ISHPEMING - The Copper Country Ski Tigers used a dominating performance in the girls pursuit races on Saturday to capture the overall title from Marquette at the Michigan High School Cross Country Ski Championships held at Al Quaal Recreation Area in Ishpeming.
The Marquette Senior High School team is affiliated with the Superiorland Ski Club.
The Ski Tigers scored 608 points when boys and girls totals were added together, while Marquette had 552.
From left, Copper Country Ski Tigers’ Zebulon Featherly is in a tight race at the finish with Marquette’s Logan Zueger, Mike Wiitala and Ben Wright in Friday’s sprint race during the Michigan High School Cross Country Championships held at Al Quaal Recreation Area in Ishpeming. (Photo courtesy Jennifer Farnsworth)
Traverse City Central was third with 488, while the Lake Michigan team from the Petoskey-Boyne City area was a distant fourth with 170.
Other participating teams were from the Traverse City area - West TC Central, Vasa and TC St. Francis.
Marquette held narrow leads over the Ski Tigers after the boys and girls sprint races held Friday.
Thanks to Saturday's individual victory turned in by the Redmen's Blake Murray, who defended his state pursuit title, the Marquette boys held on for that victory despite being outscored in both the freestyle and classic disciplines Saturday.
In the boys standings, Marquette led 107-86 after the first day only to have the CC team win the freestyle 102-98 and classic 99-96, cutting the Redmen's final advantage to 301-287.
On the girls side, however, the Redettes' 103-87 advantage evaporated after the Ski Tigers won freestyle 105-81 and classic 113-83, giving the Keweenaw-area team a 321-251 win.
Individually, Murray won Saturday's boys pursuit title by turning in the fastest classic time of 12 minutes, 26.0 seconds and fourth-fastest freestyle clocking of 11:15.8 for a combined time of 23:41.8, about 20 seconds ahead of runner-up Andrew Bruning of TC Central.
MSHS teammate Ben Wright was fifth overall in 24:41.0, which included the day's fastest freestyle time of 11:05.4.
For the girls, Abby Potts was Marquette's best finisher on Saturday in fifth place with 29:28.8, about 1:20 behind winner Evelyn Delong of the Ski Tigers. Potts was fourth in the classic in 15:42.8 and sixth in freestyle in 13:46.0.
Right behind her was teammate Bethany Wright in sixth place in 30:16.8, clocking the No. 4 freestyle time of 13:37.0 and No. 7 classic of 16:39.7.