Houghton girls cruise; Calumet boys edge Houghton

HOUGHTON – During the last few seasons, the Houghton High girls and boys golf teams have established a firm dominance.

Not only have the Gremlins girls won five straight Upper Peninsula titles, they’ve been the team to beat locally on the links.

No local team has defeated the HHS girls in five years.

At Tuesday’s Hancock Invitational at the Portage Lake Golf Course, the Orange and Black girls continued that streak with an easy win.

Houghton posted a score of 362, with Jeffers a distant second at 427.

But the HHS boys squad, minus two key members, placed second to Calumet.

“We had two golfers (Gunnar Stein and Ben Strong) who had other commitments,” Gremlins’ coach Corey Markham said. “That was too much to overcome.”

The Houghton girls were led by medalist Kaaren Liston, who shot an 82.

“She (Liston) is like all of our golfers,” Markham noted. “She takes the sport seriously and works hard on her game all the time.”

Besides Liston, the Gremlins received a nice effort from Taryn Kaurala, who gained second place with an 89 score. Lindsey Sandell (95) and Kaitlyn McKay (96) also did well for the Gremlins.

Julia Nordstrom of Jeffers carded a 94 for third place to pace the Jets, who also received a ninth from Cara Rajala and a 14th place from Alexis Bailey.

Calumet’s boys used good balance to spill Houghton by 10 strokes on the boys side. Wyatt Tuoriniemi gained medalist honors with a 72 while Andrew Eskola had a 79 for fourth place.

Trevor Salata, Austin Lemler and Tyler Johnson added strong support for Carl Arko’s Copper Kings with 11th, 13th and 14th-place finishes.

Houghton’s Wyatt Liston carded a 76 for runner-up laurels to Tuoriniemi, while teammates Austin Hill and George Butvilas tied for ninth spot.

Riley Thomson of West Iron County was third in the meet with a 77 score.

Jacob Zerbst of Jeffers came in fourth with a score of 81 and Mitch Borseth of Ontonagon was in sixth.

Most local teams will be in action Thursday at the Calumet Invitational.