Will it be Freedom Hilly cross country course? – The Macomb Daily

What kind of running shoes do the folks in the funk metal band Primus wear?

How about ZZ Top? Do they prefer Asics or Saucony? What about the Goo Goo Dolls? Do they lean toward ultra lightweight shoes that help them Go Go like the Nike Zoom Pegasus Turbo 2?

All of the above acts have been on stage at Freedom Hill in Sterling Heights.

Freedom Hill is not only the site of an amphitheater famous for bringing in nationally and internationally cognized acts.

It is also a spacious, 100-acre county park that already features a nature trail.

Freedom Hill County Park will be the locale of the 2020 Macomb County Championship cross country meet scheduled for Friday, October 9 and Saturday, October 10.

Two days are needed to abide by social distancing requirements dictated by the ongoing pandemic. The Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) has set a maximum limit of 70 runners and 100 people, which includes coaches and race officials, on the premises.

The boys will run Friday and the girls will compete Saturday. Multiple varsity and junior varsity races will be held. They will run in heats each day, with the top teams competing earlier.

All the details have not been finalized, said Mike Buslepp, the cross country coach at Romeo. The main thing is we want to make sure it is competitively balanced.

I know that (County Executive) Mark Hackel has given full autonomy to Keith and Kevin Hanson to build a cross country course at Freedom Hill. My kids are really, really excited. We have never run there before, but I hear the course is full of rolling hills, lots of grass and is wide open, continued Buslepp. We are going to do a tuneup a week before at the Hansons Invitational.

The county meet has traditionally been held at Stony Creek Metroparks Eastwood Beach.

Keith and Kevin Hanson are the owners of Hansons Running Shops. There are four in the Metro Detroit area including a location on Hall Road in Utica. Former college runners and high school cross country coaches, they are also the founders of the Hansons-Brooks Distance Project.

The Project creates a unique opportunity for successful college athletes to continue training beyond their college years.

Hansons-Brooks runners have enjoyed success on the world stage.

Success is something the Romeo High School cross country program knows plenty about, too. Both the boys and girls teams are defending county champions.

The Bulldogs kicked off the 2020 season with impressive wins over talented teams from Troy High.

The boys topped Troy 16-45 by placing eight in the top 10 including the top four finishers. Zander Cobb was first in 16:42. Jack Kelke came in second in 16:43; Joseph Rinke was third in 16:57 and Owen Sharnas finished fourth in 17:17.

Coach Buslepps girls team triumphed 22-36. The Bulldogs had three of the top four runners. Romeos Madison Clor crossed the line in 19:41, good for first place. Amanda Felstow finished third in 21:17, and Gracie Youngblood came in fourth in 21:34.

We are going to be good, said Buslepp.This is what I have been telling them; that it would be easy to use COVID as a reason why we might not accomplish things that we wanted to accomplish. But that is really no excuse. Weve had the opportunity to go out and train. This group in particular has really, really embraced that. They did not miss a beat. They are in incredible shape, continued Buslepp.

The guys are five strong right now. The depth of the girls team is insane. We have 10 girls who could all run in the top five right now. There are also a couple of freshmen who are figuring in the scoring right now, said the Romeo coach.

Freedom Hill is not just a concert venue. Which high school teams and individual runners will be singing a happy tune in early October?

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Will it be Freedom Hilly cross country course? - The Macomb Daily

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