Houghton boys win El Harger Memorial Invite

MUNISING — For 2 1/4 miles, Houghton senior Clayton Sayen was in the hunt for an individual championship in Tuesday’s El Harger Memorial Invitational cross country meet at Pictured Rocks Golf Club.

At that point, however, Negaunee senior Colton Yesney found an extra gear and earned the title by covering the 3.1-mile course in 16 minutes, 5.8 seconds.

Sayen settled for runner-up honors (16:45.5) and classmate Seth Helman placed third (17:18.9) on this seasonably warm and humid day.

“In my opinion this was easily my best race of the year, even though it wasn’t my best time,” said Sayen. “I stayed with Colton longer than I thought I would. I was within striking distance, then I just ran out of gas. My mile split was 4:53, which is faster than I’m used to. But that’s also the reason why I stayed with him. Once your adrenalin kicks in, you’re running faster than you realize. I think the humidity got to me a little at Mile 3. Maybe I wasn’t as hydrated as I should have been. Although, today is a real confidence boost for me.”

The Gremlins earned the overall and Division 1 title with 51 points. They were followed by D-2 champ Ishpeming 74, Negaunee 105, Sault Ste. Marie 117 and D-3 winner Chassell 154.

“The boys seem to be moving up in every race,” said Houghton coach Traci Welch. “They’re looking good and our times are good. Our seventh guy (junior Clayton Bulleit) ran an 18:23. It would have been nice to have Marquette here. Although, it was nice to see some of the other teams. The big reason for coming here, though, was to get a feel of the course. This is a fast course. This was a good speed workout.”

Helman hung on to third despite battling a side stitch in the end. He was followed by Ishpeming junior Spencer Giroux (17:26.7) and sophomore Jonah Broberg (17:30.1).

“It (side stitch) came into play at Mile 3,” said Helman. “Otherwise, I think I would have been right up with Clayton. Our guys all did great. Everybody finished in the top 20. It’s going to be a great U.P. Finals (Oct. 21) on this course. We’re perfectly matched with some of the teams, which makes it more fun. I knew Colton was going out fast.

I like to keep him in sight as long as I can. I wanted to get out fast to avoid the congestion right after the start.”

Junior Ben Tuomi was Chassell’s pacesetter in eighth (17:55.5).

The Negaunee girls took the title with 60 points. Sault, which ran without two of its top three harriers, was second at 98. The Blue Devils were followed by D-3 champion Chassell 110, D-2 winner St. Ignace 142 and Munising 183.

Negaunee sophomore Emily Paupore won at 19:20.4, followed by senior teammate Clara Johnson (19:56.9), Munising junior Madeleine Peramaki (20:40.2), Chassell junior Lela Rautiola (20:42.5) and Munising senior Alyssa Webber (20:46.4).

“We kept going back and forth,” said Rautiola. “Our coach (Marco Guidotti) told me to stay with the leaders and I’m glad I stuck with them. I ran a PR (personal record) and I’m happy about that. The two Negaunee girls are real good. They always start real fast. They kept building after two miles and I could no longer stay with them.”

Junior Anabel Needham was Houghton’s leader in eighth (21:29.7).

The Gremlins resume in the Westwood Fox & Hounds meet Oct. 3, then host their invitational on the Michigan Tech Ski Trails Oct. 5.

El Harger Memorial Invitational

At Pictured Rocks Golf Club, Munising


Houghton 51, Ishpeming 74, Negaunee 105, Sault Ste. Marie 117, Chassell 154, Escanaba 185, Newberry 275, Gladstone 284, Menominee 290, Munising 297, Kingsford 308, Rudyard 318, Stephenson 341, Republic-Michigamme 359, Rapid River 409, North Central 416, Engadine 422, Westwood 449, Hancock 470, Pickford 492. Gwinn, Manistique, Mid Peninsula, Paradise and St. Ignace NTS.

Top 10 — 1, Colton Yesney, Negaunee, 16:05.8; 2, Clayton Sayen, Houghton, 16:45.5; Seth Helman, Houghton, 17:18.9; 4, Spencer Giroux, Ishpeming, 17:26.7; 5, Jonah Broberg, Ishpeming, 17:30.1; 6, Eric Anderson, Negaunee, 17:31.9; 7, Blane Newman, Kingsford, 17:48.2; 8. Ben Toumi, Chassell, 17:55.5; 9, Jake Strasler, Gladstone, 17:58.5; 10, Kaaleb Ranta, Sault Ste. Marie, 17:59.1.


Negaunee 60, Sault Ste. Marie 98, Chassell 110, St. Ignace 142, Munising 183, Menominee 194, Escanaba 202, Mid Peninsula 205, Ishpeming 215, West Iron County 227, Houghton 255, Kingsford 283, Hancock 290, Gladstone 292, Newberry 368, Stephenson 369. Superior Central, Engadine, Rudyard, Republic-Michigamme, North Central, Rapid River and Paradise NTS.

Top 10 — 1, Emily Paupore, Negaunee, 19:20.4; 2, Clara Johnson, Negaunee, 19:56.9; 3, Madeleine Peramaki, Munising, 20:40.2; 4, Lela Rautiola, Chassell, 20:42.5; 5, Alyssa Webber, Munising, 20:46.4; 6, Nicole Kamin, Escanaba, 21:18.5; 7, Haleigh Knowles, Sault Ste. Marie, 21:22.7; 8, Anabel Needham, Houghton, 21:29.7; 9, Nicky Kucharczyk, Sault Ste. Marie, 21:43.9; 10, Daisy Englund, Mid Peninsula, 21:44.


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