Braves ‘ girls place second in cross country season debut

MARQUETTE – It was a solid start for the Gladstone cross country teams Friday as its girls’ team placed second and the boys were third in the Marquette Relays.

The Marquette girls won, as expected, with seven points, followed by Gladstone 28 and Westwood 38.

Negaunee took the boys’ crown at 15, followed by Marquette 22 and Gladstone 29.

“This is a great first meet for the kids,” said Gladstone coach Gary Whitmer. “It’s basically an interval workout, yet you’re running with other kids. I think this helps the kids ease into things. It also helps the younger kids learn something about pacing.”

Marquette’s Lindsey Rudden and Amber Huebner were the girls’ pacesetters as they combined to cover the six-mile course in 35 minutes, 10 seconds. Teammates Calla Martysz and Shayla Huebner were runners-up at 37:41.

Gladstone’s Leigha Woelffer and Alyssa Polley placed third in 39:54, four seconds better than Marquette’s Hannah Detmers and Becky McNamee.

“Leigha ran a 6:12 in the first mile,” said Whitmer. “She was right up there.”

Negaunee’s Colton Yesney and Grant Johnson captured the boys’ title at 32:32, followed by Menominee’s Michael Melchoir-Gunther DeDamos (34:04) and Munising’s Brett Hannah-T.J. Wing (34:53).

Lucas Weinert and Connor Powell were Gladstone’s leaders in sixth (35:45).

“Connor ran all his miles under six minutes,” said Whitmer. “Both teams gave a great effort, although there’s a lot of room for conditioning. As they get in better shape, the times will come down.”

Marquette ran without junior Lance Rambo, who’s nursing a stress fracture.

The Braves resume in Thursday’s Marquette Challenge at Presque Isle Park.