Redmen, Redettes runners win Munising Invitational
MUNISING — Gladstone sophomore Giovanni Mathews made Tuesday a special day as he captured his first varsity cross country title in the Munising Invitational.
Mathews covered the 3.1-mile course at Pictured Rocks Golf & Country Club in 17 minutes, 25.15 seconds. He was followed by freshman teammate Drew Hughes at 17:32.59 and Marquette’s Peyton Osborne (17:50.09).
“I knew how flat the course was,” said Mathews. “I went out fast and no one passed me. Drew stuck with me for than two miles, which really helped. We had quite a gap on Marquette. I hadn’t won a race since middle school. This is pretty exciting. Being a sophomore, you have to be able to stick with the other guys and be tough about it. For Drew to take second as a freshman is also pretty exciting. We’re all young and know we have to work hard.”
Marquette grabbed four of the top seven places and won with 30 points. Menominee edged Gladstone 85-94 for the runner-up spot.
The Marquette girls also won with 46 points, followed by Menominee 67 and Chassell 80.
“It was tough running today,” said Marquette coach Kyle Detmers. “This was our third race in six days. We just told the kids to run smart. We enjoy coming over here. They always run a great meet, plus we had excellent competition. Colin (Vanderschaaf) kind of surprised himself and the girls were nice and steady.”
Menominee’s leader was Hunter Shepeck in sixth (18;09.97). Esky junior Derek Douglas took eighth (18:28.18) and Daba Holmes was Chassell’s pacesetter in 12th (18:45.84).
Gladstone ran without sophomore Andrew Hanson, who was working at the family’s farm.
“The guys gave a great effort,” said Braves’ coach Gary Whitmer. “Gio ran pretty well and Drew had a real nice race. This course is not as fast as many people think, but Gio was real quick at the mile and Blake Krouth took 21st and got his first medal. Once we get Andrew back, it will change the complexion of things. It’ll be nice to have him back. The girls did all right, too.”
Manistique had some misfortune as two of its runners were forced to drop out. Senior Alex Misniakiewicz is battling a strained pelvis and Logan Haggenson is having back problems.
Negaunee senior Emily Paupore, who wasn’t feeling well last week, copped her fourth straight title at 19:22.91, followed by Kingsford junior Melanie Wenzel in a personal-best 20:50.66 and Negaunee junior Talon Prusi (21:03.44).
“I took a week off because I thought I had mono,” said Paupore. “Then, I started feeling a little better and found out I didn’t have mono, which was a big relief. I was able to resume my training on Friday. It felt good to be back. I’m just trying to ease back into it. The first two miles went by pretty fast and I felt real good overall. This has been a fun season.”
This marked Paupore’s sixth victory, including two Upper Peninsula Division 1 titles on the Pictured Rocks course. Prior to last week, she placed 24th in the Elite Division at the Spartan Invitational in East Lansing.
“Running against the competition down there really helped,” she said. “I knew some of the girls downstate and got to run with some of them. It was a fun race.”
Wenzel said she was happy with her runner-up finish.
“I just wanted to run a steady pace,” she added. “Emily is so good and so fast. I was within 10 yards of her at first, then she just took off. There were two other people in front of me. I got around them about halfway through the race but couldn’t see Emily anymore. My goal at that point was to go for second and a PR (personal record), and I’m happy I got that.”
Menominee sophomore Hayden Buck placed fourth (21:12.31), followed by Kingsford’s Sarah Kulas (21:16.56) and Menominee’s Katie Anderla (21:27.09).
Ayla Miller was Chassell’s leader in 11th (22:30.56) and Gladstone sophomore Jamisyn Bergeron led area runners in 18th (23:12.13).
Gladstone sophomore Chloe Hanson was feeling under the weather and didn’t run Tuesday.