By John Vrancic
For the Newberry News
The Engadine cross country teams gave coach Tracy Germain a birthday present here Oct. 3, sweeping both ends of the second leg in the Eastern U.P. Conference Jamboree.
The Engadine boys edged Mackinaw City 44-49. Third-place Rudyard scored 85 points, followed by Pickford 112, Newberry 118, Brimley 127, St. Ignace 168, Cedarville-DeTour 177, Bay Mills Ojibwe Charter 206 and Paradise 217.
Engadine’s girls tallied 59 points. They were followed by Rudyard 76, Newberry 80, Brimley and St. Ignace 95, Mackinaw City 99, Cedarville-DeTour 118, Pickford 134 and Ojibwe Charter 137.
“We’re on a roll right now, although it was a little close for the boys,” Germain said. “I think the girls had a real good race. Many of them surprised themselves. We’re really looking forward to the final EUP race [Monday at Pickford].”
Newberry freshman Samantha Taylor won the 3.1-mile girls’ race on the Hiawatha Sportsman’s Club golf course in 19 minutes, 37 seconds on this sunny and mild day.
Junior teammate Kaylen Clark was runner-up in a personal-best 20:21 and Mackinaw City’s Larissa Huffman (22:21).
“I feel real good about the way I ran,” said Clark, who had been nursing an ankle injury. “It feels much better. I’ve been doing strength training and therapy on it. I’ve improved my time by more than four minutes this season. This has been perfect timing.”
Engadine senior Leah French placed fifth in a personal-best 22:59, followed by Ally Loebach in 10th (24:28), junior Clara Gould 11th (24:51), Hali Butkovich 16th (27:29), Lacy Ross 17th (28:03) and Lilia Bigelow 24th (30:17).
Newberry’s Phinnaea Bloom was 22nd (29:25).
“Sam ran a great race and Kaylen looked good today,” said Indians’ coach Lori Fair. “We needed her to be patient. We had to be smart with her training. I’m very pleased with our boys’ and girls’ teams.”
Pickford’s Hayden Hagen copped the boys’ race at 18:00, followed by Mackinaw City’s Lars Huffman (18:47) and Cooper Whipkey (18:51) and Engadine senior Conrad Spieles (19:00).
“I’m not totally happy with my place, but this was a perfect day for a race,” said Spieles, who’s tied for first in the league’s individual standings.
Engadine sophomore Duane Krenek placed sixth (19:38), followed by classmate Dakota Taylor (19:49) and Ethan Edwards (19:55).
“Ethan ran an amazing race,” said Germain. “I think this is the first time he broke 20 minutes. We have a good team as far as attitude goes. It’s all good.”
Engadine junior Elijah Parker took 19th (21:20), followed by senior Zach Vallier 21st (21:31), Nik Ehn 36th (25:02) and freshman Vern Loebach 40th (27:13).
Newberry’s Sam Rahilly placed 12th (20:31). He was followed by senior Derek Bowler 16th (21:06), Kellan Bruno 20th (21:23) and Brandon Brown 27th (22:47).
Paradise sophomore Javen Kohler was 39th.
Engadine resumed in the Gladstone Invitational at Flat Rock Oct. 4 where French reached the top 10 in 24:22.6 and this sunny and warm day in Delta County.
“I was excited about running a PR on our home course,” she said. “We had good running weather. I was hoping more Division 3 schools would be here. That would have given us a better idea where we’re at.”
Gould finished 20th this time at 26:27.4.
“I was surprised today,” she said. “It was a good finish and confidence builder. Taking 11th yesterday felt so good. Last year I was lucky if I got into the top 20. I think last year’s experience is helping me.”
Butkovich took 36th (32:26), one place ahead of Bigelow (35:42.9).
Krenek paced the Eagles in 29th (21:28.6), followed by Taylor 35th (22:34.9), Vallier 45th (24:21) and Parker 52nd (27:37.1).
The Sault Ste. Marie boys edged Gladstone 46-52 for the boys’ title. Third-place Ironwood scored 76 points, followed by Kingsford 94, Manistique 101 and Menominee 138. Engadine, Escanaba, Rudyard, and Escanaba Holy Name didn’t field complete teams.
Sault girls also won with 24, followed by Esky 44 and Gladstone 57. Engadine, Kingsford, Ironwood, Manistique, Rudyard and Menominee had no team scores.
Area teams ran in the final Straits Area Conference meet at Rudyard Monday. They resume in Saturday’s Rudyard Invitational.