Wolves’ girls retain title at NC Invite (cross country)

WILSON – It’s not very often three points separates the top from bottom teams in a cross country meet.

It happened in Wednesday’s North Central Division 3 Invitational, however, as the Carney-Nadeau girls retained their title with 40 points.

The Wolves were followed by North Central and Big Bay de Noc 41 and Superior Central 43.

Superior Central senior Selina Walters earned her first victory, covering the hilly 3.1-mile course in 24 minutes, 48 seconds. Big Bay junior Patience Harris was runner-up (26:01)

“I had a broken femur the last time we came to this course, so I’m very happy about what happened here today,” said Walters, who plans to run cross country at the University of Wisconsin-Superior next year. “The big hill was real slippery. But the field was pretty good, and I was able to make up some time. In the last race at Newberry, I had a cold. I’m about 90 percent right now. I’m looking forward to the Munising Invitational (on Tuesday) and having somebody to run with. I think that will help me bring down my time. I should be 100 percent by then.”

Carney’s Morgan DuPont (27:05) and Samantha Charlier (27:10) were thrid and fourth respectively.

“Success is always nice because these kids work so hard,” said Carney coach Jake Polfus. “This is kind of shocking because we have only two girls, although they ran real good today. This is a nice prize for them to get.”

This victory took place just 24 hours after the Carney boys won the Goodman-Pembine Invitational at Dunbar, Wis.

“The boys ran real well at Dunbar,” said Polfus. “They’re showing improvement. They’re also working hard in practice and that’s all you can ask for. More people are getting medals and they’re gaining confidence. This has been a big week for us.”

The North Central boys won Wednesday, however, with 43 points. The Jets ran without freshman Jon King, who’s battling a respiratory ailment.

“I’m happy with these kids today,” said North Central coach Jerry Root. “Here’s where you need to have a little depth and a freshman (Tyler Bentley) stepped up for us. These kids were thrilled to get a trophy. This is a great boost for them. If they work hard, there will be more trophies for them.”

Superior Central was runner-up at 60, followed by defending champ Carney 63, Marquette North Star Academy 75 and Big Bay 116.

Senior Nick Maki led Superior Central, winning in 18:12.

“I paced myself with the leaders and once I got the lead, I just tried to stay ahead of everybody,” said Maki, who grabbed the lead with less than a half-mile remaining. “There wasn’t much strategy with it. I think football helps keep my endurance up, although it gets kind of hard sometimes. It’s kind of a struggle between this and football and keeping up with my studies.”

Carney senior Dionte Blahnik, who was crowned champion a year ago, was runner-up this time at 18:18, followed by North Central freshman Seth Polfus (18:32) and sophomore Bryce Holle (19:32) and North Star’s John-Henry Kibil (19:40).

“It was hard today, although I really wasn’t that tired,” said Blahnik, who won at Dunbar Tuesday. “I just used this as a good, hard training run for Saturday (Stephenson Invitational). I was trying to win two in a row, but it didn’t happen.”

North Star’s Darren Kastella was unable to finish after being attacked by hornets and getting stung four times in the head early in the race. The eighth-grade harrier, who isn’t allergic to bee stings, appeared to be okay.