Oakland County Cross County Update

MILFORD — As much talent that has come through the girls cross-country scene in Oakland County over the past decade, the 2010 season has become quite an oddity.

No, there’s still plenty of talent that eventually will be running at the state meets in early November. For the first time in many years, however, there are no ranked girls teams in any of the state’s four divisions entering the annual Oakland County Championships, which will be held this Saturday for the 16th straight year at Kensington Metropark near Milford.

This is the 51st overall county meet, which has been contested at several sites over the past five decades.

“It is a little unusual,” said longtime Rochester Adams coach Budd Cicciarelli. “There are some teams running well. Maybe there’s not a favorite, but there are some teams that are still really good.”

All indications are for a wide open race, although, if healthy, expect Novi, Troy, Birmingham Seaholm and Clarkston to be fighting for top spots.

Clarkston won several county crowns last decade, and hope to return some key runners this weekend. Troy won last year’s county crown and despite large amount to graduation, have several others in the ranks that have filled in nicely. The Colts also won both OAA Red Division Jamborees within the past month.

Novi has also fared well at several meets this season and Seaholm has posted some quality finishes. Rochester, Rochester Stoney Creek, Rochester Adams, Waterford Mott, Milford, White Lake Lakeland, Walled Lake Western and Lake Orion are some of the stronger teams in the county this season that should contend for spots in the top 10.

In the boys meet, defending champion Novi Detroit Catholic Central has already won a few invitationals and is the top-ranked team in Division 1. The Shamrocks enter as the heavy favorite, thanks to their great balance and depth, even though they may not have a finisher in the top five individually.

“They are clearly the favorite,” said veteran Lake Orion coach Stan Ford. “They have a really good pack and I don’t see anyone else in the county that has a great shot at beating them.”

Dan Stickradt

North Oakland Sports