Englund, Rapid River boys win North Central invite
POWERS — The outcome of an area cross country meet boiled down to the fifth runner here Wednesday as the Rapid River boys squeezed past Norway 36-37 for the North Central Invitational title.
Senior Azariah Hernandez, the Rockets’ No. 5 runner, secured the decision by placing 12th in their season-opener. Norway’s fifth runner was 16th.
“It was tight,” said second-year Rockets’ coach Zach Truitt. “We hadn’t put a lot of miles in, but were able to squeak it out. I guess that’s today’s life lesson. Although, I was impressed with Norway’s team. You could tell some of their guys trained during the summer.”
Rapid River placed four among the top nine while Norway took four of the 10 spots.
“This is the first year we could run as a team,” said third-year Norway coach Raeanne Seat. “We have some new varsity runners and some middle school runners. The future looks bright. They trained real hard through the summer.”
The Kingsford girls won with 30 points, followed by Mid Peninsula 43 and West Iron County 88.
Norway sophomore Adam Cavagnetto topped the boys’ standings, covering a new 3.1-mile course at North Central High School in 17 minutes, 54 seconds. He was followed by Kingsford’s Luke Rubel (19:25) and Rapid River junior Matt Snay (20:09).
“I’m really pleased with how it went,” said Cavagnetto, who was runner-up at Munising Aug. 20. “I love this course. They marked it real well. We haven’t had a meet in two weeks, but we’ve been training for the last two weeks, which is all you can do. I would like to have another grinder run. Taking second at Munising really helped me today.”
Snay was followed by classmate Ishmael Hernandez (20:35) and Norway’s Owen Taschoun (20:49).
“This was a learning experience,” Snay said after his cross country debut. “Toward the end I got a little tired. I need to find a way to push through that. The heat from the sun made it difficult. It was a little more hilly in the shade, but it was also cooler and I was able to pick it up. I just tried to keep a pace the best I could. I need to control my pace a little more.”
Mid Pen junior Daisy Englund copped the girls’ race at 20:56, followed by sophomore classmate Landry Koski (21:42).
“It was real hot out in the open, but felt good in the woods,” said Englund. “The zigzag was very challenging. It looked like you didn’t have far to go, yet it was so far. The last half-mile was mentally challenging. You’ve got to have a good mindset.”
Kingsford, led by junior Melanie Wenzel, grabbed the next four places.
“I was getting scared,” said Koski. “I thought she was going to come and get me. Once we got to the grandstand, I knew I had to really pick it up. It was nice in the shade, but very hot in the sun. I expected it to be a lot cooler. Although, it all worked out.”
Wenzel was clocked in 21:49, followed by Sarah Kulas (21:52), Taylor Demay (22:32) and Lily Menghini (23:22).
“I knew it’d be tight when they (Mid Pen) went 1-2,” said Kingsford coach Dan Carey. “We were trying to run as a pack. We’re kind of happy where we’re at. It was a nice day for a run.”
Mid Pen senior Kennedy Englund took seventh (23:47) and junior Taylor VanOss was Rapid River’s leader in eighth (23:59).
“It was a good meet,” said Mid Pen coach Mark Branstrom. “Everything went well. Kennedy ran extremely well. No doubt, that’s the best I’ve seen her run, which is what we need her to do. Daisy is running real strong and Landry is coming on. I’m very proud of the whole team. Kingsford taking 3-4-5-6 was unbelievable. They looked really good.
“We had two boys in the top 20 (Nick Temple and Connor Constantino). That was impressive, I thought.”
Truitt said he was impressed with the effort by VanOss.
“Taylor was 13th at the hill,” he added. “She put five numbers down from the hill. She understands the game. She put in the miles and deserves her position. I was also impressed with Cecilia Pilon today. I thought she also ran well.”
Rapid River 36, Norway 37, Kingsford 75, North Central 89, Mid Peninsula 122, West Iron County 149.
Top 10 — 1, Adam Cavagnetto, Norway, 17:54; 2, Luke Rubel, Kingsford, 19:25; 3, Matt Snay, Rapid River, 20:09; 4, Ishmael Hernandez, Rapid River, 20:35; 5, Owen Taschoun, Norway, 20:49; 6, Jeffrey VanHolla, Norway, 20:50; 7, Max Lenaker, Rapid River, 20:53; 8, Luke Gorzinski, North Central, 21:12; 9, Alex Lisenbigler, Norway, 21:14; 10, Ben Lenaker, Rapid River, 21:19.
Kingsford 30, Mid Peninsula 43, West Iron County 88, Rapid River 104, Munising 122, Norway 125, North Central 151.
Top 10 — 1, Daisy Englund, Mid Peninsula, 20:56; 2, Landry Koski, Mid Peninsula, 21:42; 3, Melanie Wenzel, Kingsford, 21:49; Sarah Kulas, Kingsford, 21:53; 5, Taylor Demay, Kingsford, 22″36; 6, Lily Menghini, Kingsford, 23:22; 7, Kennedy Englund, Mid Peninsula, 23:47; 8, Taylor VanOss, Rapid River, 23:59; 9, Hattie Cota, Munising, 24:02; 10, Taylor Adams, Norway, 24:07.