UP XC Finals: Gladstone’s Woelffer fourth in D-1

HARVEY – Gladstone’s Leigha Woelffer enjoyed a solid outing in Saturday’s Upper Peninsula Division 1 Girls’ Cross Country Finals.

The freshman harrier placed fourth, covering the 3.1-mile event in a personal-best 20 minutes, four seconds at Gentz’s Homestead Golf Course.

“I tried to stay with the front girls,” said Woelffer, who was in contention until the final half-mile. “I’m really happy with my time. I think this gives me a little bit of confidence for next year. I’m very happy with my season.

“I like having all the people here cheering us on. I really like the atmosphere.”

Braves’ coach Gary Whitmer was impressed by Woelffer’s performance on this sunny and seasonably cool day.

“A PB on that course is impressive,” he said. “The twists and turns and a wet course made for a pretty challenging race. They (the front group) were 6:11 at the mile. That’s a pretty fast start. The course is a little tougher from what I remember. We couldn’t have asked for a better day. The weather held out.”

The Marquette girls, as anticipated, finished the season undefeated and captured the team championship with 27 points. They were followed by defending champion Calumet 89 and Escanaba 112.

“We’re pretty happy with third place,” said Esky coach Jake Berlinski. “We ran as hard as we could. We had a great season with the girls.”

Senior Kameron Burmeister completed a perfect season by becoming the first Menominee girl since 1980 to be crowned U.P. champion. She was clocked at 19:36.

“It hasn’t sunk in yet,” Burmeister said shortly after the race. “This is kind of bittersweet with this being my last high school race. I’m so fortunate to be able to do this against so many good runners.”

Marquette sophomore Lindsey Rudden was runner-up (19:42), follwed by freshman teammate Amber Huebner (19:56).

Junior Aimee Giese represented Esky on the podium, placing 10th at 20:43.

“Aimee’s not satisfied with taking 10th, but she still had a great season,” said Berlinski. “She’s building toward her senior year. We had a great year from top to bottom with both teams.”

Hancock was crowned champion for the first time since 1990, leading the D-2 standings with 43 points. The Bulldogs were followed by St. Ignace 60 and defending champion Newberry 69.

Hancock senior Abbey Tembreull won in 21:04, followed by St. Ignace’s Lily Calcaterra (21:12), Newberry sophomore Natalie Beaulieu (21:25), Norway sophomore Kyra Johnson (21:30) and Ironwood senior and last year’s winner Jessica Gering (21:37).

Manistique freshman Kelsey Dehanke took 37th (26:08).

The Munising girls earned their first D-3 championship with 46 points. Cedarville squeezed past Dollar Bay 54-55 for the runner-up trophy.

Junior Kaylee Hoolsema became the first Rudyard girl to gain a U.P. title in 20:32. 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, placed fifth (21:32).

Superior Central senior Selina Walters was the area’s pacesetter in 30th (25:10).