By John Vrancic
EBEN - Area cross country runners finished well behind the leaders in Saturday's Superior Central Invitational as none finished above the middle of 24-runner fields.
North Central sophomore Dillon Robinson led the area boys in 13th place, covering the 3.2-mile course in 21 minutes, 10 seconds.
Big Bay de Noc freshman Kelsi Stapleton paced area girls, also in 13th (26:44).
The meet marked the coaching debut of Superior Central's Nora Kiilunen.
Norway 40, Munising 42, Hancock 44, Superior Central 113, North Central 115, Big Bay de Noc 121.
Top 10 - 1, Brett Hannah, Munising 18:57; 2, Izaak Mahoski, Munising, 19:20; 3, Jacob Jarvis, Hancock, 20:01; 4, Justin Anderson, Norway, 20:07; 5, Hayden Heikkinen, Hancock, 20:14; 6, Mike Zygiel, Norway, 20:19; 7, Sam MacArthur, Munising, 20:35; 8, Randy Mueller, Norway, 20:45; 9, Gabe Rupright, Hancock, 20:49; 10, Jacob Wetsel, Norway, 20:54.
Munising 26, Hancock 36, Norway 87, North Central 103, Superior Central 111, Big Bay de Noc 119.
Top 10 - 1, Erin MacKenzie, Hancock, 23:10; 2, Anna Baij, Munising, 23:38; 3, Emily DesJardins, Munising, 23:43; 4, Diana Charbonneau, Munising, 23:44; 5, Alexis Kallenbach, Norway 23:57; 6, Ashley Aho, Hancock, 24:11; 7, Anna Meese, Norway, 24:17; 8, Allysa St. Amour, Munising, 24:21; 9, Julia Jacques, Munising, 24:30; 10, Leslie Hamar, Hancock, 25:27.
"The kids have been great about helping me in my first year," she said. "We're learning from each other. This was a good opener for us."
Norway's boys captured the title with 40 points, followed by Munising 42 and Hancock 44.
The Knights ran without senior leader Steve Raboin, who was taking his ACT test.
"The guys knew they had to step up as a group," said Norway coach Rose Zygiel. "Munising is always tough and Hancock has a nice team. We've been running against bigger schools, so we needed this. We also know our times still need to come down. The guys are real good friends, which is a positive."
Munising freshman Brett Hannah was the individual winner (18:57), followed by teammate Izaak Mahoski (19:20) and Hancock's Jacob Jarvis (20:01) on this seasonably cool day which included sunshine, clouds and a little bit of rain.
"I guess this is sort of a confidence boost," said Hannah. "I try to work the hills because those are my strength. I like these conditions. I thought this was a perfect day for running."
The Munising girls won with 26 points, followed by Hancock 36 and Norway 87.
"Our girls were solid again," said Munising coach Fran DesArmo. "They were disappointed in their times, but those tend to be slower here. This was a good experience for them."
Hancock junior Erin McKenzie won in 23:10, followed by Munising's Anna Baij (23:33) and Emily DesJardins (23:43).
"We've been training a lot on hills and I think that helped us today," said McKenzie. "There's a pretty big hill on this course and that's where I got a little separation. This was a real good day for a meet. When I was running, I was thinking 'this is just like running at home.'"
North Central's Bryce Holle won the jayvee race, which also included five Munising boys, at 23:11.