Cross Country: Gremlins take DB-Chassell Invite
CHASSELL — A sunny 70-degree fall Wednesday would appear to be ideal for most Copper Country residents. But if you were on the Chassell trails as a high school cross country runner in the Blue Bolt-Panther Invite, it was a bit too warm.
The event was hosted by Dollar Bay-Tamarack City and Chassell at the Chassell Ski Trails. The buzz words were “hot” and “hilly” as the athletes crossed the finish line.
“The course was tough,” said Eric Weiss, a Houghton junior who won the varsity boy’s race with a time of 17.51. “The course was tough. It was all hills — up and down.”
It was Weiss’ third win of the season.
“I just stayed relaxed the whole way,” he said. “I was able to break out from the pack about broke out about half way through the race.”
Houghton coach Traci Welch is quite pleased with how her cross country team is performing.
“Our season is going tremendously well,” she said. “Not only are we happy to be running but we are successful.”
Wednesday’s win was the Gremlins fifth win of the season. Their only two losses came against Marquette.
“Given the circumstances, we are always happy to get another race in,” Welch said. “We are doing so well we don’t want this season to end.”
Paige Sleeman, of Houghton, also mentioned the hilly course.
“It was better in the shade. You could really push,” she said. “But dealing with the heat in the open parts was hard. But I was pleased with my time give the circumstances.”
Sleeman crossed the line in second place behind her teammate Ingrid Seagren who won with a time of 21:22.
Houghton won both the boys and girls meets. The Gremlins scored 19 points for first in the boys run. Dollar Bay followed with a score of 76 and Jeffers came in third at 88.
On the girls’ side, the Gremlins won with 28 points. They were followed by Dollar Bay with a score of 85.
For some teams, this was their fourth or fifth meet. For others this was just their first or second as COVID-19 and its aftermath have caused cancellations and restrictions along the way.
Ironwood’s Aundrea Stengard and Lilley Smith finished third and fourth respectively in the girls division.
Dollar Bay’s head coach, Matt Zimmer couldn’t be more excited on how the year is shaping up for his runners.
“We have a full varsity boys and girls squad with seven on each team,” he said. “I am very pleased with how the team is doing. Their attitudes are incredible. They are staying strong in tough times in this age where every thing is different.”