Chassell girls, Houghton boys have strong showings at McLain

Paul Peterson photo Chassell's Lela Rautiola and Houghton's Anabel Needham jockey for position at Thursday's Hancock Invitational at McLain State Park.

HANCOCK CANAL — To no one’s surprise, a powerful Houghton High boys team dominated things at the Hancock Cross Country Invitational Thursday afternoon.

But the Chassell High girls team captured top honors in a bit of a surprise by edging out Ishpeming at McLain State Park.

Panthers coach Marco Guidotti said he felt his team had a shot in an event that included bigger schools like Houghton, Calumet, Ishpeming, Gogebic and Hancock.

“We’ve been coming along real well,” Guidotti noted. “I figured we could make a run here.”

Junior Lela Rautiola of the Panthers took first place, following by Anabel Needham of Houghton.

Chassell’s Jenna Pietila finished in third place and three other CHS runners placed in the top 20.

“Lela (Rautiola) and Jenna (Pietila had real strong showings,” Guidotti commented. “But in order to win meets, you need good balance. We had that today.”

The Gremlins’ boys team, which grabbed the Kingsford Invite on Tuesday, received its usual strong showings from Seth Helman, Clayton Sayen, Joe Wood, Leif Odegard and Connor Jackson.

Most local schools will be in action Monday at the Calumet Invite at the Swedetown Ski Hill.

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Full meet results weren’t available by press time.


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