By John Vrancic
For the Newberry News
FLAT ROCK — The Newberry girls were in contention, but couldn’t quite land the biggest prize in the Upper Peninsula Division 3 Cross Country Finals here Saturday.
Chassell earned its first title in four years with 52 points. The Panthers were followed by Newberry 54, Stephenson 58, Engadine and Pickford 91 and Rapid River 125. Brimley, Dollar Bay, Norway, Republic-Michigamme, Ewen-Trout Creek, Crystal Falls Forest Park, St. Ignace, Watersmeet, Superior Central and Rock-Mid Peninsula didn’t field complete teams.
Pickford sophomore Talya Schreiber won the 3.1-mile race in a U.P.-record 18 minutes, 49.9 seconds, followed by Newberry sophomore Samantha Taylor (19:26.6), freshman Abby Taylor (19:48.6) and senior Kaylen Clark in a season-best 20:19.1 on a partly cloudy, seasonably cool and windy afternoon at the Farmhouse Bed & Breakfast.
“It seems surreal,” Clark said. “We hadn’t been in the running for the team title for a long time. We couldn’t count anybody out. We’re so proud of being runner-up. Placing 2-3-4 here is crazy. I’ve had to deal with injuries all year. I’m sad it’s over, but happy it ended in a positive way.”
Engadine’s leader was senior Ally Loebach in 11th at 22:43.4.
“This is my second-best time,” she said. “I was shooting for something between 22 and 23 minutes. I definitely had to keep pushing myself. This is nice because there’s so many girls here. When you’re alone, it’s easy to drift off and lose focus. This helps you keep going. I just put it all out there. I usually do well in cold weather for some reason.”
Other finishers for Newberry include juniors Addison Schroeder in 29th (24:37.9) and Makennah Russell 39th (26:25.2).
“I’m proud of the girls,” Indians’ coach Tony Kitzman said. “They did a real good job. We had some injuries. Although something always happens. They did their best. I’m very happy with how they performed.”
Engadine senior Clara Gould took 19th (23:44.2), followed by junior Claire Oven 20th (23:49.7), freshman Kate Kovar 40th (26:31.7), junior Hali Butkovich 52nd (31:22.5) and senior Lilia Bigelow 56th (34:15.4).
The Dollar Bay boys captured their third consecutive title with 54 points. They were followed by Superior Central 78, Stephenson 106, Chassell 113, Brimley 130, Rapid River 141 and St. Ignace 156. Pickford, Republic, Mid Pen, Carney-Nadeau, Escanaba Holy Name, Newberry, Norway, Cedarville-DeTour, E-TC, Forest Park, Kinross Maplewood Baptist and Watersmeet had no team scores.
Chassell junior Kalvin Kytta earned top honors at 16:49.9, followed by Pickford seniors Hayden Hagen (17:18.8) and Quinn Socia (18:29.1).
Newberry’s finishers were junior Sam Rahilly 20th (19:44) and sophomore Kellan Bruno 42nd (21:29.5).
Engadine sophomore Duane Krenek placed fifth (18:36,9), followed by junior Dakota Taylor 11th (19:06.8), eighth-grader Nate Stielstra 32nd (20:41.9), freshman Eddie Franckowiak (23:40.3), eighth-grader Birch Bitely 61st (23:52.2) and sophomore Vern Loebach 71st (30:49.4).
“The girls have had a full team all year, but it is the first time our boys had a team score this year,” Eagles’ coach Tracy Germain said. “A couple eighth graders came up and helped us out. I’d say we had a good year. Our numbers are small, although we’re expecting bigger numbers next year, hopefully. Claire is just coming back from an injury. She’s disappointed of course, but she did what she could.”
The Marquette boys were crowned D-1 champions for the fifth straight time with a state-record 22 points. They were followed by Sault Ste. Marie 64, Houghton 74, Gladstone 122, Negaunee 168, Powers North Central 172, Ishpeming Westwood 179, Kingsford 190, Menominee 196 and Escanaba no team score.
Sault sophomore Gabe Litzner was clocked at 15:56.6, the second fastest time in U.P. Finals history. He was followed by Marquette junior Seppi Camilli (16:29.1) and classmate Evan Balko (16:33.5).
The Marquette girls retained their title by tying the state scoring record with 23 points, followed by Houghton 53, Sault 92, Negaunee 102, Westwood 135, Gladstone 167 and Esky 168. Kingsford, North Central and Menominee didn’t field complete teams.
Marquette sophomore Ella Fure won at 19:24.6, followed by junior teammate Monet Argeropoulos (19:30.2) and Houghton junior Roman Peterlin (19:55.3).
The Hancock girls took the D-2 crown for the third straight time with 38 points, followed by Munising 71, Ironwood 93, Rudyard 101, Gogebic 108, Manistique 123 and West Iron County 148. Baraga and Ishpeming didn’t have full teams.
Ishpeming senior Lola Korpi gained her third consecutive championship in personal-best 19:04.8, followed by Hancock juniors Ella Keranen with a personal-best 20:56.9 and Rayna Towles (21:06.3).
Painesdale Jeffers also won for the third in a row with 48 points, followed by Rudyard 66, Munising 105, Ironwood 111, Ishpeming 117, Gwinn 136, Hancock 139 and Manistique 178, Gogebic and West Iron had no team scores.
Jeffers Landon Larson won at 17:10.3, followed by Ishpeming freshman Kemper Gearhart (17:20.8) and Jeffers sophomore Cameron Anderson (17:28.1).