MUNISING - It's sometimes difficult to do what's expected of you.
The Escanaba boys can verify that after settling for the runner-up trophy in Saturday's Upper Peninsula Division 1 Cross Country Finals.
Sault Ste. Marie won for the first time in 11 years with 65 points. The Eskymos, who came in as favorites, scored 72 and third-place Kingsford finished with 101.
The Escanaba boys were runners up in the Division I U.P. Finals Saturday at Munising. Andrew Stenberg was the Eskymos’ leader, placing sixth at 17:26.
Paul Gerard photos
Carney-Nadeau’s Dionte Blahnik placed sixth in Division III with a time of 18:22.
Paul Gerard photos
Manistique's Tyler Pomeroy finished third in Division III with a time of 18:13.
"It was hard to temper expectations going into the meet on the boys' side," said Esky coach Jake Berlinski. "I'd be lying if I were to say we weren't hoping to come home with a first-place trophy. Although, there's nothing wrong with being runner-up."
Sault freshman Parker Scott finished the season undefeated, covering the 3.1-mile course at Pictured Rocks Golf & Country Club in 16 minutes, 50 seconds.
"Parker is an outstanding young man," said Berlinski. "He's very respectful and down to earth. He handled himself with a lot of class. Winning is one thing. But winning the right way is absolutely outstanding.
Sault Ste. Marie 65, Escanaba 72, Kingsford 101, Menominee 102, Houghton 105, Marquette 131, Negaunee 158, Calumet 189, Gwinn 190, Gladstone 276.
Top 15 - 1, Parker Scott, Sault Ste. Marie, 16:50; 2, Dan Kulas, Kingsford, 16:58; 3, Jacob Colling, Houghton, 16:59; 4, Lance Rambo, Marquette, 17:18; 5, Davey Luplow, Menominee, 17:19; 6, Andrew Stenberg, Escanaba, 17:26; 7, Devin Berg, Calumet, 17:31; 8, Nate Carey, Kingsford, 17:38; 9, Keenan Gantz, Negaunee, 17:41; 10, Sam Burtt, Sault Ste. Marie, 17:43; 11, Henry Lopez, Sault Ste. Marie, 17:47; 12, Matt Moilanen, Gwinn, 17:48; 13, Gunther DeDamos, Menominee, 17:49; 14, Jordan Ogren, Escanaba, 17:50; 15, Brad Derouin, Escanaba, 17:53.
Stephenson 52, Norway 67, Hancock 76, Ironwood and Manistique 84, Newberry 174, Ishpeming 180, Westwood 190. West Iron County and L'Anse NTS.
Top 15 - 1, Connor Cappaert, Stephenson, 17:25; 2, Jared Joki, Ironwood, 17:43; 3, Tyler Pomeroy, Manistique, 18:13; 4, Bryson Lawrence, Manistique, 18:37; 5, Ken Truitt, Stephenson, 18:42; 6, Steve Raboin, Norway, 18:46; 7, Jacob Wetsel, Norway, 18:54; 8, Mike Zygiel, Norway, 18:58; 9, Jacob Jarvis, Hancock, 19:01; 10, Colin Clausen, Ironwood, 19:06; 11, Hayden Heikkinen, Hancock, 19:09; 12, Ryan Ramey, Manistique, 19:11; 13, Justin Anderson, Norway, 19:14; 14, Gabe Granskog, Stephenson, 19:22; 15, Ryan Raboin, Stephenson, 19:36.
Munising 55, Cedarville 72, St. Ignace 90, Pickford 103, Dollar Bay 106, Painesdale Jeffers 151, Carney-Nadeau 164, North Central 173, Rudyard 229, Big Bay de Noc 244. Bessemer and Superior Central NTS.
Top 15 - 1, Brett Hannah, Munising, 17:55; 2, Josh Hester, Cedarville, 18:00.3; 3, Izaak Mahoski, Munising, 18:00.8; 4, Zack Mazurek, Bessemer, 18:09; 5, Brett Houle, Dollar Bay, 18:22.5; 6, Dionte Blahnik, Carney-Nadeau, 18:22.8; 7, Jacob Anderzjak, Pickford, 18:33; 8, Teddy Bowlby, Cedarville, 18:40; 9, Alec Firack, Pickford, 18:41; 10, Sam MacArthur, Munising, 18:44.2; 11, Andrew Sjogren, St. Ignace, 18:44.8; 12, Anthony Harris, Painesdale Jeffers, 18:48.1; 13, Ben Damron, St. Ignace, 18:48.8; 14, Adam Graber, Rudyard, 19:13; 15, Tucker Haske, Cedarville, 19:19.
"As a team, Sault ran outstanding. Having Parker get a one on their card was a big advantage for them. Their seniors also stepped up. There's a reason why they hand out the medals after and not before the race. They just came out and beat us."
Kingsford senior Dan Kulas was runner-up (16:58), edging Houghton sophomore Jacob Colling by a step.
Esky senior Andrew Stenberg, who's considering attending classes at Michigan Tech or the University of Michigan next year, placed sixth at 17:26.
"I just felt out of it today," said Stenberg. "It felt like my legs just wouldn't respond in the last 100 meters, and I got kind of dizzy in the end. I couldn't see anything right after finishing. I think I may gone out a little too hard. As a team, we were looking to win. But we're still proud of what we did this year. I know I'm going to miss it."
Esky junior Jordan Ogren took 14th (17:50), followed by senior Brad Derouin (17:53) and sophomore Eric Cousineau (18:00), who lost his shoe in the first half-mile.
"Eric has been real consistent," said Berlinski. "Running 2 1/2 miles without his shoe is pretty unbelievable. Andy didn't run bad. Taking sixth is still fantastic. You can't judge his career on one race. I'm so proud of the way he handled everything. He's the real deal."
Gladstone's leader was junior Kyle Kleiman, who was 46th (19:20).
In D-2, Stephenson won for the third straight year with 52 points, followed by Norway 67 and Hancock 76.
Ironwood and Manistique had 84 points each, with the Red Devils taking fourth on a tie-breaker.
Stephenson sophomore Connor Cappaert won in 17:25, followed by Ironwood sophomore Jared Joki (17:43) and Manistique senior Tyler Pomeroy (18:13).
Pomeroy was running second midway through the race, but was unable to hold off Joki.
"I just don't feel I did that well," said Pomeroy, who's considering enlistment into the United States Air Force in 2013. "I'm not a big fan of this course. I hurt my knee and hip the last time we ran here and didn't feel comfortable coming in here today. I thought our team did well, though."
Pomeroy was followed by classmate Bryson Lawrence in 18:37, and junior Ryan Ramey took 12th (19:11).
"This was my best race this year, although I've run faster times," said Lawrence. "I tried to stay with the Norway kids because I knew they'd be right next to me. I felt I had a pretty good pace going and felt I could keep it the whole race. Tyler and I wanted to place in the top five. We knew this was our last race together and wanted to finish with a bang."
In D-3, Munising retained its crown with 55 points, followed by Cedarville 72 and St. Ignace 90.
Munising freshman Brett Hannah won in 17:55, followed by Cedarville's Josh Hester (18:00.3) and Munising's Izaak Mahoski (18:00.8).
Sophomore Zack Mazurek became the first Bessemer athlete to medal in the U.P. Cross Country Finals, placing fourth (18:09).
Carney-Nadeau junior Dionte Blahnik, fueled by a strong finish, took sixth (18:22).
"The course was real muddy and I had a hard time on the turns," said Blahnik. "After two miles, I knew I wasn't going to break 18 minutes. I felt I wasn't pushing it hard enough. I think I could have run a lot faster."