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Cougars look to temper youth

EBEN — The Superior Central Cougars are in the midst of a two-week break as they prepare for the remainder of their cross country season.

Superior Central, with five girls and three boys on its roster, has three meets under its belt and resumes Sept. 26 at the Rapid River Invitational.

“We have a very young team,” said first-year coach Emily Massie. “We have no seniors on either side. This is a learning experience for most kids and many of them are playing two sports.”

The girls are led by sophomore Madisen Begovac, fresh from placing 15th in Saturday’s Newberry Invitational.

She opened with a 17th-place finish in the Division 2-3 race Sept. 4 in Marquette, covering the 3.1-mile course in 24 minutes, 41.2 seconds. She also took 17th at Manistique (24:50.49) Sept. 9 and was clocked in 24:30 at Newberry.

“I was real impressed with how Maddie ran in her first meet,” said Massie. “We’re hoping she’ll stay healthy and keep shaving off time.

“Our opener went pretty well. I’m a runner myself, and I always try to make it fun. I want the kids to enjoy it mostly and beat last year’s time.”

Joining her are junior returner Maggie Rondeau and newcomer Katarina Augustyn and freshmen Bree Swajanen and Alice Hancock.

The boys’ team is comprised of sophomore returner Paavo Mannisto and newcomer Emmett Vining and freshman Eli Penney.

Massie, a 2002 Superior Central graduate, also serves as school board president.

“I try to stay in touch with what the kids do,” she said. “I don’t want them to miss too much school. We try to schedule our meets on Saturdays or as close as possible.”

The remaining schedule:

Sept. 26 — at Rapid River; Sept. 29 — at Munising.

Oct. 8 — at Gladstone (Flat Rock); Oct. 12 — at Norway; Oct. 14 — Skyline Central Conference at Banat; Oct. 24 — U.P. D-3 Finals at Munising.

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