Cross Country: Jets’ boys place third at Eben

EBEN – A pair of North Central High School underclassmen continued to show promise Saturday as they placed among the top three boys’ cross country runners in the Superior Central Invitational.

Freshman Seth Polfus took second, covering the 3.2-mile course in 19 minutes, 29 seconds, with sophomore teammate Bryce Holle third at 19:39.

Munising sophomore Brett Hannah retained his title at 18:28.

“He (Hannah) is a good runner,” said Polfus, who placed sixth in Wednesday’s North Central All-Class Invitational. “Brett sets a good pace, but he was in my sights for a while. Then, he started pulling away in the second lap. This is a beautiful course and it’s in good shape. We also had beautiful weather conditions.”

Holle was eighth in the Jets’ home opener.

Hancock captured the team title Saturday with 34 points. Munising edged North Central 68-77 for runner-up honors.

Hannah, who had been battling a sternum (chest) injury, said he also enjoyed the mild conditions.

“It felt pretty good out there,” he added. “We had real nice weather here today. There wasn’t much breeze on the trails, although there was enough to help a little in the open areas. My chest also felt pretty good. It still gets sore every once in a while, but it’s getting better.”

North Central junior Dillon Robinson rolled an ankle halfway through the race and was unable to finish.

“When Dillon couldn’t finish the race, it was lethal,” said Jets’ coach Jerry Root. “Although, this was a nice effort by Seth and Bryce. Hancock has a quality team. They’ll be competitive in Division 2.”

Hancock, led by Hayden Heikkinen’s fourth-place finish (19:52), took four of the top eight spots.

Superior Central senior Nick Maki didn’t run Saturday after playing football at Bellaire Friday night. The team didn’t return to the school until 4 a.m. Saturday.

The Hancock girls also won with 27 points, followed by Munising 39 and Norway 83.

“We have a team that works hard and the kids are competitive with each other,” said Hancock coach Matt Dennis. “We’re glad we could come over here and experience some success. It’s a reward for us to reap the fruits of our labor. We’re running in a pack, which is something we do everyday in practice.”

Munising freshman Marissa Immel won in 22:13, followed by Hancock’s Abbey Tembrell (22:32) and Erin McKenzie (23:19) and Norway’s Kyra Johnson (23:30).

Immel led by 10 yards at the midway point prior to extending her lead during the second lap.

“I used the hills to my advantage,” said Immel, who also plays on the school’s volleyball and tennis teams. “I can’t make it to too many cross country practices, but I stay in shape with the other sports. Sports is pretty big for me. It keeps me going. This is a pretty big confidence builder for me. I’m pretty excited about it. I think our team did well, too.”

Superior Central Central senior Selena Walters was the area’s pacesetter in 13th (26:49).

“I think this meet went great today,” said Superior Central coach Kim Spranger. “The volunteers we had were awesome.”