said Mott boys cross country coach Ryan Robinson. “The girls got themselves in a real good position. Erin actually moved from eighth at the half mile to third place at a mile and a half. Shannon fell back to seventh or eighth, but the third mile, Shannon put it down and passed Erin. Michigan girls just dominated. It was super exciting.”

Finn, in her first full season of cross country, had doubts in her toughest race of the season. “The first thousand meters, there’s a hill … (and) I wasn’t sure how it was going to go,” she said. “Once I got to the top of the second hill and got established at eighth place, I picked off a few girls and I felt pretty confident I was going to make it.

via MI Prep Zone.

Categories: Track and Cross News

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