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Ishpeming boys cross country team rules in Copper Country, too

CALUMET — Last week the Houghton girls welcomed a few new members to their varsity cross country team.

They were helpful here Monday as the Gremlins earned top honors in the West PAC Confernence opener — the Calumet Invitational — with 39 points. They were followed by Chassell with 56 and Hancock with 62.

“We’re very, very pleased,” Houghton coach Tracy Filpus said. “Sage (Resch-Chimmer) was our third runner today. She’s looking very strong. Sage and Autumn (Eles) were running JVs and are now nice additions to our varsity team. Autumn also had a nice race.”

Ishpeming took the boys’ title with 31 points, followed by Houghton 50 and Negaunee 109.

“These scores were almost identical to last week (in Thursday’s Hancock Invitational),” Ishpeming coach P.J. Pruett said. “The boys ran good overall. The Houghton kids are good hill runners.”

Houghton sophomore Ingrid Seagren topped the girls in the hilly, 3.1-mile girls race at the Swedetown Recreation Area in 21 minutes, 14.3 seconds. She was followed by Negaunee senior Talon Prusi (21:30.5), Westwood’s Elizabeth Williams (21:54.8), Houghton sophomore Maria Velat (22:34) and Resch-Chimmer (22:41.8).

“This was a confidence boost,” said Seagren, who took the lead after a half-mile on this sunny and warm day. “I was able to push myself harder than I thought I could.

“She (Prusi) is a real good runner. It’s always good to have somebody to push you. This course is really hilly, although I like to run on the hills. I really felt good today. It was prretty warm, but it wasn’t too bad in the woods.”

Negaunee ran without senior Emily Paupore, who was recovering after placing 24th (18:55) in Friday’s Spartan Invitational at East Lansing.

“I wish Emily was here, although she definitely encouraged us to do our best,” Prusi said. “My strategy was to keep in front of the pack and led for about a half-mile.

“I have a head cold which makes it harder to keep the same pace. This was a very challenging course. We went uphill for the last quarter-mile. The Copper Country has a reputation for not having easy courses.

“These were very warm conditions, yet it was a little windy to help keep you cool. There was shade throughout the course.”

Gogebic senior Adam Mazurek took the boys title in 17:14.3, followed by Houghton junior Joe Wood (17:28.8) and Ishpeming’s Jonah Broberg (17:34.9), Silas Broberg (17:42.2) and Jordan Longtine (17:49).

“They changed the course from last year,” Mazurek said. “This time we ran the flat first, then ran the rolling hills.

“I started faster than I usually do. I think I went too fast in the first mile. There’s always some adrenalin. You always think ‘Somebody’s going to catch me.’ You can never relax.

“It was 80 degrees when we were leaving home. I thought it was going to be a hot one, but it cooled down nicely for our race.”