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Ishpeming freshman Lola Korpi, Hematite boys dominate at Westwood Invitational cross country meet

CHAMPION — The second coming of the WIN Meet in high school cross country went much like the first time at the Westwood Invitational held at the Wawonowin Country Club on Tuesday afternoon.

The meet was supposed to also be a West PAC meet, but most of the rest of the field was to come out of Houghton County, which has had to cancel many sporting events recently due to a coronavirus outbreak there.

Freshman Lola Korpi again carried the day in the girls individual race, beating the field by more than 30 seconds for the win.

Despite Negaunee sophomore Endla Harris finishing as runner-up, Westwood carried away the team trophy with 35 points. Negaunee was close behind with 39 as Ishpeming had 49.

The Hematites won the boys title with its superior depth, capturing five of the top six places to score 16 points to 53 for Negaunee and 66 for Westwood.

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Girls race

Negaunee head coach Vickie Paupore was proud of Harris, who has worked hard to improve.

“Last year, she was just medaling once in awhile, but over the summer she put a lot of work in and had noticeably improved,” the Miners coach said.

Korpi was still the class of the girls field, winning in 20 minutes, 46.3 seconds to a 21:21.9 time posted by Harris.

Westwood took five of the next nine places to secure its team victory. Sophomore Heidi Meglathery was third in 21:27.1, senior Elizabeth Williams fourth in 22:10.4, freshman Retta Boburka eighth in 23:22.7, senior Allyssea Smith ninth in 24:35.2 and sophomore Emma Jestila 11th in 24:53.4.

Fitting between those Patriots was Negaunee freshman Seere Helms-Gleason, fifth in 22:12.3, and junior Lauren Ossenheimer, sixth in 22:49.2; Ishpeming junior Taylor Longtine, seventh in 23:18.2, and senior Jadyn Maki, 10th in 24:46.9.

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Boys race

At the WIN meet, the Hematites recorded a perfect score of 15 points by sweeping the top five places, while Negaunee sophomore James Dank just missed breaking up that party by finishing sixth, less than a second out of fifth that day.

This time around, Dank worked his way into fifth, beating out Ishpeming freshman Parker Gauthier by about 2 1/2 seconds.

“He gutted it out at the end,” Paupore said of Dank.

Nevertheless, the Hematites’ seniors were still dominant as they swept the top four places — Joseph King won in 18:27.7, Silas Broberg runner-up in 18:46.0, Jordan Longtine third in 18:48.7 and David Liimatta fourth in 18:55.7.

Dank timed in at 19:09.5 while Gauthier was just behind in 19:12.1.

Hematites sophomore Preston Gauthier was eighth in 19:56.5 and senior teammate Levi Giroux 10th in 20:17.0.

Rounding out the top 10 were Westwood junior Jacob Jestila, seventh in 19:35.0, and Negaunee sophomore Judge Anderson, ninth in 19:59.5. Westwood’s second finisher was junior Micah Milano, who was 13th in 21:05.8.

Information compiled by Journal Sports Editor Steve Brownlee. His email address is sbrownlee@miningjournal.net.

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