Mustangs lead field

WILSON – Area cross country teams hope to be more competitive in this year’s Central U.P./Skyline Conference meet after Munising dominated both ends of last year’s event.

The Mustangs grabbed the top four spots in the boys’ and girls’ races a year ago.

Host North Central, Superior Central and Carney-Nadeau, however, may have something to say about that in the boys’ meet.

“Superior Central will come with four runners, but the Cougars showed in Munising they’re not to be taken lightly,” said North Central coach Jerry Root. “We’re looking at Munising as the team to beat with Superior Central in the conversation. I think our chances are also pretty good and you can’t count Carney out. I think what fourth and fifth runners do will decide the meet.”

North Central edged the Cougars 201-207 for the Division 3 title at Munising, with the host Mustangs third at 221 on Sept. 24.

Munising then topped North Central 60-66 for the small school title at Escanaba four days later.

Big Bay de Noc is also entered in Wednesday’s meet, which starts at 3 p.m. (EDT) with the junior high girls’ race on the Gorzinski farm property.

The first race will be followed by the junior high boys’, varsity girls’ and varsity boys’ events. High school races are 3.1 miles, with junior high events approximately two miles.

Munising sophomore Brett Hannah, who comes in as defending boys’ champ, hopes to lead the Mustangs to their third straight title.

Also in the hunt are Carney senior Dionte Blahnik, North Central freshman Seth Polfus and sophomore Bryce Holle and Superior Central senior Nick Maki.

The Munising girls, led by freshman Marissa Immel, will try to retain their crown.

Also among those to watch are Munising’s Anna Baij and Superior Central junior Evie Walters and senior Selina Walters, if her foot is healed and ready to go.

“The Munising girls are the favorites,” said Root. “They have a full team, although Carney and Superior Central will take some spots away.”

Big Bay’s pacesetters are Lucas Sundling (boys) and Patience Harris (girls).