Depth helps Munising sweep at Superior Central

EBEN — A group of area runners was introduced to a new cross country course at the Superior Central Invitational held Wednesday.

Munising fared best on this sunny, warm and windy day, taking both girls and boys team titles.

The Mustang girls placed five among the top nine and scored 26 points. They were followed by Mid Peninsula with 44, SC 60 and Rapid River 77.

Munising’s boys also took five of the top nine spots for 26 points, followed by RR with 51, SC and Carney-Nadeau tied with 84 and Mid Pen 87.

“The boys went out real hard,” Munising coach Fran DesArmo said. “They challenged themselves today. A couple girls started real slow, then they got their tails in gear about halfway through the race. It’s a good thing they finished strong.

“It was a nice day. There was a little wind, but I don’t think it affected anything.”

Junior Madeleine Peramaki paced the Munising girls, winning on the hilly 3.3-mile course in 23 minutes, 13 seconds, followed by senior teammate Alyssa Webber (23:32) and Mid Pen eighth-grader Landry Koski (25:25).

“I like the woods and the rolling hills,” Peramaki said. “The wind made it challenging in the open areas, although it kept the temperature down. I didn’t feel the wind as much in the woods. This was definitely a good tune-up for our next home meet (at Pictured Rocks Golf Club on Tuesday afternoon).”

Webber said she also liked the course, which started and finished near the baseball and softball diamonds and meandered on trails just east of the school. But she also expressed a few concerns.

“It’s a nice course, only I wish it would have been 3.1 miles (the actual five-kilometer distance),” she added. “The loops were kind of confusing, although they had people out there to point us in the right direction. All of us placed in the top 10. We’re proud of that.”

The former course included a pair of 1.6-mile loops west of the school, with the races starting and finishing near the football field.

Sophomore Danika Walters was SC’s pacesetter in fourth (25:54) on the new course.

“We ran the course a bunch of times in practice,” Walters said. “I wasn’t ready for the uneven footing, although I think this will make me stronger for other races.”

Munising senior Darren Castello won the boys’ race in 21:05, followed by Rapid River sophomore Azariah Hernandez (21:33), Munising senior T.J. Wing (21:39), Mid Pen senior Brandon Nummilien (21:54) and Munising’s Cade Contreras (22:39).

“T.J. and I have been going back and forth all year,” Castello said. “He ran real well at Holly (downstate last Saturday) and came in a long way ahead of me. I’m usually real nervous at the start. That was also true today. Then at about 1 1/2 miles, I kicked it into gear.”