Koski runner-up, Hughes takes 3rd at U.P. XC finals

Jason Juno | Ironwood Daily Globe Mid Peninsula’s Landry Koski runs to a runner-up finish in Saturday’s Division 3 U.P. Finals girls race at Gentz’s Homestead Golf Course.

MARQUETTE — Mid Peninsula senior Landry Koski ended her high school cross country career on a positive note here Saturday, earning runner-up honors in the Upper Peninsula Division 3 Finals.

Newberry sophomore Kaylen Clark won the 3.1-mile race in 20 minutes, 50.4 seconds on this sunny and seasonably cool day at Gentz’s Homestead Golf Course in Chocolay Township.

Koski, who was clocked at 21:37.9, was followed by Munising junior Monique Brisson (21:51).

“This was one of my better times,” said Koski, who took the U.P. title on the same course as a sophomore two years ago. “I knew coming in the Newberry girl was fast. She took off real fast. I knew after the first mile I wasn’t going to be able to catch her. I didn’t know what to expect from her because I hadn’t run against her all season.”

Gladstone junior Drew Hughes came up a little short in his quest for a perfect season, placing third in the D-1 boys’ race.

Marquette junior Carson Vanderschaaf won at 16:45.1, followed by Houghton junior Eric Weiss (17:04) and Hughes (17:23.7).

Hughes was undefeated through 11 races this year prior to Saturday.

“I was really nervous coming in here, but I did better than last year,” said Hughes, who finished 12th a year ago. “Anxiety plays a big part. I cut 12 seconds off from my freshman year on this course. My biggest victory this year was at Holly. That taught me how to run under 17. Overall, I had a real good season and still had a good day.”

Kingsford senior Luke Ruble placed 12th (18:26).

Marquette, which placed four in the top seven, was crowned team champion for the third straight time with 32 points.

The Redmen were followed by Sault Ste. Marie 48 and Houghton 75.

Escanaba and Gladstone scored 147 points apiece, with the Eskymos taking fourth on a tie-breaker.

Junior Daniel Smith was Esky’s leader in 21st at 18:52.4.

The Houghton girls retained their title with 52 points, followed by Marquette 69, Negaunee 83, Sault Ste. Marie 99 and Gladstone 124.

Houghton senior Ingrid Seagren was crowned champion for the first time in 20:51.7, followed by Sault Ste. Marie junior Cassandra Gallagher (21:05.8), Houghton junior Claire Filpus (21:11.2), Menominee junior Attica Brandt (21:15.7) and Sault senior Anna Hildebrand (21:19.6).

Esky senior Ciara Ostrenga took 11th (21:44.9), and Gladstone senior Samantha Strasler was 13th in a season-best 21:59.4.

“I thought the girls ran well,” said Braves coach Gary Whitmer. “There was sure some stiff competition here today. Sam wanted to get under 22 all year. All the girls ran season-bests. I think Drew was a little nervous. He had a target on his back. They were coming after him.”

Hancock won for the third time in four years with 43 points, followed by Ishpeming 54 and Ironwood 72.

Ishpeming sophomore Lola Korpi earned her first U.P. championship in a season-best 20:04.9, followed by Ironwood freshman Aubrey Smith (21:41.1) and Gogebic (Bessemer) junior Natalie Stone (21:56.8).

Manistique’s leader was freshman Calista Watchhorn in 13th (23:54.6).

Munising placed four in the top eight and retained its D-3 title with 31 points, followed by Dollar Bay 71 and Superior Central 99.

Freshman Calla Porter was Superior Central’s leader in 18th (24:44.4), and sophomore Gracie Kleikamp paced North Central in 24th (25:07.6).

The Painesdale Jeffers boys grabbed four of the top five spots and captured their first D-2 crown with 22 points, followed by Ironwood 50 and Manistique 62.

This was also first title since 2009 for Jeffers when it was competing in D-3.

Jeffers senior Simone Barp won in 18:30.1, followed by freshman teammates Benton Rajala (18:37.1) and Brit Heinonen (18:40.5) and West Iron County senior Landon Sundelius (18:44).

Manistique freshman Ben Gilroy took 10th (19:25), and junior Grant Mason was 12th (19:37.8).

Dollar Bay was a repeat winner in D-3 with 57 points, followed by Stephenson 63 and Brimley 77.

Ewen-Trout Creek’s Jonah Nordine won for the second straight time at 17:15.7, followed by Dollar Bay senior Nik Thomas (17:16.6) and Munising freshman Trevor Nolan (17:47.1).

Stephenson junior Griffin Brown took eighth (19:00.9), and North Central junior Jesse Sampson was the area’s pacesetter in 32nd (20:51.9).


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