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Marquette boys outduel host Braves for cross country title at Gladstone

FLAT ROCK — The Gladstone boys placed four runners among the top 12 but were unable to catch Marquette in their own invitational cross country meet here Monday.

Marquette, which did even better by placing seven in the top 11, took home the championship trophy with 21 points. Runner-up Gladstone scored 47 and Menominee placed third with 105. Munising tied Rapid River for fourth with 143 points, while Manistique was eighth with 188.

The Marquette girls, placing five among the top 10, also won with 29 points, followed by Kingsford with 73 and Gladstone 82. Munising was fourth with 89 while Manistique didn’t post a team score.

MSHS sophomore Carson VanderSchaaf won the 3.1-mile boys race in 17 minutes, 25.7 seconds, just barely five seconds ahead of runner-up and Gladstone sophomore Drew Hughes, who clocked 17:30.8. Marquette junior Luke Janofski was third in 17:46.4 and senior teammate Lincoln Sager fourth in 17:59.0, while Gladstone junior Giovanni Mathews was fifth in 18:11.

“It was a tough day to run, but the kids still ran good times,” Marquette coach Kyle Detmers said. “Carson and Drew had quite a battle. We appreciate (Gladstone coach) Gary Whitmer putting on this meet. This is a great cross country course with hills, fields and apple orchards. This is not like Marquette. You’re in the heartland down here.

“The girls ran well, too. We told the kids to save something for the end. The wind changed your strategy a little.”

VanderSchaaf said he adjusted his strategy on a day that featured sustained winds of about 30 mph.

“My strategy for today was to hang with Drew and outkick him in the end,” he said. “The last uphill blocked the wind a little, and the downhill coming into the finish helped. The temperature (in the mid-50s) was good, but the wind made it challenging.”

Hughes had similar thoughts.

“It was a good temperature for running,” the Braves’ runner said. “It was nice going with the wind, but going into it was a challenge. Going into the wind after the last uphill was tough, although I’m happy with my time.”

Four more Marquette runners finished between just beyond the top five in a field of 58 finishers — sophomore Colin VanderSchaaf was sixth in 18:37.5, freshman Cully Papin seventh in 18:39.8, sophomore Brady Ketzenberger ninth 18:41.4 and senior Peyton Osborne 11th in 19:02.4.

Not far behind was Munising’s top finisher, junior Nick Singer, who was 13th in 19:31.4. Manistique’s fastest competitor was Mason Grant, 20th in 20:24.4.

“The girls also ran some nice times,” Whitmer said. “They were a little freaked out by the wind at first, but they did well. Their times were close to their Munising times (on Sept. 29).”

Marquette senior Olivia Moffitt won for the first time this year in 20:46.6, more than 45 seconds ahead of runner-up Melanie Wenzel of Kingsford, who came in at 21:35.6.

“It’s very windy,” Moffitt said. “I took advantage of the wind when it was on my back. I felt it all the way up on the last hill, although the downhill going into the finish helped. I was happy with my time. This was my second-best time this year.”

In third was Flivvers senior Sarah Kulas (21:59.2), followed by a pair of Redette seniors — Lillian Weycker in fourth in 22:17.2 and Guinn Wuorinen in fifth in 22:20.1.

MSHS completed its top-10 turnout with a pair of sophomores as Anna Grzelak was ninth in 22:30.8 and Elodie Mahlerbe 10th in 22:34.1.

With Redettes junior Ella Whalen coming in 13th in 23:03.4, Munising’s top finisher was sophomore Hattie Cota, 14th in 23:09.2. Fellow Mustangs sophomore Monique Brisson was right behind in 15th in 23:17.7.

Manistique’s best finish came from Clara Gilroy, 34th in 26:27.0.

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