Englund earns second D-3 XC title
MUNISING — Mid Peninsula senior Daisy Englund endured a few scary moments here Saturday before earning her second Upper Peninsula Division 3 cross country title.
Englund withstood a late challenge by Munising sophomore Hattie Cota before taking the 3.1-mile race in 21 minutes, 16.4 seconds for her first championship in three years.
“That was so scary,” said Englund, who ran a 6:17 split for her first mile. “I could hear Hattie after the second mile, and I kind of lost my focus for a little while. I knew everybody was going to be targeting me today and told myself I had to hang on. I finished strong, but I don’t know where that came from. I didn’t feel strong the whole race. I was cruising for sure. This was my last high school cross country race. I just wanted to win so bad.”
Munising earned its first title in seven years with 54 points, followed by three-time defending champion Chassell 73 and Stephenson 106. Mid Pen took sixth at 142.
The Dollar Bay boys earned their first championship with 42 points, followed by defending champ Rudyard 83 and Newberry 85.
Cota, who led much of the third mile, was runner-up at 21:27. She was followed by Ewen-Trout Creek senior Elise Besonen (21:41), Mid Pen junior and defending champion Landry Koski (21:46,7) and Stephenson senior Kylee Kuntze (21:47.5) on this mostly sunny and chilly afternoon.
“I was behind a bunch of girls,” said Cota. “I didn’t think I’d be able to catch her. Daisy ran a great race herself. Once she started pulling away (after the last turn), I knew I couldn’t catch her. I just didn’t have enough left.”
Koski said she was pleased with her race.
“This was one of my better races,” she added. “I actually felt pretty strong until the last mile. This was also the last race of the year. I had to leave it all on the course. I’m just so happy for Daisy. I’m also happy with the weather. This was better than I was expecting. The course was a little wet, but I just went through the puddles. I was going to get wet anyway.”
Superior Central sophomore Madisen Begovac placed seventh (21:54.7), and Rapid River senior Taylor VanOss was 13th (22:35.6).
E-TC junior Jonah Nordine copped the boys’ race at 17:34.9, followed by Chassell senior Kolson Kytta (17:59.7) and Brimley senior Cameron Hoornstra (18:05.5).
“I just tried to stay in first and push it out the whole race,” said Nordine. “It felt good to win this one, that’s for sure. I just put in a lot of work this summer and used this for conditioning for basketball.”
Rapid River senior Ishmael Hernandez finished well ahead of other area runners in sixth (18:23.3).
“That felt good,” he said. “It went great. I’m very tired. I’ll sleep good tonight. Coach (Zach Truitt) suggested making this a two-mile race. He wanted me to pick it up after the first mile, and it was definitely a good strategy. This was my last high school race, and everything was perfect for it. This boosts my confidence, that’s for sure.”
Dollar Bay 42, Rudyard 83, Newberry 85, Stephenson 98, Brimley 134, Republic-Michigamme 147, Munising 154, Rapid River 184, Engadine 186. Watersmeet 277. Chassell, Cedarville, Pickford, North Central, Bay Mills Ojibwe Charter, Ontonagon, Ewen-Trout Creek, Mid Peninsula NTS.
Top 15 — 1, Jonah Nordine, Ewen-Trout Creek, 17:34.9; 2, Kolson Kytta, Chassell, 17:59.7; 3, Cameron Hoornstra, Brimley, 18:05.5; 4, Ephram Evans, Newberry, 18:15.6; 5, Davin Hill, Dollar Bay, 18:20.3; 6, Ishmael Hernandez, Rapid River, 18:23.3; 7, Gannon Smith, Rudyard, 18:26.7; 8, Cooper Stout, Dollar Bay, 18:32; 9, Conrad Spieles, Engadine, 18:32.3; 10, John Paul Norland, Dollar Bay, 18:34.9; 11, Griffin Brown, Stephenson, 18:39.7; 12, Hayden Mills, Rudyard, 18:40.6; 13, Buckley Corey, Stephenson, 18:42; 14, Amos Norland, Dollar Bay, 18:43.5; 15, Nik Thomas, Dollar Bay, 18:49.
Munising 54, Chassell 73, Stephenson 106, Newberry 120, Dollar Bay 139, Mid Peninsula 142, Engadine 169, Cedarville 174, Brimley 183, Superior Central 204, Rapid River 241. Ewen-Trout Creek, Ontonagon, Rudyard, Pickford, Rapid River NTS.
Top 15 — 1, Daisy Englund, Mid Peninsula, 21:16.4; 2, Hattie Cota, Munising, 21:27; 3, Elise Besonen, Ewen-Trout Creek, 21:41; 4, Landry Koski, Mid Peninsula, 21:46.7; 5, Kylee Kuntze, Stephenson, 21:47.5; 6, Kamryn Sohlden, Chassell, 21:48.8; 7, Madisen Begovac, Superior Central, 21:54.7; 8, Ayla Miller, Chassell, 21:56; 9, Gwen Kangas, Chassell, 21:56.6; 10, Monique Brisson, Superior Central, 22:03.8; 11, Kaylen Clark, Newberry, 22:16.5; 12, Sabryna Smith, Munising, 22:18; 13, Taylor VanOss, Rapid River, 22:35.6; 14, Abigail Smithson, Newberry, 22:38.9; 15, Julia Prunick, Munising, 22:53.3.