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Marquette Redmen battle cold to defend Upper Peninsula cross country title

Marquette’s Luke Janofski, left, and Colin VanderSchaaf race neck and neck to the finish line in the boys race at the MHSAA Upper Peninsula Division 1 Finals on Saturday at Presque Isle Park in Marquette. (Journal photo by Ryan Stieg)

MARQUETTE — The weather was far from pleasant Saturday morning at Presque Isle Park with a bitterly cold wind whipping off of Lake Superior before the race, but that didn’t seem to bother the Marquette boys cross country team.

For the second straight year, the Redmen stood atop Division 1 by winning the MHSAA Upper Peninsula Finals with 38 points. Sault Ste. Marie also finished runner-up again with 47 points. Houghton was a distant third with 69.

“From even this summer, I knew we were going to have a good group,” Redmen head coach Kyle Detmers said. “I’m just so thankful for the way they packed up today and ran with their hearts.

“The U.P. Finals comes down to one day and we battled. The conditions were tough after all the rain we had. Wow, what a performance.”

The Blue Devils may have finished second as a team, but they had the individual champion with Jaron Wyma winning in 17 minutes 19.0 seconds. Houghton’s Eric Weiss was second (17:32.5) and Marquette’s Carson VanderSchaaf third (17:40.8).

Escanaba’s Derek Douglas (17:46.9) and Redmen teammates Colin VanderSchaaf and Luke Janofski (17:50.0) came in with identical times to round out the first six finishers.

“Carson had a great day,” Detmers said. “He’s a sophomore and his twin brother got fifth. And with Luke, I got my top three coming back.

“A real big key today, though, was my two seniors, Lincoln (Sager) and Peyton (Osborne), four and five. That was the difference.

“And hats off to the Soo. We don’t ever see them usually until now, but they did a great job, too. The Wyma kid just ran away with it, so I’m happy for him.

“I’m going to say, this year, I’ve learned to rejoice in other athletes and competitors. It’s just kind of has changed my focus.”

Ryan Stieg can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 252. His email address is rstieg@miningjournal.net.

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