Cross country season-openers:

Girls victorious, boys come up short

Wildcat leader Zach Patterson wrapping around the junior varsity softball field during the cross country season-opener at Lake Orion High School on Wednesday, September 9. Photograph courtesy of Skip Townsend – TZR Sports.

By Teddy Rydquist
Leader Staff Writer
Like with most athletic activities, the 2020 cross country season has a different look to it.
Typically, the Oakland Activities Association (OAA) operates using a jamboree format, where each of the schools in your division, the Red in Oxford’s case, square off thrice each year. This fall, citing concerns over the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), competition is limited to dual meets, facing only one other school at a time.
On Wednesday, September 9, the Wildcats began their campaign by traveling to Lake Orion High School to battle the Dragons.
Although Lake Orion senior Sophie Novak, one of the state’s top runners, won the girls’ race by nearly a minute and 20 seconds, Oxford was able to come out on top, 26-33, thanks to their depth.
The Wildcats placed seven of their runners in the top-ten, including three in the top-five, led by junior Jessa Chapin, who posted a time of 21:30.15, good for second-place.
Senior Mikayla Corrion finished fourth with a 21:53.65, and Ella P’Simer, another junior, grabbed fifth-place with a 22:02.08.
Freshman Braydee Elling and senior Lauren Schiller, who finished seventh and eighth, respectively, rounded out Oxford’s top-five.
The boys’ race could be classified as a role reversal.
This time, it was the Wildcats capturing first-place, with senior Zach Patterson crossing the line in 16:53.59, more than 35 seconds ahead of the second-place runner.
Stan Ford’s Dragons, however, claimed six of the top-ten spots en route to a 22-37 win.
Sophomore Kyle DiMalanta started his year off with a top-five, registering a 17:50.8, and classmates Xavier Clark and Dylan Stone added top-ten showings, tallying a 18:13.42 and 18:27.19.
Jack Bauman, a freshman, completed Oxford’s top-five performers with a 15th-place finish.
On Tuesday, September 15, the Wildcats hosted the Seaholm Maples in their home-opener, but the meet was not concluded in time to be included in this issue. Results will be covered in the September 23 edition.
Both of Seaholm’s teams entered the dual 1-0, with victories over the Troy Colts on Thursday, September 10. The boys squeaked theirs out, 28-29, while the girls won by a slightly more comfortable margin, 24-31.
Oxford will welcome in the Stoney Creek Cougars, a member of the OAA White, for their second-straight home meet on Saturday, September 19 at 9:30 a.m.

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