Munising boys team, Mustangs’ Madeleine Peramaki win Skyline Central Conference cross country titles

Munising’s Madeleine Peramaki, shown in last week's Gladstone Invitational, finished first Wednesday in the Skyline Central Conference girls’ race. (Escanaba Daily Press photo by Mike Mattson)

MUNISING — Munising picked up a team victory in the boys meet and individual race victory in the girls meet when the Skyline Central Conference ran on the Mustangs’ home course at Pictured Rocks Golf Club on Wednesday.

Mid Peninsula pulled out a one-point victory over Munising for the girls, 42-43. Superior Central took fourth with 79.

But the Mustangs finished 1-2 individually, with Madeleine Peramaki running the 3.1-mile course in a personal-best 19 minutes, 54 seconds, and defending champion Alyssa Webber second right on her heels in 19:56 on a sunny and mild day.

“It’s nice for Alyssa and I to able to push each other to fast times,” Peramaki said. “It’s always exciting to break 20 (minutes). Our No. 3 runner was out, so this is still little bit of a confidence builder.”

Webber believes this result will motivate the Mustangs in their preparation for the Upper Peninsula Division 3 Finals to be held on Saturday, Oct. 21, on their home course.

“I think this will be good for us,” Webber said. “We know we have to work a little harder. I’m proud of our fifth and sixth runners. They really stepped up.”

Superior Central’s Danika Walters was fifth in 22:24, teammate Betty Jo Swajanen eighth in 22:57, and Munising’s Lauren Peters 10th in 23:20.

The Munising boys retained their title with 41 points, followed by Stephenson with 66.

“Our boys ran well as a team,” MHS coach Fran DesArmo said.

Stephenson’s Ethan Brown won in 18:0 with North Central’s Griffin Johnson runner-up in 18:11. Third through fifth were Munising seniors Darren Castello in 18:33, T.J. Wing in 18:35 and Cade Contreras in 18:48.

Johnson achieved a 50-second improvement from his previous visit to Munising two weeks ago.

“I think my conditioning is starting to come through,” he said. “We had a hard practice (Tuesday). We’re just trying to get ready for the finals.”

Robinson said it took a while for his leg muscles to get loose.

“I started out fast and my legs tightened up early,” Robinson said. “Then they loosened up about midway through the race. I was in fifth place. Then, I started to gain on them (Munising’s Castello and Wing) and came around the back corner pretty fast.”