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Trio of schools lay claim to cross country titles at Marquette County Meet: Marquette captures team crowns; Miners, Hematites win individual races

Marquette’s Moses Waite, left, tries to hold off Ishpeming’s Jonah Broberg in the final stretch of the boys cross country race at the Marquette County Meet held at Presque Isle Park in Marquette on Thursday afternoon. (Journal photo by Ryan Spitza)

MARQUETTE — The Marquette Senior High School cross country teams swept boys and girls team titles while Negaunee and Ishpeming claimed individual crowns at the annual Marquette County Meet held under overcast skies at Presque Isle Park on Thursday afternoon.

The Redmen finished with 25 points in the boys meet, followed by Ishpeming with 32, Negaunee 82 and Westwood 104. Gwinn and Republic-Michigamme didn’t field full teams.

The Redettes finished with 33 points, claiming the girls title for the second straight year, while the Miners finished runner-up with 44. The Patriots had 51 points while the Hematites, Modeltowners and Hawks didn’t have team scores.

The girls individual crown was easily claimed by Negaunee senior Emily Paupore after she beat out teammate Talon Prusi by nearly 2 1/2 minutes.

Ishpeming senior Jonah Broberg was the victor on the boys side after a tight race with Marquette’s Moses Waite.

Negaunee senior Emily Paupore emerges from the woods with no cross country competitor in sight during the Marquette County Meet at Presque Isle Park in Marquette on Thursday afternoon. (Journal photo by Ryan Spitza)

Paupore has won the county meet in three of her four years after a third-place finish when she was a freshman in 2016. She finished in 18 minutes, 48 seconds on Thursday, besting her time from last year by 13 seconds.

“I PR’d (personal record) for the first time in like two years,” she said. “I’m super happy, I finally got into the 18:40s.”

That time is particularly important to Paupore as she looks to take on top-class competition in the prestigious Spartan Invitational at Michigan State University in East Lansing next Friday.

“I’m looking forward to that,” she said. “I’m going to face girls that are running in the 17s (minutes), so it’s going to be a really big challenge for me, but I’m super excited after coming off of this race (Thursday).”

When you beat the competition by over two minutes, it’s hard to think of any challenges Paupore may have encountered. She deflected that idea as the mental challenge of running, as opposed to the physical obstacles of the five-kilometer course.

“The whole time, it was just a mental challenge for myself,” she said about reaching her personal milestone. “When I got to the two-mile mark, I was on pace and I knew I was going to be so mad at myself if I didn’t go for it, so I just kind of got going, decided to grind it out, and actually before the race I had no adrenaline at all.

“I was perfectly content. Usually I get a little nervous, but (Thursday) I was just content.”

Broberg finished in 17:12, and while that was two seconds slower than last year’s winning time, he improved on his second-place finish of 2018 after holding off Waite, who finished in 17:20. The pair were neck and neck into the final stretch.

“Moses is a good runner,” Broberg said. “The last race, he wasn’t far behind me, either. I can totally tell he was preparing for a week to beat me. He was doing well and almost beat me.

“I have to congratulate him. The last race (the Dale Phillips Invitational), I didn’t do too well, so I was hoping to get some redemption here.”

Hills are a familiar feature of the Presque Isle course, and not a feature that can be too kind to runners. Broberg cited those hills after the race.

“Always the hills,” he said. “Those are crazy hard, but this is a fast course. The last stretch is really nice.”

Team-wise in the boys meet, it was a battle between the Redmen and Hematites, who between them swept the top 12 spots. Behind Broberg and Waite was Marquette’s Hogan Nemetz, Ishpeming’s Silas Broberg and Marquette’s Peyton Osborne to round out the top five.

“It was a little bit warmer today, we had a little bit of sun, but it made for great running conditions and it was a great competition,” MSHS head coach Kyle Detmers said. “My hats off to a great Ishpeming team, they were coming and the guys just fought through it. It just comes down to the last half-mile.

“I appreciate (Ishpeming head coach) P.J. Pruett and what he does up there on the hill at that school. My guys did a good job today.”

Detmers added that cross country around Marquette County is as strong as it’s ever been, and his team will use that to its advantage moving forward.

“We’re building,” he said. “Our goal is at the end of the season, but Marquette County is tough.”

Westwood’s top finisher for the boys was Jacob Jestila, finishing 13th in 18:55. He was followed in 14th by Negaunee’s Eric Anderson in 18:58. The Miners took positions 14 through 17 with Anderson, Alec Prusi, James Dank and Timothy Ziegler, respectively.

Jarred Boshears was Republic-Michigamme’s top runner in 23rd in 20:58.

For the girls, Westwood’s Elizabeth Williams rounded out the podium in third place behind Paupore and Prusi in 21:35. The Patriots also claimed positions 10 and 11 with Hannah Mattila and Allyssea Smith, respectively.

Marquette took positions 4 to 7 with Josie Daniel-kiewicz, Reegan Ketzenberger, Olivia Moffitt and Guinn Wuorinen, respectively. Danielkiewicz was in front in that group for the Redettes in 21:59.

Ishpeming’s Abby Racine and Taylor Longtine followed the MSHS quartet, with Racine taking eighth in 22:30 and Longtime ninth in 22:42.

Gwinn’s top finisher was Alexia Basner, 22nd in 27:47.

Negaunee head coach Lisa Bigalk was pleased with her team’s second-place finish in the girls meet, crediting Paupore and Prusi, as well as a strong performance from the boys.

“I was very impressed with them,” she said. “I put the pressure on them saying times need to improve, and Emily improved while Talon ran about the same as last week. They’re working really hard in practice and I’m really impressed and excited for them this season.”

Email Ryan Spitza at sports@miningjournal.net.