Gremlin Boys take third at UP Finals
MARQUETTE — Running as a pack is a strategy which has worked for Marquette cross country teams for many years.
It worked again for the Marquette boys here Saturday as they retained their Upper Peninsula Division 1 title with 38 points.
The Redmen, who placed four in the top seven, were followed by Sault Ste. Marie 47 and Houghton 69.
“Running as a pack paid off for us again,” said Marquette coach Kyle Detmers. “Our guys really came through. My biggest perspective was getting the meet in, and the fact we got it in is huge. My heart goes out to Negaunee and Kingsford. It’s unfortunate they couldn’t be here today (due to Covid-19).”
The Houghton girls were crowned D-1 champions for the first time, edging defending champion Marquette 56-58. Sault squeezed past Westwood 82-83 for third place.
“All of the girls really stepped up today,” said Houghton assistant coach Erik Johnson. “Marquette and Sault are tough and Westwood has a strong team. We worked our tails off. We were off for two weeks due to Covid-19, but the girls ran on the own and it paid off. This was a tough year with the virus and everything else. I’m pretty sure this is the first title for the girls while Traci (Welch) has been coaching, which is more than 20 years. Our No. 1 goal was to get here and finish the season.”
Sault senior Jaron Wyma, who’s verbally committed to Saginaw Valley State, won the boys’ 3.1-mile race in 17 minutes, 19 seconds. Houghton junior Eric Weiss was runner-up at 17:32.5.
“Going into this race, I really didn’t know where I’d finish,” said Wyma. “This is a big surprise. I thought it would come down to the last few steps. The last 800 meters were tough. My legs were burning, although I felt good the whole race. I engaged my arms and used the hills to my advantage. I knew I could win it if I toughed it out mentally. I guess you could say I was on a mission. It feels great to win this meet.”
Marquette sophomore Carson Vanderschaaf placed third at 17:40.8, followed by Escanaba senior Derek Douglas (17:46.9) and twin brother Colin Vanderschaaf (17:50).
“I kind of wanted to stay with the lead pack,” said Carson. “He (Wyma) pulled ahead at 1 1/2 miles and Eric from Houghton made his move at about two miles. I’m satisfied with how I ran and how the team did. Having a bunch of guys to run with in practice helps our training, and today it paid off.”
Houghton junior Paige Sleeman gained her first title at 20:55.2, followed by Westwood sophomore Heidi Meglathery (21:00.8) and classmate Ingrid Seagren (21:19.4).
“I just tried to stay with the top runners,” said Sleeman. “I like running in colder weather. I wanted to win and wanted our team to win. We were willing to do whatever it took. Marquette has tough runners. Ingrid had a real good race. I felt she held it together well. All the teams and girls ran well.”
Meglathery was fresh from earning her first Mid-Peninsula Conference title.
“I really, really wanted to win,” she said. “I just thought about the positives and helping the team. I think winning the M-PC gave me some momentum. It was tight the whole race. Ingrid was right behind me for a while, then she started trailing a little. There were a lot of hills on the course and it was super windy by the lake (Superior). I like running in the cold more than in the heat. I’m just very proud of how we ran and being part of this team. We worked very hard all season.”
Marquette senior Olivia Moffitt placed fourth (21:50.2) and Westwood senior Elizabeth Williams took fifth (21:53).
“Hats off to Houghton,” said Marquette coach Kyle Detmers. “They missed two weeks and their girls still came through. Their 1-2 punch is hard to beat. Olivia was battling a cold, but she came through for us. This is the only meet we lost all year, yet there’s nothing inside me that’s disappointed.”
Marquette 38, Sault Ste. Marie 47, Houghton 69, Gladstone 97, Menominee 142, Escanaba 162, Westwood 163, Calumet NTS.
Top 15 – 1, Jaron Wyma, Sault Ste. Marie, 17:19; 2, Eric Weiss, Houghton, 17:32.5; 3, Carson Vanderschaaf, Marquette, 17:40.8; 4, Derek Douglas, Escanaba, 17:46.9; 5, Colin Vanderschaaf, Marquette, 17:50; 6, Luke Janofski, Marquette, 17:50; 7, Lincoln Sager, Marquette, 18:05.8; 8, Cody Aldridge, Sault Ste. Marie, 18:06.8; 9, Riley Eavou, Sault Ste. Marie, 18:14.1; 10, Giovanni Mathews, Gladstone, 18:16.1; 11, Branden Peterson, Houghton, 18:18; 12, Drew Hughes, Gladstone, 18:20.4; 13, Hunter Walther, Sault Ste. Marie, 18;26.6; 14, Jake Sullivan, Houghton, 18:32; 15, Davin Evans, Houghton, 18:32.
Houghton 56, Marquette 58, Sault Ste. Marie 82, Westwood 83, Gladstone 144, Menominee 146, Calumet 148, Escanaba NTS.
Top 15 – 1, Paige Sleeman, Houghton, 20:55.2; 2, Heidi Meglathery, Westwood, 21:00.8; 3, Ingrid Seagren, Houghton, 21:19.4; 4, Olivia Moffitt, Marquette, 21:50.2; 5, Elizabeth Williams, Westwood, 21:53; 6, Hayden Buck, Menominee, 22:00.7; 7, Attica Brandt, Menominee, 22:13.9; 8, Guinn Wuorinen, Marquette, 22:18.2; 9, Autumn Eles, Houghton, 22:23.5; 10, Ciara Ostrenga, Escanaba, 22:29.1; 11, Kiira Berg, Calumet, 22:30; 12, Lillian Weycher, Marquette, 22:30.9; 13, Haleigh Knowles, Sault Ste. Marie, 22:32.6; 14, Anna Hildabrand, Sault Ste. Marie, 22:39.7; 15, Hailee O’Connor, Sault Ste. Marie, 22:42.3.