Negaunee Miners cross country teams double runners-up, Munising gets team and individual victories
IRON RIVER — Negaunee was a double runner-up to two-way champion Houghton at the West Iron County Invitational high school cross country meet held Monday.
The Miners pushed the Gremlins for first place in the girls meet, coming up just two points shy, 43-45.
Houghton had a much easier time in the boys meet, scoring 17 points to Negaunee’s 56.
At the Norway Invitational held in the same-named town also Monday, Munising was a runaway winner in the girls meet with 18 points to 40 for runner-up Stephenson.
The Mustangs were third in the boys meet with 61 as Stephenson had 25 and Norway 58.
Many of the teams from the WIC Invite will be at the Negaunee Township Trails at 4 p.m. Thursday for the West PAC Invitational.
Here are more details on each of Monday’s meets:
Miners double runners-up
At Iron River, the Westwood girls finished fifth with 109 points, while Ishpeming sent runners but not enough for a team score.
For the boys, Westwood was fourth with 94 points as the Hematites and Gwinn didn’t have team scores.
Ishpeming’s Lola Korpi held off a stiff challenge from Houghton’s Ingrid Seagren for the girls title by 1.1 seconds. Korpi finished the 3.1-mile course in 20 minutes, 13.0 seconds, while Seagren clocked 20:14.1.
Negaunee made its run at the title by taking three of the next four places. The Miners’ Marlee Plaxco was third in 20:49.4, Lauren Ossenheimer fifth in 21:08.6 and Endla Harris sixth in 21:11.3.
Westwood’s Retta Boburka also broke into the top 10 in 10th in 21:49.1, while Ishpeming’s Taylor Longtine just missed that threshold, finishing 12th in 22:25.7.
For the boys, Negaunee’s James Dank and Judge Anderson prevented Houghton from posting a perfect score.
Instead, the Gremlins had the winner in Eric Weiss in 17:01.9, well over a minute ahead of teammate and runner-up Cyrus Hamlin in 18:23.4.
Houghton actually finished 1-2-3-4-7, with Dank slipping in the one open spot in fifth in 18:30.6 while Anderson was sixth in 18:34.4.
The Miners’ John Plaxco was eighth in 18:56.9, while Westwood’s Ted Hair was 15th in 20:07.1, Ishpeming’s Levi Nicholls 18th in 20:37.8 and Gwinn’s leading runner was Donald Jourden in 34th in 23:22.2.
Munising depth rules
In Norway at the Dickinson County Fairgrounds, the Mustangs placed all five scoring runners in the top 10 in the girls meet.
While Mid Peninsula’s Landry Koski chalked up another victory by more than 30 seconds in 21:23.6, runner-up Monique Brisson led Munising’s contingent in 21:59.2.
“This was a big race and a good time for me,” Koski said. “I felt real good and noticed my pace was faster after the first mile. Then when I heard my two-mile split (13:26), I knew I was on pace for a better time. This is definitely a confidence boost, especially with the U.P. Finals coming up pretty soon. This makes me feel better.
“It’s tough running with just the golf cart in front of me. Although I always know the Munising girls are right there. They help keep me going.”
The Mustangs’ Jenna Matson was third in 22:09.8, Hattie Cota fourth in 23:13.6, Sabryna Smith seventh in 24:24.3 and Kate Mattson 10th in 25:00.7.
“I’m getting stronger and I keep working for it,” Cota said. “Landry and Daisy (Englund) made me the runner I am, and I don’t think I’d be running right now if coach (Fran) DesArmo didn’t tell me I could be one of the best.”
In the boys race, while Munising only finished third as a team, the Mustangs produced the top two finishers. Trevor Nolan came in at 17:55.2, nearly 50 seconds ahead of teammate and runner-up Kaelan Mulye in 18:44.5.
“I was pretty happy, especially with my teammate (Mulye) getting a (personal record),” Nolan said. “I start pretty fast because I want to get out in front. Then, I kind of settle into a pace. Now, I’ve got to get some good workouts in this week.”
Mulye was just a couple seconds shy of finishing a minute ahead of third-place Griffin Brown of Stephenson, who clocked 19:42.8.
Munising coach Mark Kinnunen was happy with his team’s performance.
“Trevor has a lot of natural ability,” he said. “He can play football, then win a cross country meet.
“I don’t think I’ve ever had an athlete who puts in as much time as Kaelan. He trains more during the off-season than most kids do.
“It’s the same story for the girls. No matter how well they do, they want to get better. Most people expect them to do well, and the tradition drives them for sure.”
Information compiled by Journal Sports Editor Steve Brownlee with contributions from the Escanaba Daily Press. Brownlee’s email address is email@example.com.