Sep 24, 2022
BANAT — Delta County cross country runners crowded the top five in the boys’ standings at the Stephenson Invitational here Wednesday.
Gladstone grabbed the top three spots and earned the title with 45 points. Escanaba edged Marinette 71-75 for runner-up honors, and fourth-place Kingsford had 81.
The Marinette girls won with 40 points, followed by Esky 52, Stephenson 67 and Gladstone 75.
Braves’ senior Drew Hughes copped the boys’ 3.1-mile race on the Dale Fountain Memorial course in 17 minutes, 29.9 seconds on this sunny and windy day.
“I just went out hard,” he said. “I wanted to get under 17. I felt real good for the first two miles, then everything kind of went downhill. I was cramping up in the last 1,000 meters. This is the first time I ran on this course. I didn’t know what to expect, but I know what I have to do before the next race (Tuesday at Munising).”
Sophomore Aaron Hughes was runner-up (18:27.2), and junior Tanner Howes placed third (18:30.6), both personal bests.
“I just wanted to go fast and keep a good mile pace,” said Aaron. “This is a nice confidence boost. I’ve been under 19 in the last three races. I liked the weather conditions. It was a perfect day for running. The wind helped cool you off.”
Howes was also happy with the way everything went.
“I think it went pretty well,” he said. “We’re running well right now. It was great to win as a team. This is the first time I ran in spikes. Those gave me a better grip. I’ll be using them in the U.P. Finals (at Flat Rock).”
Holy Name sophomore Joe Carlson placed fourth (19:15.6), and Esky senior Dan Smith was fifth (19:34.9).
“I tried to start a little quicker and maintain my pace,” said Carlson. “I think I can get under 19 this year. I’m going to keep working hard.”
Senior Ethan Congdon was Kingsford’s leader in ninth (20:16.4).
Esky junior Annabelle Neumeier placed third in the girls’ race at 23:09.3.
“I just tried to stay with the leaders, and it worked well today,” she said. “I dropped a lot of time from last week and was 10 seconds off my season-best. We had quite a few runners from Delta County place high. We have a lot of good competition among our schools. This gives us an idea where we’re at.”
Both Esky teams were fresh from winning last Saturday’s Marinette Invitational.
“That was a pleasant surprise,” said Esky coach Scott Dykema. “I did not expect that to happen. Annabelle had a good race. Sophia Weaver did very well and is starting to believe in herself, and Dan Smith brought his time down 20 seconds. Our boys have five solid runners, but one was at home sick today. The Gladstone boys ran real strong.”
Menominee senior Attica Brandt won her second straight race at 22:39.7, and Marinette sophomore Addison Lacy was runner-up (22:43.2).
“I controlled my pace for the first half-mile,” said Brandt. “The first mile was fast, and I kind of maintained it. I run better in cooler weather. That helps me out, and the wind cooled me off a little. I think this helps me out for next week.”
Lacy was the leader before Brandt caught her on the last downhill.
“We’ve been working on Attica running uncomfortable,” said Maroons’ coach Eric Burmeister. “We want her to empty the tank in the last mile, and she’s figuring it out. We told her she had to be a sprinter on the last downhill and gain momentum for the finish.”
Lacy said Wednesday’s finish was similar to the one in Marinette.
“She passed me with a quarter-mile left last week, too,” she added. “She has two years on me. Attica runs real smart. It’s very exciting for us to win as a team. The weather was perfect. It was a nice day to run.”
Florence-Niagara senior Abbey Tripp took fourth (23:42), followed by Norway freshman Lauren Adams (23:46.3).
Junior Kayla Farnes was Gladstone’s pacesetter in ninth (24:48.1), and sophomore Hope Varoni led North Central in 10th (25:02.8).
Gladstone 45, Escanaba 71, Marinette 75, Kingsford 81 Stephenson 84, Menominee 125. Rapid River, Holy Name, North Central, Norway, Mid Peninsula and Florence-Niagara, Wis. NTS.
Top 10 — 1, Drew Hughes, Gladstone, 17:29.9; 2, Aaron Hughes, Gladstone, 18:27.2; 3, Tanner Howes, Gladstone, 18:30.6; 4, Joe Carlson, Holy Name, 19:15.6; 5, Dan Smith, Escanaba, 19:34.9; 6, David Jezowski, Marinette, 19:52; 7, Griffin Brown, Stephenson, 20:05.3; 8, William Wiese, Escanaba, 20:11.1; 9, Ethen Congdon, Kingsford, 20:16.4; 10, Joey Lundholm, Kingsford, 20:17.3
Marinette 40, Escanaba 52, Stephenson 67, Gladstone 75, North Central 119, Kingsford 125. Florence-Niagara, Wis., Norway, Forest Park, Rapid River, Menominee and Holy Name NTS.
Top 10 — 1, Attica Brandt, Menominee, 22:39.7; 2, Addison Lacy, Marinette, 22:43.2; 3, Annabelle Neumeier, Escanaba, 23:09.3; 4, Abbey Tripp, Florence-Niagara, 23:42; 5, Lauren Adams, Norway, 23:46.3; 6, Julia Cano Hidalgo, Marinette, 23:53.9; 7, Madison Kunick, Marinette, 24:04; 8, Alisha Mabie, Escanaba, 24:15.4; 9, Kayla Farnes, Gladstone, 24:48.1; 10, Hope Varoni, North Central, 25:02.8.
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