Pioneer senior Nathan Karr headed to Foot Locker National Finals
It didn’t take long for Nathan Karr to make up for a disappointing state championship run.
The Pioneer High School senior, who faded down the stretch of the Nov. 7 cross country state finals and finished 21st in the Division 1 race, had no such trouble Saturday.
The AnnArbor.com Washtenaw County Runner of the Year finished fourth at the Foot Locker cross country Midwest regional in Kenosha, Wis., earning a spot in the elite national championship race.
The top 10 finishers from four regional seeded races qualify for the 31st annual Foot Locker National Finals in San Diego on Dec. 12.
Karr navigated the muddy, 5,000-meter Wayne E. Dannehl National Country Course at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside in 15 minutes, 46 seconds and was the top Michigan finisher in the 223-runner race that represented a 13-state region.
Luke Verzbicas, a sophomore from Orland Hills, Ill., won the race in 15:34.
Saline’s Alex Leptich - who joined Karr as a Washtenaw County Runner of the Year - medaled in the girls race, finishing 19th in 18:54. Leptich was also the fifth Michigan runner to cross the finish line (Rochester’s Megan Goethals was first in 17:24), earning her a spot on the state team.
Pioneer had a pack of runners competing along with Karr in the boys seeded race. Adam Kern was the school’s next-best finisher in 62nd place (16:40), followed by Muhammad Sani (125th, 17:13), Nick Kern (137th, 17:20), Joe Frakes (200th, 18:08), Lucas Arias (206th, 18:17) and Ethan Warren (221st, 19:03).
Whitmore Lake’s Zach Carpenter finished 122nd in 17:12.
Saline’s Nate Martis finished fourth (16:44) and Dexter’s Taylor Neely 20th (17:18) to earn medals in the boys freshman/sophomore race. Other local competitors in that race included Saline’s Jonathan Parker (51st, 18:08), Pioneer’s Boris Burman (136th, 20:08) and Pioneer’s Robert Frakes (149th, 20:32).