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Wood paces Houghton to third-place finish

MARQUETTE — Joe Wood’s mission to capture an Upper Peninsula cross country championship was accomplished here in Saturday’s Division 1 Finals.

The Houghton junior won for the first time, covering the 3.1-mile course in a personal-best 16 minutes, 57.8 seconds. He was followed by Gladstone sophomore Giovanni Mathews (17:27.6) and Sault Ste. Marie junior Jaron Wyma (17:30.8).

“I wanted to stay with the front pack in the beginning,” said Wood. “I ran with Giovanni for a while, then I made my move a little after the mile mark. I felt I could break away. It feels good to get a PR (personal record). This is definitely a confidence boost and a good way to end the season. Our whole team did pretty well.”

Marquette gained its first title in five years with 51 points, followed by defending champ Sault 57 and Houghton 63.

Houghton junior Branden Peterson placed 10th (18:00.4) and sophomore Davin Evans was 11th (18:02). Calumet’s leader was junior Anton Kristapovich in 28th (19:11.6).

Rudyard copped D-3 for the first time in 10 years with 72 points, followed by Dollar Bay 93, Brimley 96, Painesdale Jeffers 101 and defending champ Chassell 115.

Brimley senior Austin Plotkin earned his fourth consecutive title in 17:20.7, followed by Cedarville senior Thomas Bohn (17:31.1), Brimley junior Cameron Hoornstra (18:00.5) and Ewen-Trout Creek sophomore Nik Thomas (18:10.6).

Dollar Bay junior Davin Hill took sixth (18:29.2), followed by classmate John Paul Norland (18:37.3) and Chassell sophomore Daba Holmes (18:39.3).

Also earning medals were E-TC sophomore Jonah Nordine in 10th (18:56.7), followed by Chassell junior Kolson Kytta (18:57) and Dollar Bay freshman Amos Norland (18:57.5).

Ishpeming retained its D-2 crown with 27 points. The Hematites, who placed six in the top 12, were followed by Ironwood 51, Gogebic 67 and Norway 92.

This marked the fifth title in six years for the Hematites.

“My wife (Christie) and I start them off in grade school,” said Ishpeming coach P.J. Pruett. “When cross country season starts, they’re ready to go. Our program is very solid. We have a lot of runners coming back next year. The future looks bright.”

Ishpeming senior Jonah Broberg earned his first title in 17:29.5). He was followed by Norway sophomore Adam Cavagnetto (17:33.9) and Ishpeming Jordan Longtine (17:48.6).

Baraga sophomore James Stein was the area leader in 17th (19:57.5) and Hancock freshman Elijah Packard took 24th (21:02.9).

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