Englund breaks school record, MP wins third straight title
NORWAY — Going for a school record was hardly an after-thought for Daisy Englund heading into Wednesday’s Skyline Central Conference cross country meet.
That’s what happened here on this sunny, mild and windy day, however, as the Mid Peninsula junior harrier won the 3.1-mile race at Marion Park in a school-record 19 minutes, 40.9 seconds.
Daisy’s latest achievement shattered the previous record (19:59) set by her mother Daisy (Peterson) Englund as a freshman in 1993.
“I thought I was actually running bad,” said Daisy. “Then, I found out I was in the 19s and knew I had to try. I’ve never broken 20 minutes before. It felt awesome. I didn’t think that was going to happen. I didn’t know I had the school record.”
Faye said it was exciting to see her daughter set the record.
“Her goal was just to clear 20,” she added. “We were screaming for her, trying to help motivate her. We were telling her she had a chance to get under 20. This is an awesome feeling. It’s very exciting to see her accomplish her goal.”
Mid Pen captured its third straight league title with 21 points, followed by Stephenson 45 and Rapid River 55.
“It has been a long time coming for Daisy,” said Mid Pen coach Mark Branstrom.
“The irony was she beat her mother’s time. The Englund family is unbelievable. Getting beat in the U.P. (Division 3) Finals last year has motivated her. I think she’s stronger this year. I think she’s going to do well in the Finals.”
The Stephenson boys won with 33 points, followed by defending champ Rapid River 44, Norway 56 and North Central 109.
“We really ran well today,” said Stephenson coach Mike Herres. “All of our kids had PRs (personal records). We have a real young team, but everybody has worked hard and is starting to peak at the right moment. We were runner-up to Rapid River last year. One of our goals was to win the conference this year. We want to be in contention at the U.P. Finals.”
Daisy Englund’s record-setting performance took place just four days after Negaunee senior Emily Paupore set a school record (18:31.1) in the downstate Portage Invitational.
“It was very challenging coming up that long grade (along U.S. 8) and into the wind,” said Daisy. “You also had to watch for cars at the intersections. That’s the hardest finish I had in my life. It felt like you weren’t even moving. Although, I think this definitely helps us for the Finals.”
Mid Pen sophomore Landry Koski was girls’ runner-up at a season-best 20:31.3 and Stephenson junior Kylee Kuntze was third (21:31.4).
“The downhill helped us make a gap with the other girls,” said Koski. “The uphill was tough. It was in the back of my mind we were going to have to go back up.”
Kuntze ran a personal-best as did Mid Pen senior Kennedy Englund, who placed sixth (23:15.7).
“I’m pleased with that,” said Kuntze. “I used the downhill to get ahead. The uphill wasn’t too bad, but the wind made it challenging. The temperature was nice and I felt pretty good today. I think this will give me a little momentum for the Finals.”
Norway sophomore Adam Cavagnetto copped the boys’ title at 17:14.6, followed by Stephenson sophomore Buckley Corey (18:26.7), freshman Ethyn Lusardi (19:31) and Rapid River junior Matt Snay (19:37.7).
“This wasn’t my best time, but I think it will make me hungry for the U.P. Finals (Oct. 19 at Marquette),” said Cavagnetto. “I can’t be too mad at myself. I think I may have overtrained for this one. Three of our top five guys got PRs, which is good for our team. I’m really proud of the guys. They really stepped up. The wind took the moisture out of your mouth, but I think it also benefitted me to be able to run on our home course.”
Corey took a conservative approach to Wednesday’s race.
“I like to start slow and pick it up later in the race,” he said. “Knowing we were going to have to run the long grades into the wind also factored into my decision to start slow. It felt like you were going backward on the uphill. It seemed like everything was going against you. Although, I’m real pleased with my time.”
Lusardi followed a different game plan.
“I just kind of took off quick and was able to settle into a pace,” he said.
“I thought we had perfect weather conditions. The wind helped us on the downhill, but the uphill was challenging. I think this helped us for the Finals.”
Stephenson 33, Rapid River 44, Norway 56, North Central 106. Superior Central, Mid Peninsula, Carney-Nadeau and Munising NTS.
Top 10 — 1, Adam Cavagnetto, Norway, 17:14.6; 2, Buckley Corey, Stephenson, 18:26.7; 3, Ethyn Lusardi, Stephenson, 19:31; 4, Matt Snay, Rapid River, 19:37.7; 5, Jeff VanHolla, Norway, 19:47.8; 6, Griffin Brown, Stephenson, 19:56.2; 7, Max Lenaker, Rapid River, 20:00.7; 8, Jaiden McCarty, Rapid River, 20:02.1; 9, Alex Linsenbigler, Norway, 20:04.3; 10, Tyler Engel, Stephenson, 20:09.
Mid Peninsula 21, Stephenson 45, Rapid River 55. Munising, Norway, Superior Central, Carney-Nadeau and North Central NTS.
Top 10 — 1, Daisy Englund, Mid Peninsula, 19:40.9 (school record); 2, Landry Koski, Mid Peninsula, 20:31.3; 3, Kylee Kuntze, Stephenson, 21:31.4; 4, Hattie Cota, Munising, 22:41.5; 5, Taylor Adams, Norway, 22:58.9; 6, Kennedy Englund, Mid Peninsula, 23:15.7; 7, Cheveney Koski, Mid Peninsula, 23:20; 8, Betty Jo Swajanen, Superior Central, 23:47.7; 9, Taylor VanOss, Rapid River, 23:53.5; 10, Kristen Charlier, Carney-Nadeau, 24:01.8.