Houghton cross country sweeps Ishpeming meet Thursday

ISHPEMING – After a first for the boys and a second for the girls in the Westwood Challenge earlier in the week, the Houghton cross country team went one better Thursday at Ishpeming.

The Gremlins swept the top spot in both halves of the meet at Al Quaal Recreation Area.

The Houghton girls prevailed over rival Hancock by the tiniest of margins, a single point, 38-39. Dollar Bay was fourth with 84.

Tori Harris of West Iron County was the individual winner in 21:57, but the Wykons didn’t have enough runners to field a team, which meant first-place points for individual runner-up Noelle Polakowski of Houghton, who finished 18 seconds back of Harris in second.

Abbey Tembruell and Erin McKenzie of Hancock took third and fourth, respectively, Tembruell was less than two seconds off Polakowski’s heels, with McKenzie coming in at 22:32.

Three other locals finished in the top 10: Rachel Chard and Marika Abbott of Houghton were sixth and seventh and Anna Meese of Hancock was eighth.

The boys race was less close, as Houghton won with 26, 16 better than runner-up Escanaba.

David Jaszczak, the second-place finisher in the top flight of Tuesday’s race, stepped up to No. 1 Thursday, winning in 18:22, about 15 seconds ahead of teammate Jacob Colling and 20 ahead of the Gremlins’ Isaac Stone.

Houghton got another runner, Dan Wood, into the top six.

Hancock’s best finisher was eighth-place Hayden Heikkinen (19:21).

The WestPAC field gets together again at Monday’s West Iron County Invitational.