Red-letter day for Tembruell, Hancock
HARVEY – None of the current high school cross country runners were around when the Hancock girls were last crowned Upper Peninsula champions.
The year was 1990 when Bill Clinton was President and gasoline was selling for about $1 a gallon.
Hancock, then coached by Arne Henderson, captured the Class C-D title and Calumet was runner-up at the Gladstone Golf Club.
The title drought ended on Saturday as the Bulldogs earned their first Division 2 title with 43 points. They were followed by St. Ignace 60 and defending champion Newberry 69.
The St. Ignace boys won with 57 points, while Hancock edged Ishpeming 67-69 for the runner-up trophy.
Ironically, this marked the first time since 1990 the Hancock boys were runners-up.
“We had a real good day,” said Hancock coach Matt Dennis. “We came together as a team and the kids kept pushing each other all year. We knew we had a good shot at winning trophies. We kept shooting for today and gave our best effort.”
Hancock senior Abbey Tembruell won the girls’ race at Gentz’s Homestead Golf Course, covering the 3.1 miles in 21 minutes, four seconds. She was followed by St. Ignace’s Lily Calcaterra (21:12), Newberry sophomore Natalie Beaulieu (21:25), Norway sophomore Kyra Johnson (21:30) and defending champion and Ironwood senior Jessica Gering (21:37).
“I had quite a bit left in the end,” said Tembreull, who plans to run cross country at Finlandia University next fall. “Once I saw the finish, I realized I could do it. I usually try to get in front of the pack early. I find it’s easier to keep the lead than trying to catch up. By getting in front, I feel I’m more in control of my pace.”
Also representing Hancock in the top 15 were Erin Mckenzie sixth (21:48), Kaylor Holmstrom 10th (22:16), Ashley Aho 14th (22:24) and Anna Meese 15th (22:29).
Ironwood junior Jared Joki dominated the D-2 boys’ race in 17:09, followed by St. Ignace’s Brad Gustafson (18:18) and Andrew Sjogren (18:23).
Hancock’s top 15 finishers were Hayden Heikkinen in seventh (19:03), Jacob Jarvis eighth (19:15) and Gabe Rupright (19:29).
The Marquette girls finished the season undefeated by dominating D-1 with 27 points. They were followed by defending champion Calumet 89 and Escanaba 112.
Senior Kameron Burmeister became the first Menominee girl since 1980 to be crowned U.P. champion, also finishing a perfect season with a 19:36 clocking. She was followed by Marquette sophomore Lindsey Rudden (19:42) and freshman Amber Huebner (19:56).
Calumet’s Leah Kiilunen placed sixth (20:28), with Chelsea Jacques seventh (20:32) and Corey Miller 15th (21:28).
Houghton’s leader was Noelle Polakowski in 14th (21:26).
The Marquette boys also won with 42 points, followed by Esky 75 and Houghton 86.
Marquette sophomore Lance Rambo was the individual winner at 16:56, followed by senior teammate Cole Rieboldt (17:07) and Houghton junior David Jazsczak (17:22).
Also placing for Houghton were junior Jacob Colling sixth (17:32) and Isaac Stone 11th (17:51).
Calumet’s leaders were Devin Berg in 10th (17:46) and Mitch Delong 15th (18:09).
“The competition in D-1 boys and girls was extremely tough,” said Calumet coach Arnie Kinnunen. “These were good races on a good course. We lost four senior girls who were D-1 champions a year ago. We have a very young team, which gives us something to build on. We’re not losing a girl (through graduation) this season.”
The Munising girls won D-3 for the first time with 46 points. Cedarville squeezed past Dollar Bay 54-55 for runner-up honors.
Junior Kaylee Hoolsema became the first Rudyard girl to be crowned U.P. champion with a 20:32 clocking. She was followed by Munising freshman Marissa Immel (21:16) and Cedarville’s Emma Bohn (21:19).
Freshman Carli Gratopp, the first cross country runner to represent Paradise, took fifth (21:32).
Dollar Bay’s Cami Daavettila took eighth (21:58), with Chassell’s Julia Pietila 13th (22:48) and Sam Shitaey 15th (22:59).
The North Central boys captured their first D-3 title by edging Pickford 66-68. Third-place Cedarville had 109, followed by Dollar Bay 111 and Jeffers 112.
Stephenson junior Connor Cappaert, last year’s D-2 champ, won D-3 this time in 17:39. He was followed by Bessemer junior Zach Mazurek (17:57) and North Central freshman Seth Polfus (18:18).
Dollar Bay’s top finishers were Kyle Leclaire in seventh (18:39) and Tom Autio 12th (19:03).
Jeffers’ pacesetters were Kevin Semmens in ninth (18:44) and Anthony Harris 15th (19:19).