Asmus leads Marquette runners to Kingsford Invite title

IRON MOUNTAIN — Ericka Asmus led a Marquette blitz of the girls team title and Gladstone’s Adam Bruce tuned up for bigger boys events in Tuesday’s Kingsford Invitational cross country meet at City Park.

Asmus, one of four Marquette girls in the top 10, covered the 3.1-mile course in 21 minutes, eight seconds. Teammates Delaney Sall, third; Reegan Ketzenberger, sixth; and Josie Danielkiewicz, 10th, also earned medals. Redettes’ Samantha Borzick was 13th.

Asmus, getting into the swing of things after a summer of Nordic skiing, said her time was “OK.”

“I’ve done better here,” Asmus said. “I’ve been focusing on Nordic skiing this summer. I’m expecting my times to improve.”

Runner-up Anabel Needham of Houghton (21:31) trailed Asmus by 13 seconds.

“A lot of people complain about the hills but doing Nordic skiing there’s hills that are way worse,” said Asmus, who had more trouble with the heat and humidity than the hills.

Marquette tallied 32 points to lead the eight-team field. Houghton, 58, was second, followed by Menominee 87, Westwood 116, Gladstone 127, West Iron County 145, Stephenson 164 and Escanaba 170.

Sarah Kulas led the host Flivvers with a 12th-place finish (23:57). Kingsford standout Lily Menghini (ill) did not run.

Bruce, who ran about 20 miles in the previous three days, dominated the Kingsford Invitational boys meet in 17:04.

“It was not an easy course but I’m happy with the time,” said Bruce. “I think it was a good training run for me and something that I needed because we have a big meet this weekend in (downstate) Holly. We’re trying to get some nice training and not take it too, too hard.”

Houghton’s Joe Wood (18:34) held off Marquette’s Peyton Osborne (18:46) and teammate Branden Peterson (18:54) for second.

Bruce, a senior who is looking to run collegiately, competed Saturday in Newberry. He put in eight miles Sunday and an “easy” two to three Monday.

“If I was fresh I would have done a little bit better,” Bruce said. “The hills were definitely nice on this course. It was tough both ways with the uphills and downhills. That really makes you as a runner get better, stronger and faster.

“It will help me later on with the post season when it really matters a lot.”

Marquette’s boys, 47, moved past Houghton 64, Gladstone 90, Menominee 114, Escanaba 120, Stephenson 149, Westwood 162 and Norway 193.

Bruce was happy with his Braves taking third.

“Our team did really well,” Bruce said. “Maybe we didn’t run our best times but we’re all improving as a team. Our team has a good spirit. We get along and we’re a family.”

Naum Raskind of Houghton won the boys junior varsity race in 21:02. Marquette girls claimed the top seven junior varsity spots, with Molly Welch (25:06) on top.