MARQUETTE – The Dollar Bay cross country runners were almost the last to leave the Upper Peninsula Finals on Saturday.
Not only did they celebrate the boys ‘second consecutive championship in Division 3, they also celebrated Cooper Stout’s 17th birthday and the girls’ second place.
The Dollar Bay boys defeated Stephenson 57-63 for the title and third-placed Brimley had 77 points.
“We have fun running on the hard tracks” said Dollar Bay trainer Matt Zimmer. “Then you go to a golf course and think it’s going to be an easy course and it really isn’t. The Copper Country conferences were well represented and our two teams went very well. We have three girls who have been with us since junior high. We have become a family. There is a lot of camaraderie and there is a family atmosphere. “
Ewen-Trout Creek senior, Jonah Nordine, retained his title and covered the 3.1 mile course in 17 minutes 15.7 seconds at Gentz’s Homestead Golf Course in Chocolay Township on that sunny and seasonally cool day.
“I’m pretty happy with my time” said Nordine. “I really tried to push it on the first mile. I ran a little more cautiously on the second mile, then tried to pick it up again on the third. That’s a pretty big trust factor I think. I was a little nervous when I got in here because Nik beat me in the (Copper Mountain) Conference Race last week. That definitely motivated me for the UP Finals. “
His former teammate and Dollar Bay senior Nik Thomas finished second (17: 16.6), followed by Munising newcomer Trevor Nolan (17: 47.1) and Dollar Bay junior Amos Norland (17:56).
“I am so proud of our team” said Thomas. “After the girls finished second, it woke us up. We knew we had to do our part. It’s really competitive in our area. It’s just a great day for our school. It was so cool to run with Jonah again. At 2 1/2 miles we were just talking about how great it is to run back together. We didn’t really run against each other. We ran together. “
Chassell newcomer Kalvin Kytta was sixth (18: 42.6) and Stout was 15th (19: 14.9).
Jeffers placed four in the top five and took his first D-2 title with 22 points. The Jets were followed by Ironwood 50 and Manistique 62.
This was the Jets’ first championship since 2009, when they took the D-3 crown.
“We have a couple of fast guys here today” said Jeffers trainer Sam Kilpela. “We moved up to D-2 and became runner-up last year. It felt weird jumping up on D-2. The start was very quick, but the guys ran smart. We have a really young team and our middle school team is strong. “
Jets senior Simone Barp won his first title at 18: 30.1, followed by the newcomers Benton Rajala (18: 37.1) and Brit Heinonen (18: 40.5), Landon Sundelius of West Iron County (18:44 ) and Jeffers Junior Tavin Larson (18: 50.7).
“I just went out at my normal pace” said Barp. “I wanted to save some energy for the end.”
Hancock’s front runner was senior Jan Baaslrud in seventh place (18: 58.8).
The Marquette Redmen finished four in the top seven, beating D-1 for the third year in a row with 32 points, followed by Sault Ste. Marie 48 and Houghton 75.
Marquette Junior Carson Vanderschaaf won his first title with 16: 45.1, followed by Houghton Senior Eric Weise (17:04) and Gladstone Junior Drew Hughes (17: 23.7).
Hughes was unbeaten in 11 races before Saturday this season.
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