They just keep running and they just keep winning – the Royal Oak High School cross country team. Today they’ll be competing in regional action that decides which teams and runners will advance to the state finals the following weekend.
Co-coach David Barnett has the team “running on all cylinders” as they wrapped up the OAA Blue Division last week.
“We’ve got our regional meet starting at 3:30 p.m. at Lake St. Clair Metropark,” Barnett said. “There will be 17 or 18 teams there.”
And there’s a lot on the line as the teams will be angling for a spot in the coveted state meet and others will move on as individuals.
“The top three teams qualify for the state finals. I think if things go well for us, then yes, we have a chance to win this regional,” Barnett said.
The top five runners that place from each team are tallied to derive the total team score. But the team is made up of several runners who have done quite well personally this season for Royal Oak.
“Three guys that are likely to be in the top ten – Ben Hill a sophomore, Max Benoit a senior are competing to be among individual leaders and Willie Davids a senior should be in the top ten,” he said.
The top three teams will move onto the state round and the top 15 runners will qualify as individual competitors.
The five-kilometer race will likely have some runners finishing under 16 minutes.
They just keep running – and winning.