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BANAT — Daisy Englund wished she had used different shoes for Wednesday’s SKYCHURPline Central Conference cross country meet.

As it turned out, that didn’t stop the Mid Peninsula senior from retaining her title here on this cloudy and damp day.

Englund covered the 3.1-mile course in 21 minutes, 38.6 seconds, followed by Munising sophomores Hattie Cota (22:25.3) and Monique Brisson (22:26.4) on the Dale Fountain course.

“It was a tough run,” said Englund. “This would have been a good day for spikes. My feet were slipping out there. The uphills affect my thighs, and they were burning. I liked the weather, though. I felt warm the whole race.”

Munising, which placed five in the top 12, took home the championship trophy with 33 points. The Mustangs were followed by Stephenson 57 and three-time defending champion Mid Pen 66.

“It has been a while since Munising has won the conference in girls’ cross country,” said Mustangs’ coach Mark Kinnunen. “This is very exciting for the school, program and community. We have some talented girls who put in the effort because they want to. Everyone’s times are getting faster.”

The Stephenson boys were repeat winners with 33 points, followed by Rapid River 42 and Munising 54.

“This was a great day for our boys,” said Stephenson coach Kate Kuntze. “We got (sophomore) Ethan Lusardi back after being in quarantine for three weeks. It’s unfortunate he had to miss so many meets, but he ran like he meant it. I’m also heartbroken North Central is under quarantine and couldn’t be here.

“This was the last home meet for our seniors, and this was an emotional day for our senior girls. This was a good finish for them. I think we’re in a good spot. Munising is pretty strong.”

Cota was fresh from earning her first varsity triumph in Saturday’s Sault Ste. Marie Invitational.

“It feels pretty cool to be part of a conference championship team,” said Cota, who was the team’s lone representative a year ago. “This is the first time we ran on this course. We came in here blind. It was the same thing last year. I came in blind at Norway. When we warmed up, it seemed there were several courses blended into one. You have to be mentally prepared for the race and the fact this is a new course.”

Mid Pen junior Landry Koski placed fourth (22:40.2). Stephenson senior Kylee Kuntze took fifth (22:55.2), followed by Norway sophomore Taylor Adams (23:16.5), Superior Central sophomore Madisen Begovac (23:17) and Rapid River senior Taylor Van Oss (23:44.5).

“This one didn’t go too good,” said Koski. “The inclines caught me a little off guard. We hadn’t been here since last year, and I couldn’t remember how many there were. My breathing was a little heavier than normal.”

Rapid River senior Ishmael Hernandez was crowned champion at 18:40.4. He was followed by Munising junior Nick Singer (19:22.6), Stephenson sophomore Griffin Brown (19:24.6) and junior Buckley Corey (19:46.6) and Munising senior Larson Nebel (20:34.5).

“This was a pretty good day to run,” said Hernandez. “The overall weather conditions were good. The drizzle we had during the race was just enough to cool you off. I felt I had a good shot at winning this and was going for time today. It feels great to win my last conference meet, but I have bigger fish to fry. This gives me something to build on for the U.P. (Division 3) Finals.”

Rapid River seniors Max and Ben Lenaker took sixth and ninth in 20:44.6 and 21:05.4, respectively.


Stephenson 33, Rapid River 42, Munising 54, Norway 89. Superior Central and Mid Peninsula NTS.

Top 10 — 1, Ishmael Hernandez, Rapid River, 18:40.4; 2, Nick Singer, Munising, 19:22.6; 3, Griffen Brown, Stephenson, 19:24.6; 4, Buckley Corey, Stephenson, 19:46.6; 5, Larson Nebel, Munising, 20:34.5; 6, Max Lenaker, Rapid River, 20:44.6; 7, Tyler Engel, Stephenson, 20:54.5; 8, Donny Strazzinski, Stephenson, 20:55.8; 9, Ben Lenaker, Rapid River, 21:05.4; 10, Kane Nebel, Munising, 21:07.3.


Munising 33, Stephenson 57, Mid Peninsula 66, Superior Central 84, Rapid River 101. Norway NTS.

Top 10 — 1, Daisy Englund, Mid Peninsula, 21:38.6; 2, Hattie Cota, Munising, 22:25.3; 3, Monique Brisson, Munising, 22:26.4; 4, Landry Koski, Mid Peninsula, 22:40.2; 5, Kylee Kuntze, Stephenson, 22:55.2; 6, Taylor Adams, Norway, 23:16.5; 7, Madisen Begovac, Superior Central, 23:17; 8, Taylor Van Oss, Rapid River, 23:44.5; 9, Julia Prunick, Munising, 23:49.9; 10, Sabryna Smith, Munising, 24:24.5.

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