Chassell girls, Houghton boys continue dominance, take 1st at Houghton Invite

Photo submitted to Daily Mining Gazette The Chassell girls won the Houghton Invitational, Thursday, at the Michigan Tech Trails. Pictured kneeling left to right Meg Hokenson and Paige Sleeman. Standing left to right, Maelene Warren Gwen Kangas, Jenna Pietila, Lela Rautiola, Briah Maki.

HOUGHTON — The Houghton boys and Chassell girls continued their dominance in the local cross country circuit with victories Thursday at the Houghton Invite at the Michigan Tech Trails. 

Both Houghton and Chassell finished with 23 points to take first. 

On the boys side, the Gremlins took the top three spots with Clayton Sayen (17 minutes, 15.29 seconds), Seth Helman (17:20.42) and Leif Odegard (17:36.25) leading the way.

Chassell’s Ben Tuomi took sixth (18:17.63), while Houghton’s Connor Jackson finished seventh (18:17.97). Nikolai Huotari came in 10th (18:35.20) for Houghton. 

On the girls side, Chassell’s Lela Rautiola captured another victory (21:04.8), finishing just ahead of Houghton’s Anabel Needham (21:06.79) and Calumet’s Clarity Gipp (21:22.40). 

Chassell had its top five runners capture top seven spots, with Jenna Pietila (22:32.58), Paige Sleeman (22:38.32), Gwen Kangas (22:52.22) and Meg Hokenson (23:16.50) finishing fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh.

“Our middle and back-end girls are tightening the pack,” Chassell head coach Marco Guidotti said. “We’re happy we went to the Ishpeming meet to prepare for the hills. They felt really good today and I think they saw that in their times. Until these two really hilly meets, we didn’t know how it’s going to pay off.”

Similar to the Houghton boys, the Chassell girls have yet to lose a local meet. The Panthers have also never lost to another Division III school. 

“We got a really good streak going,” Guidotti said. “We’re on a great path and we just hope for a little bit more progress each meet. 

“We’re feeling good, but nothing is set in stone. There is more work to be done. We’re just hoping to get into Finals week healthy and competitive.”

Girls team scores

1. Chassell 23; Calumet 85; 3. West Iron County 94; 4. Houghton 115; 5. Hancock 130; 6. Dollar Bay 141; 7. Jeffers 144; 8. Gogebic 209.

Girls top 10

1. Lela Rautiola, Chassell, 21:04.8; 2. Anabel Needham, Houghton, 21:06.79; 3. Clarity Gipp, Calumet, 21:22.40; 4. Jenna Pietila, Chassell, 22:32.58; 5. Paige Sleeman, Chassell, 22:38.32; 6. Gwen Kangas, Chassell, 22:52.22; 7. Meg Hokenson, Chassell, 23:16.50; 8. Natalie Maxson, Dollar Bay, 23:17.49; 9. Avery Bociek, West Iron County, 23:17.96; 10. Keena Larson, Jeffers, 23:21.46.

Boys team scores

1. Houghton 23; 2. Gogebic 39; 3. Chassell 73; 4. Republic 139; 5. Hancock 160; 6. Jeffers 160; 7. Dollar Bay 195.

Boys top 10

1. Clayton Sayen, Houghton, 17:15.29; 2. Seth Helman, Houghton, 17:20.42; 3. Leif Odegard, Houghton, 17:36.25; 4. Isaiah Aili, Gogebic, 17:51.79; 5. Devon Byers, Gogebic, 18:14.21; 6. Ben Tuomi, Chassell, 18:17.63; 7. Connor Jackson, Houghton, 18:17.97; 8. Cade Mazzon, Gogbeic, 18:22.87; 9. Tim Rowe, Gogebic, 18:24.10; 10. Nikolai Huotari, Houghton, 18:35.20.


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