2014 By the Numbers
Cross Country is a sport of numbers. There is an old adage that says, “Numbers don’t lie.” That being the case, let’s take a look back at the 2014 cross-country season with a look at the important numbers:
13th- Place finish for the Eagles at their first appearance at the state meet. Their previous highest end of the year ranking was 65th.
1- All State runner; the first ever.
7- Runners who qualified for the state meet. Skyline previously had only one runner qualify for states.
3rd- Place ranking in the Team Academic-All State competition.
3.9- The state team’s GPA to earn the third place ranking.
3- Academic all-state qualifiers.
2nd- Place finish at the Regional meet. The previous highest finish was 9th.
2nd- Place finish in the SEC Red. The previous highest finish was 4th.
0- Points separating Skyline and Saline at the SEC championship.
4- All Conference runners
6- Runners who broke 17:00. The previous high was 2.
15- Runners who broke 18:45. The previous season high was 6.
36- Runners who wore the Columbia Blue uniform. The previous high was 22.
30- Runners returning for next year’s team
1- Program on the rise!
Any Skyline student can be an Eagle runner. If you are interested in joining the Track and Field team or the Cross Country team, contact Coach Snyder at td.snyder.hotmail.com.
The task was steep. The region was loaded. Four teams ranked in the top 15 would meet. Only three would move on to States. This was the situation the boys found themselves in on Friday as they traveled two hours to Saint John’s to battle the best Lansing had to offer.
Pinckney, Okemos, East Lansing and Skyline all came into the meet ranked in the top 15. The three best would qualify for states, the fourth place would have their season ended. The boys were ready for the task and they rose up to meet the challenge. Jon Russell battled Kyle Fineout of Okemos to the end. After a challenge from Fineout on a steep downhill with less than half a mile to go, Jon responded by biding his time until making a decisive move near the end. Russell was able to pull away for a five second victory and the individual regional championship.
Anyone who thinks cross country running is not a team sport should have seen what was coming next. With the race in the balance, four Skyline runners finished within 13 seconds of each other, securing the second place finish. Working together the entire race, Rycus, Donnnelly, Gaboury and Angerman closed out Okemos and East Lansing, sending the Eagles to the State Championship meet. Anthony Giannobile and Zach Reynolds rounded out the scoring.
On the day, Abe Rycus (16:32), Adam Gaboury (16:39), Nick Angerman (16:45) and Zach Reynolds (17:14) all set personal records.
The boy’s will conclude the season next Saturday at Michigan International Speedway, site of the State Championships.
Returning to the Hudson Mills North Course on Thursday, October 16th, the boys battled Saline to a 39-39 tie. The result secured second place for the season and gave them a 17-2-1 final record in the SEC.
The team was led by the core group of seniors who have built the program from the ground up over the last four years. Senior Nick Angerman set a personal record of 16:53, earning All-SEC honors. Adam Gaboury (16:47), Jon Russell (15:55) and Abe Rycus (16:42) joined Nick on the All-SEC team.
The second place finish is the best in school history. The next meet for the boys will be the Regional Championship to be held in St. Johns on Friday, October 24.
SEC Red Final Standings
1. Saline 19-0-1
3. Pioneer 14-6
4. Bedford 8-12
5. Monroe 7-13
6. Huron 3-17
SEC Jamboree #1
On the tough Hudson Mills North Course, the boys finished a strong second to perennial power Saline. The big news of the day was the surprise victory over Ann Arbor Pioneer, the top program in Ann Arbor for most of the last 30 years. Before Tuesday’s meet Skyline had never defeated Pioneer. The strong performance at the SEC Jamboree #1 put the boys in a strong second place with two meets to go.
SEC Red Standings
1. Saline 10-0 10 points
2. Skyline 9-1 9 points
3. Pioneer 8-2 8 points
4. Bedford 5-5 5 points
5. Monroe 4-6 4 points
6. Huron 3-7 3 points
The big week for the boys continued on Friday as they traveled to arguably the most competitive invitational of the year, the Spartan Invite in East Lansing. This meet featured #1 Waterford Mott, #2 Rockford, #3 Northville #4 Saline #6. Traverse City Central and #10 Pioneer.
The boys responded to the challenge. The team was firing on all cylinders as they took to the fast MSU course. Jon Russell led the way with a 15:47 good for 9th place. He was followed by Conor Donnelly at 16:11 (29th). After Jon and Conor crossed the line, it was becoming apparent that this would become a special day for the Eagles. Only seven teams had posted better results for their first two runners. Jon and Conor had kept Skyline in the running for a top five finish. At that point, the A-Train (Abe Rycus, Adam Gaboury and Anthony Giannobile) was picking up speed and roaring down the tracks. Abe, Adam and Anthony finished within 12 seconds of each other (Rycus 16:33, Gaboury 16:43 and Giannobile in 16:45). Nick Angerman (17:08) and Zach Reynolds (17:40) ran great races and kept the pressure on the opponents until the end. This strong team -centered finish moved the boys up from 8th place to 4th place. When the dust cleared and the A-train had flown into the station, the XC boys had defeated #4 Saline, #6 Traverse City Central and #10 Pioneer. They finished behind only the #1, #2 and #3 teams in the state. The final feather in the boys cap came when the official times were reported, confirming that every runner had earned a personal record.
The boys next take to the trails in Jackson on Saturday.
Link to weekly “By The Numbers” article in Ann Arbor.com featuring news about boys win at End of Summer Classic
Cross Country Team Flies Out of The Gate
On Thursday, August 29 the Men’s cross-country team showed off the hard training they have been putting in all summer by taking both the varsity and junior varsity titles at the End of Summer Classic held on the challenging Hudson Mills North Course.
The varsity team finished first in a field that included SEC rivals Ann Arbor Huron, Dexter and Ypsilanti Lincoln in addition to Grand Blanc, Dearborn Divine Child, South Lyon and South Lyon East. Jon Russell took the individual title. He was joined in the top 10 by Abe Rycus (3rd), Conor Donnelly (4th), and Nick Angerman (9th). Zach Reynolds added a 17th place finish to complete the scoring. Rycus (16:57), Angerman (17:32), and Reynolds (18:06) all opened the season with personal records.
Running a 3200 meter (about two mile) course, the junior varsity boys fought off a strong Saline contingent and took the victory over a field of 6 teams. The Skyline boys were paced by individual champion Anthony Giannobile (11:05) and second place finisher Sam Jyawook (11:22). Giannobile and Jyawook gave Skyline a big lead, but Saline brought home a contingent of runners in the 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th places turning the tide and putting the Hornets squarely in the lead. One more runner from Saline would have closed out the scoring and resulted in a Saline victory. But it was not to be for the Hornets. Justin Michelle sprinted to break the 12:00 barrier with an 11:59, grabbing 8th place. Sabir Islam put the Eagles back in the lead as he crossed the line in 9th. With Skyline up by two points and each team with one more runner to score, the race was up for grabs. The fifth scorer for each team would determine the meet championship. Just as Islam was crossing the line, Frank Pelosi came into view of the finish line. Only steps behind Pelosi was the 5th Saline runner. With the meet on the line and the crowd screaming like mad, Pelosi kicked it in, holding off the Saline man and bringing home the victory, completing a clean sweep for the Eagles.
XC Team Starts Season with Highest Ranking Ever
The Skyline men’s cross- country team begins the season ranked 31st of the 150 teams running in Division 1 this season. This ranking represents the first time in program history that the Eagles have cracked the top 50. The rankings also reflect the rise of the program in the Southeast conference. Only perennial SEC distance powers Ann Arbor Pioneer (7th) and Saline (4th) rank ahead of the Eagles in Division 1.
Although the ranking is impressive, the Skyline runners still have their work cut out for them this season. This year they will be competing in the St.John’s regional. Seven teams from this region are ranked in the top 50 along with Skyline. Pinckney (5), Brighton (19), Grand Ledge (23) and East Lansing (28) are ranked ahead of the Eagles while Holt (38), defending state champion Highland Milford (44), and Okemos (45) are right on the Eagles’s heels. Only the top three teams from the region will qualify for States. The season begins with the first meet at Hudson Mills Metro Park on August 28.
Largest XC Team in School History Starts the Season
New coach Todd Snyder greeted a roster of 29 distance runners on the first day of practice this past week. In addition to the entire varsity team returning, a record number of freshmen and sophomores have joined the team. Coach Snyder and Assistant Coach Kyle Pryce will be working to get the varsity ready for SEC, Regional and State meets while also working closely with the freshmen and sophomore runners to prepare them for this season- and to become next year’s varsity.
The typical cross-country meet is a 5- kilometer (3.1 mile) race usually in a local metro-park. The course will typically challenge the runner with hills and shifting terrain. At most meets, a varsity race (typically the juniors and seniors) is run first followed by a “junior varsity” race. This set up allows newer runners to step into the sport while competing against their peers.
Now is a great opportunity for Skyline underclassman to join the team. Both Coach Snyder and Coach Pryce are experienced distance runners in their own right who usually run with the athletes during training. Also, since all the varsity team members are returning, it is a great opportunity to learn about running not only from the coaches but also from these experienced athletes.
If you want more information about the team, explore our website. The team is waiting for you…