Deep Marquette teams sweep Great Northern Conference cross country championship meet
MENOMINEE — Not many cross country runners have been able to stay ahead of Marquette’s pack in recent years.
Gladstone junior Drew Hughes, however, continued to do that here Thursday while retaining his Great Northern Conference title.
Hughes covered the 3.18-mile course at North Shore Golf Club in 17 minutes, 22 seconds to remain undefeated through 10 races this season.
He was followed by six Marquette runners, led by Marquette juniors Carson VanderSchaaf in second in 17:58.1 and Brady Ketzenberger in third in 18:06.2 on a sunny, mild and breezy day.
“I felt all right through the whole race,” Hughes said. “I was just too slow today. The turns messed me up a little. I could keep the pace. I just didn’t have the speed.”
“Drew (Hughes) has been steady all year, which is good,” Marquette head coach Kyle Detmers said. “We were running without Colin VanderSchaaf, who was out with the flu, but other guys picked it up.”
Following Carson VanderSchaaf and Ketzenberger for Marquette were Luke Janofski, fourth in 18:16.9; Cullen Papin, fifth in 18:26.0; Adam White, sixth in 18:34.8; and Chase Thomsen, seventh in 18:42.7. And just for a little insurance, the Redmen’s Seppi Camilli was ninth in 19:02.2.
Marquette won for the ninth straight time with 20 points, followed by Gladstone with 55, Escanaba 77 and Menominee 86 as Kingsford didn’t post a team score.
Hughes was coming off a nine-day break from competition after doing four races in the previous 10 days.
“My recovery has been getting better,” he said. “I’m real happy about the win. I wish my time would have been better, but it is what it is.”
Esky junior Daniel Smith took eighth among the boys (19:01.7).
“We were shorthanded, but the kids ran tough,” Esky coach Scott Dykema said. “We had only six of our 10 boys.”
The Marquette girls were crowned GNC champions for the 22nd consecutive year with 22 points, followed by Gladstone with 43, Esky 82 and Kingsford 95 as Menominee didn’t have a team score.
“It was a good day,” Detmers said. “We had a nice pack. One of our girls’ JV runners (had a time that would’ve) been our third varsity runner today.”
Marquette freshman Monet Argeropoulos won the girls’ race in 22:01.6, followed by Gladstone senior Jamisyn Bergeron in 22:08.6 and Marquette freshman Tessa Bruns in 22:11.3.
“I thought it went pretty well,” Argeropoulos said. “We had a lot of people who placed high. We had a nice day, almost perfect weather for running. It feels real good to be GNC champion.”
Bergeron said she was happy with her runner-up finish.
“There was a little special motivation with this being my last GNC race,” she said. “It felt like the group was going slower than usual. I tried to stay with the leaders and sprinted the final 200 yards like I usually do. The wind wasn’t strong at all.”
Menominee junior Attica Brandt placed fourth in 22:19, the Redettes’ Courtney Larson fifth in 22:30.3 and Gladstone senior Samanta Strasler sixth in 22:44.1.
“I focused on my stride and tried to stay with the leaders,” Brandt said. “I wasn’t real happy with my time, although this was still little bit of a confidence boost. I’m hoping to do better in the U.P. (Division 1) Finals. I thought the weather was pretty good.”
Also finishing in the top 10 for Marquette were Jordann Stephenson, seventh in 22:52.0; Emmi Kruhak, ninth in 23:09.8; and Elodie Malherbe, 10th in 23:23.6.