Westwpood Patriots, Negaunee Miners follow behind tough Houghton Gremlins at West PAC cross country finals
NEGAUNEE — Since it can be done in cross country, Houghton was able to literally run away with all the titles at the West PAC finals held at the Negaunee Township trails on Friday afternoon.
The Gremlins easily carted off team honors after taking the top two girls places and top six boys spots.
The Copper Country team was aided by the absence of Ishpeming, which suspended sports for at least two weeks due to a coronavirus outbreak starting a day earlier on Thursday.
The Hematites have a strong boys team with plenty of depth, while the IHS girls have been led all season by freshman sensation Lola Korpi.
Instead, Westwood and to a slightly lesser extent Negaunee provided the most competition to Houghton.
The Gremlins scored a perfect 15 points in the boys meet to 54 for Westwood and 66 for Negaunee. West Iron County, Calumet and Hancock didn’t field full teams.
For the girls, Houghton scored 40 to 62 for Westwood and 74 for Negaunee. Calumet was fourth with 101, followed by Hancock with 110 and WIC 135.
Following a 1-2 finish by Gremlins juniors Ingrid Seagren in 20 minutes 32.8 seconds and Paige Sleeman in 20:36.4, a quartet of Marquette County runners took the next four spots.
The first two, Negaunee sophomore Endla Harris and Westwood sophomore Heidi Meglathery, were close on the Houghton runners’ heels.
Harris clocked 20:37.8, just five seconds behind Seagren and 1.4 seconds behind Sleeman, while Meglathery came in at 20:43.5, less than six seconds back of Harris.
In addition, Patriots senior Elizabeth Williams was fifth in 21:13.8 and Miners freshman Seere Helms-Gleason sixth in 21:40.2.
In the 38-girl field, Negaunee junior Lauren Ossenheimer was 10th in 22:05.3, Westwood freshman Retta Boburka 11th in 22:13.2 and Pats senior Maggie Boburka 20th in 23:54.5. Just nipping at Boburka’s heels in 22nd was freshman teammate Sierra Rodda in 23:55.2.
The Gremlins were led by junior Eric Weiss, who won by nearly 45 seconds in 17:17.1 over runner-up and senior teammate Branden Peterson in 18:00.2.
Occupying third through sixth, in order, were Houghton senior Jake Sullivan in 18:20.5, junior Davin Evans in 18:21.5, sophomore Cyrus Hamlin in 18:40.7 and senior Evan Labyak in 18:51.6.
Leading the Marquette County contingent was Negaunee sophomore James Dank in seventh in 18:56.2. Westwood sophomore Ted Hair was right behind in eighth in 19:05.7, while Pats juniors Jacob Jestila was 10th in 19:35.4 and Jacob Johnson 11th in 19:50.1.
Rounding out the top 20 from those two schools were Negaunee sophomore Ryan Reno, 12th in 20:33.9; Miners senior John Schouten, 13th in 20:36.9; Westwood senior Luke Vidlund, 14th in 20:41.9; Pats junior Micah Milano, 15th in 20:44.1; WHS junior Gavin Scott, 16th in 21:10.1; and Negaunee senior Alec LaPlante, 20th in 22:50.8.
Both Marquette County schools are scheduled to compete in the Mid-Peninsula Conference meet at Gladstone on Monday.
Information compiled by Journal Sports Editor Steve Brownlee. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.