Cold, Wet Start: Bulldogs girls, Miners boys win season opening meet

Photo courtesy of Tracy Rowe The Miners’ Uriah Aili closes in on the finish line during the boys cross country meet at Kilpela Farm Tuesday.

ATLANTIC MINE — On a misty Tuesday afternoon, the high school cross country season opened with the Hancock Bulldogs girls and Gogebic Miners boys earning victories at the Jeffers Invite at Kilpela Farm.

The Bulldogs finished with a combined score of 48, just one point better than Chassell. The Miners took the boys side with a score of 47, four points better than Chassell.

Houghton Gremlins’ senior Anabel Needham finished with the top individual time among the girls with a time of 20:24.57.

“I felt really good,” said Needham. “I’m always a little nervous with this competition. I’ve known (other racers) for awhile.

I’m a senior, so I’ve been racing with most of them for awhile. They’re all really great, so it’s always a little nerve-racking to come into every race. We’ve all worked really hard. It felt good today.”

The rain in the forecast over the last few days made the running conditions at the Farm difficult for the runners. Needham didn’t let tough conditions slow her down.

“We all had to fight with some puddles today,” she said. “It’s been raining, but luckily this is the first year I’ve been to this course where the weather is nice, … and not super hot. I can deal with the puddles. A little bit of swimming never hurts.”

With this being the first meet of the season, this first-place finish for Needham will help set good momentum as she runs her final season.

“(Winning) usually helps boost my confidence a little, (and) helps me start off on a good note,” Needham said.

On the boys’ side, senior Uriah Aili of Bessemer High School, who competes for Gogebic, finished first with a time of 17:14.91, a personal record for the Miners’ runner.

“I started off quick, everything was good,” he said. “I was (in) fifth place starting off the first half mile, and then I just took the lead and stayed there for the rest of the race.

“I finished strong and it was fun.”

This first-place finish for Aili set the pace needed by the Miners to earn the top team spot.

“It felt good to finally win,” he said. “This was actually my first win ever.”

Aili credited his off-season workouts with giving him the edge he needed.

“A lot of hard work paid off (with) a lot of running in the summer (for) preseason training,” Aili said. “I think this is my fastest time ever recorded. I wasn’t this good last year. I had alright times, but I think this is my fastest time. I’m hoping to keep breaking it.”

Results

Team Girls

1, Hancock, 48; 2, Chassell, 49; 3, Houghton, 56; 4, Calumet, 103; 5, Dollar Bay, 184.

Team Boys

1, Gogebic, 48; 2, Chassell, 51; 3, Houghton, 74; 4, Rapid River, 127; 5, Republic, 164.

Girls

1, Needham, Anabel- HOU, 20.24.57, 2, Rautiola, Lela – Chassell,20.42.04, 3,Velat, Maria – HOU,4,Sturos, Ellie – HCH,21.34.08, 5, Pietila, Jenna – Chassell,21.38.96

Boys

1, Aili, Uriah-Gogebic 17.14.91, 2, Byers, Devon- Gogebic 17.28.37, 3, Thomas, Nikolas- ETC,17.51.88, 4, Tuomi, Ben – Chassell,17.58.06, 5, Mazurek, Adam- Gogebic, 17.59.81

Girls:

Hancock

1, Sturos, 21.34.08; 2, Chynoweth, 22.00.35; 3, Dennis, 22.30.76; 4,Keranen, 23.08.90,5; Driscoll, 23.24.63.

Houghton

1, Needham, 20.24.57, 2, Velat,21.23.54; 3,Seagren, 22.53.06; 4, Woodford, 24.10.53; 5, Isaacson, 24.12.44.

Chassell

1, Rautiola, 20.42.04; 2, Pietila, 21.38.96; 3, Sleeman, 22.13.24; 4, Kangas, 23.18.82; 5, Sohlden, 23.54.92.

Calumet

1, Gipp, 22.07.19; 2, Jacques, 23.17.87; 3, Loukus, 24.34.55; 4, Eskola, 24.52.22; 5,Helminen, 26.09.17

Dollar Bay

1, Keranen, 24.28.43; 2, Gaunt, 26.48.30; 3, Miller, 27.07.90; 4, Myllyoja, 29.53.68; 5, McCrum, 33.29.86.

Rep/Mich

1, Erickson, 32.42.31; 2, Laakso, 34.30.42.

Ironwood

1, Carey, 21.40.59; 2,Stengard, 27.02.83; 3,Tibaldo, 27.40.00.

Jeffers

1, Larson, 23.43.63; 2, Mantta, 27.32.29.

Boys:

Gogebic

1, Aili,17.14.91; 2, Byers,17.28.37; 3, Mazurek, 17.59.81; 4, Mazzon, 18.57.53; 5, Rowe, 20.27.37.

Chassell

1, Gockenbach,18.23.19; 2, Kytta, 18.43.53; 3, Holmes, 19.13.82; 4, Soumis, 19.38.63; 5, Kytta, Ko, 19.39.25.

Houghton

1, Wood,18.09.70; 2, Peterson, 18.15.96; 3, Labyak, 19.26.62; 4, Bulleit,19.53.48; 5,Raskind, 19.55.19.

Rapid River

1, Hernandez, A., 19.37.61; 2, Hernandez, I., 19.49.38; 3,Snay, 20.23.89; 4, Sefcik, 20.25.94; 5, Olson, 20.34.51.

Republic

1, Olender, 19.33.96; 2, Carlson, 20.22.54; 3, Anthony, 20.34.88; 4,Warner, 21.29.43; 5, Boshears, 21.55.42.

Ironwood

1, DiGiorgio, 20.21.20; 2, Stengard, 20.42.81; 3, Mattson, 22.28.07; 3, Graser, 22.29.65; 4, Rubatt, 23.58.07.

Dollar Bay

1, Hill, 19.01.28; 2, Norland, 19.50.53; 3, McCrum, 25.47.04; 4, 5, Houle, 25.50.85; 5, Busser, 27.17.49.

Jeffers

1, Kinnunen, 21.19.35; 2, Pietila, 21.49.72; 3, Larson, 21.55.02; 4, Therrian, 22.04.03; 5, Nettell, 25.03.26.

Watersmeet

1, Snow, 20.27.64; 2, Migeshick, 21.49.95; 3, Romanesko, 23.31.72; 4, Besonnen, 26.19.78; 5, Peterson, 30.37.01.

Ontonagon

1, Soumis, 20.52.09; 2, Bradley, 22.55.63; 3, Myrhen, 25.03.49; 4, Steve, 35.13.10.

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