GLADSTONE - Escanaba High School sophomore Joey Wolfe put a solid plan in motion Friday as he won the Firecracker five-mile run in 28 minutes, 25 seconds.
Esky senior Eric Cousineau, who led by 15 yards at the midway point, settled for runner-up honors (29:56), with Mitch DeLong of Calumet third (30:08).
"I felt pretty strong," said Wolfe. "I just tried to pace off Eric until the last mile, then I made my move. I tend to do better with the longer distances and was really looking forward to this race. The weather conditions weren't too bad. It was a little hot on the boardwalk, otherwise it was perfect."
Wolfe's strategy was similar to that of women's champion Becky Herbert of Tinley Park, Ill., who was clocked in a personal-best 30:11.
"I definitely wanted to be patient, then I pushed as much as I could in the last mile," said Herbert, whose previous PR was 30:30. "When I looked at my three-mile time (17:40), I knew I was implementing what I was trying to do. The weather today was perfect. This is so much better running here than in Chicago. It was so crisp and cool, which is perfect for a runner."
Former Escanaba resident Krista O'Dell placed second (33:38), with Gladstone sophomore Leigha Woelffer third (34:06).
Overall winner - Joey Wolfe, Escanaba, 28:25.
14 & under - Garrett McMillan, Escanaba, 36:11; 15-19 - Eric Cousineau, Escanaba, 29:56; 20-29 - Alex Speaker, Negaunee, 32:28; 30-39 - Andrew Grosvenor, 31:37; 40-49 - Rusty Aird, Gladstone, 33:49; 50-59 - John Stacey, Escanaba, 33:34; 60-69 - Larry Morse, Marquette, 39:33.
14 & under - Brooke Baker, Escanaba, 34:54; 15-19 - Leigha Woelffer, Gladstone, 34:06; 20-29 - Brittany Richard, Garden, 36:09; 30-39 - Krista O'Dell, 33:38; 40-49 - Jill Richard, Garden, 37:36; 50-59 - Laurie Alworden, Gladstone, 36:39; 60 & over - Cindy Davis, Gladstone, 43:30.
The race, sponsored by the Gladstone Kiwanis, drew 215 runners and was held under sunny conditions with temperatures in the low 60s.