Houghton boys win Kingsford Invite
IRON MOUNTAIN — The Houghton boys put all the pieces together Tuesday, earning top honors in the Kingsford Invitational cross country meet with 28 points.
They were followed by Negaunee 47 and Marquette 70 on this sunny and warm day at the Iron Mountain City Park.
“I knew they had it in them,” said Houghton coach Traci Welch. “They definitely went out hard. I wasn’t sure how well they were acclimated to the heat, but I thought they ran pretty darn good. We placed five in the top 10 and all seven placed in the top 15. We were pleased with that.”
Negaunee senior Colton Yesney set the course record at 16 minutes, 24 seconds.
“It’s hot out there, especially in the open areas,” said Yesney. “The key was to stay hydrated. I trained in the heat this summer at running camps in Ann Arbor and southern Wisconsin, which I think helped. They hammer you down there. We ran up to 12 miles some days, but we got used to it.”
Yesney was followed by Houghton’s Seth Helman (20:25.8) and Clayton Sayen (18:00.2).
“Clayton took a wrong turn which moved him back a little, but he and Seth ran real well,” said Welch. “Seth is a real good hill runner. Leif Odegard, Connor Jackson and Joe Wood also ran very well.”
Odegard placed sixth (18:36.2), with Jackson eighth (18:52.5) and Wood ninth (18:55.6).
Marquette ran without seniors Luke Rambo and Garrett Rudden, who were resting up for Friday’s Spartan Invitational at Michigan State.
“Houghton ran real well and Negaunee looked good today,” said Marquette coach Kyle Detmers. “We were missing Luke and Garrett, but this gave a couple other guys a chance to gain some varsity experience.”
The Marquette girls were crowned champions with 37 points, followed by Negaunee 53 and Escanaba 85.
Negaunee sophomore Emily Paupore won in 20:05.3. She was followed by Marquette sophomore Ericka Asmus (20:25.8) and Negaunee senior Clara Johnson (21:06).
“I didn’t really go in with a strategy,” said Paupore. “I ran according to how I felt, although we actually went out kind of hard. This is definitely a tough course. The hills kept you honest. I wasn’t especially happy with my time. It was hot, but I try not to let the weather affect me. Everybody has to run in the same conditions.”
Houghton junior Anabel Needham said she was hoping the break 22 minutes. She did just that while placing fourth at 21:43.8.
“This is one of my highest finishes among the big schools,” she added. “I’m pretty excited about that. It was really hot in the open area, but I felt pretty good. I just tried to focus on my own race. I’m real proud of our team. The girls are learning and they’re getting better.”
Houghton took fifth with 107 points, five behind West Iron County.
The Gremlins visit McLain State Park for Thursday’s Hancock Invitational.
At Iron Mountain City Park
Houghton 28, Negaunee 47, Marquette 70, Escanaba 117, Menominee 153, Stephenson 171, Kingsford 203, Westwood 211, North Central 214, Rapid River 244, Norway NTS.
Top 10 — 1, Colton Yesney, Negaunee, 16:24 (course record); 2, Seth Helman, Houghton, 17:32.2; 3, Clayton Sayen, Houghton, 18:00.2; 4, Justin Sanpaka, Escanaba, 18:20.8; 5, Eric Anderson, Negaunee, 18:21.6; 6, Leif Odegard, Houghton, 18:36.2; 7, Elliott Prusi, Negaunee, 18:45.5; 8, Connor Jackson, Houghton, 18:52.5; 9, Joe Wood, Houghton, 18:55.6; 10, Nathan Zika, Marquette, 19:03.1.
Marquette 37, Negaunee 53, Escanaba 85, West Iron County 102, Houghton 107, Kingsford 119, Menominee, Stephenson, Westwood, Norway, Rapid River, North Central NTS.
Top 10 — 1, Emily Paupore, Negaunee, 20:05.3; 2, Ericka Asmus, Marquette, 20:25.8; 3, Clara Johnson, Negaunee, 21:06; 4, Anabel Needham, Houghton, 21:43.8; 5, Nicole Kamin, Escanaba, 22:14; 6, Delaney Sall, Marquette, 22:33.4; 7, Katie Anderla, Menominee, 22:38.3; 8, Reegan Ketzenberger, Marquette, 22:48.5; 9, Taylor Clark, West Iron County, 22:56.1; 10, Allie Mahoski, Negaunee, 22:58.1.