Munising Mustangs’ Madeleine Peramaki wins cross country race at North Central; Mustangs girls, Republic-Michigamme Hawks boys each place 3rd

Madeleine Peramaki of Munising runs past a deer blind on the Gorzinski Farm property in Wilson on Wednesday during the North Central Invitational. Peramaki won the girls race in 21 minutes, 34 seconds. (Escanaba Daily Press photo by Dennis Grall)

WILSON — Munising senior Madeleine Peramaki won for the first time this season with her 50-second victory at the North Central Invitational cross country meet held on the hilly, 3.1-mile course on the Gorzinski farm here Wednesday.

“I worked hard this summer on building up my distance because it felt like my body could handle it,” said Peramaki, who was runner-up at Munising on Aug. 21 and 10th at downstate Central Lake on Aug. 18. “I’m still trying to get into racing shape. I had to go through the hard times and learn to handle the disappointments. This is definitely a confidence boost. I have to stay positive.”

She led Munising to a close third-place finish in the girls meet as the Mustangs scored 84 points while winner Gladstone had 69 and runner-up West Iron County 77. Superior Central was sixth with 160 and Republic-Michigamme came in eighth with 198.

As easily the smallest school at the meet, the R-M boys pulled off a surprising third-place finish with 92, not far behind runner-up Rapid River’s 80. Gladstone ran away with the title with 33, getting the top three individual finishers.

In the girls race, SC junior Danika Walters was third in 23:04, 40 seconds behind runner-up Lily Menghini of Kingsford.

For the boys, the Braves’ Adam Bruce won in 16:48, followed by teammates Giovanni Mathews and Jake Strasler. Larson Nebel of Munising was seventh in 20:00, while the Hawks’ Andrew Olender was ninth in 20:04. Nebel and Olender both were less than a minute out of fourth place.