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Gladstone boys take second at M-PC meet

Justin St. Ours | Daily Press Gladstone’s Drew Hughes (left) runs with Ispheming’s David Liimatta (right) during the Mid-Peninsula Conference cross country meet Monday at Flat Rock.

FLAT ROCK — The Ishpeming boys continued a season-long trend here Monday as they captured the Mid-Peninsula Conference cross country title with 23 points.

Ishpeming, as it has all year, ran as a pack and grabbed five of the top seven places. Runner-up Gladstone scored 46 points, followed by Negaunee 63 and Westwood 109.

“The guys did a good job today,” said Ishpeming coach P.J. Pruett. “Jonah (Broberg) was bound and determined. He lost to Joe Wood (of Houghton) by two seconds in Thursday’s WestPAC meet and wanted to bounce back. Five of our seven varsity boys had PRs (personal records) today, which is a good sign for the U.P. (Division 2) Finals. This gives us five conference titles in two years. This is a big win for us.”

The Westwood girls took seven of the top 15 spots, retaining their title with 30 points. They were followed by Negaunee 48 and Gladstone 54.

“Having all seven place in the top 15 was the goal and they did it,” said Westwood coach Eric Hill. “Elizabeth (Williams) has been our leader all season, and because of her leadership skills, she can pull girls along. Having competition on your team makes you better.”

Broberg copped the boys’ race, covering the 3.1-mile course at Beauchamp’s Grove in a personal-best 16 minutes, 51.3 seconds on this sunny and seasonably cool day.

“This is the first time I went under 17,” he said. “It’s truly a relief to finally get it. I’ve been chasing this for a long time. This is probably my favorite course. I’ve been talking to our coach, and I wanted to get out and lead the pack. The two Gladstone kids (sophomore Giovanni Mathews and freshman Drew Hughes) are running real good. As a team I think we did well.”

Hughes was runner-up in 17:13.3 with Mathews third (17:19.4).

“This was one of my best races this year and the best time I had on this course,” said Hughes. “I felt pretty good at the start. I had a 5:16 mile split and Gio ran a 5:11. We were trying to catch him (Broberg), then Gio wasn’t feeling good on the back stretch and told me to go after him. My confidence is going up because I’m running harder. I thought Gio also ran a good time. It got pretty muddy in the woods and it was pretty wet through much of the course.”

Mathews, as he did last week, was feeling a little under the weather.

“I’m still getting over being sick and today I had a migraine (headache),” he said. “I’m happy for Drew. Our team did pretty well. A lot of guys got their best times. I’m looking forward to our team dinner on Thursday. I’m just going to relax and rest up this week.”

Gladstone coach Gary Whitmer was pleased with the effort by both teams.

“Everybody pretty much ran PRs today,” he said. “Gio was still feeling under the weather, but Drew ran a nice race. All the kids ran better than at the previous home meet.”

Manistique’s leader was freshman Grant Mason in 20th (19:38).

Negaunee senior Emily Paupore captured the girls’ race at 18:44.5, followed by classmate Talon Prusi (20:28.4) and Williams (21:47.9).

“I hope to be a little faster on Saturday, but I’m happy with today’s race,” said Paupore. “This is good for confidence building. I wanted to go out fast. I like to establish a fast pace and go with it. I’m super excited for the U.P. (Division 1) Finals.”

Prusi was happy about achieving her personal-best time.

“This course is fast,” she said. “I knew I had a chance to get a PR. I tried to keep a 6:15-6:20 pace and got a PR by two seconds. I wanted to stay in second and accomplished that. My goal for Saturday is to cut the last 28 seconds off and get under 20.”

Williams believes she benefitted a lot from her off-season conditioning.

“I did a sprint triathlon and a 5-K this summer,” she said.

“Our coach had us meeting every Tuesday morning for track workouts and I came into the season in pretty good condition. I meant to pace myself a little better today, but I think I went out a little too fast. I need another workout before the Finals. My speed isn’t where I want it to be.”

Gladstone junior Samantha Strasler placed seventh in a personal-best 22:19.4 and sophomore Jamisyn Bergeron was 10th (23:00.2).

“We all went out the hardest we could,” said Strasler. “There were a lot of puddles on the course and they slowed everyone down a little. It feels good to finish seventh. One of my goals was to finish in the top 10 in the M-PC. I thought it’d be a lot colder today, but we pretty much had perfect temperatures.”

Manistique’s Lilly Stoll took 23rd (30:12.3). The Emeralds ran without freshman Clara Gilroy, who’s out for the rest of the season due to a torn meniscus.

Boys

Ishpeming 23, Gladstone 46, Negaunee 63, Westwood 109. Manistique and Gwinn NTS.

Top 10 — 1, Jonah Broberg, Ishpeming, 16:51.3; 2, Drew Hughes, Gladstone, 17:13.3; 3, Giovanni Mathews, Gladstone, 17:19.4; 4, Jordan Longtine, Ishpeming, 17:34.1; 5, David Liimatta, Ishpeming, 17:36.7; 6, Joseph King, Ishpeming, 17:45.8; 7, Silas Broberg, Ishpeming, 18:20; 8, Eric Anderson, Negaunee, 18:21.1; 9, Alec Prusi, Negaunee, 18:21.9; 10, Andrew Hansen, Gladstone, 18:23.9.

Girls

Westwood 30, Negaunee 48, Gladstone 54. Ishpeming, Gwinn and Manistique NTS.

Top 10 — 1, Emily Paupore, Negaunee, 18:44.5; 2, Talon Prusi, Negaunee, 20:28.4; 3, Elizabeth Williams, Westwood, 21:47.9; 4, Tessa Leece, Westwood, 21:58.4; 5, Taylor Longtine, Ishpeming, 22:03.7; 6, Hannah Mattila, Westwood, 22:10.6; 7, Samantha Strasler, Gladstone, 22:19.4; 8, Allyssea Smith, Westwood, 22:33.7; 9, Endia Harris, Negaunee, 22:50.5; 10, Jamisyn Bergeron, Gladstone, 23:00.2.

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