Gaylord Area runners compete at Cross Country State Finals
By Alec Brzezinski - Petoskey News
BROOKLYN — All three Gaylord-area schools were represented over the weekend at Michigan International Speedway for the Michigan high school cross country state finals.
Running at their customary venue despite all the COVID-19-induced limitations this year, student-athletes from Johannesburg-Lewiston, Gaylord St. Mary and Gaylord competed in the event.
Both the boys and girls Cardinals teams qualified as a unit, while St. Mary and Gaylord each sent one individual to the state finals.
Blue Devils senior star Kade Dalson rounded out his cross country career with a 119th-placed finish in the Lower Peninsula Division 2 meet. He ran the race in 18:40.18.
Fremont’s Nathan Walker won the D2 race with a time of 15:19.39. Fremont also won overall as a team with 61 points. Petoskey finished 14th with 374 points.
Freshman star Miriam Murrell represented the Snowbirds in the Division 4 race, earning a top-20 finish (20th) with a time of 20:50.30. Murrell, who competed on varsity full time as an eighth grader last season, continued her success this season as a high schooler.
The Cardinals’ girls team entered the state meet with high expectations after winning the Ski Valley Conference and sweeping postseason events. However, J-L finished eighth overall (256 points) in Brooklyn, still capping an incredible season in the midst of a pandemic.
Sophomores Natalie Zochowski and Adelaida Gascho led the Cardinals on Saturday. Zochowski finished 39th overall with a time of 21:17.36, while Gascho finished 46th overall with a time of 21:28.67. Both appear only halfway through highly successful high school cross country careers.
Fellow Cardinals sophomore Gloria House finished 86th overall with a time of 22:17.58, and senior Sydney Townsend, who returned midway through this season after tearing her ACL during basketball season, finished 113th with a time of 22:50.81.
The Cardinals boys also qualified for the D2 state finals as a team, ultimately finishing 23rd with 535 points while racing without Jacob Wartenburg.
Freshman Malaki Gascho led the Cardinals with a 113th-placed finish. He ran the course in 18:59.05 to cap a successful debut season.
Cardinals junior Toby Hall finished 128th with a time of 19:12.54, and junior Joe Perry finished 162nd with a time of 19:39.36. There were 244 runners to produce a score in the boys race.
Carson City-Crystal won a tightly-contested boys race with a score of 157. Crystal’s Solomon Clark won the race with a time of 15:58.55.
What a great performance by both the Girls and Boys CC teams last Saturday at East Jordan at the Regional meet!
The girls team finished in first place to win the Regional Meet!
And the boys team had a strong performance to finish second!
Both teams qualified and now move on to run at the Division 4 State Meet at Brooklyn, MI this Saturday.
Individually for the Girls Team: Adelaida Gascho finished 2nd overall, Natalie Zochowski 6th, Gloria House 8th, Sydney Townsend 12th, and Madalyn 13th. Also finishing for them was Cora Mullins (28th) and McKenna Courterier (29th).
Individually for the Boys Team: Malaki Gascho finished 6th overall, Blake Fox 13th, Joe Perry 15th, Toby 19th, and Logan May 20th. Also finishing for them was Ronin Vaden (21st) and Spencer Townsend (51st).
Cardinals boys, girls Cross Country claims conference, pre-regional titles
MANCELONA — It's been a busy and successful month for the Johannesburg-Lewiston cross-country teams.
On Wednesday, Oct. 14, both the Cardinals boys and girls cross-country teams claimed the Ski Valley Conference title at Mancelona.
J-L's boys team won with 29 points, narrowly edging host Mancelona's 37 points. Indian Lakes finished third with 63 points.
Jacob Wartenburg led the Cardinals with a second-place overall finish. He ran the course in 17:48. Mancelona's Tyler McClure won the race in 17:05.
Cardinals freshman Malaki Gascho finished fifth overall with a time of 19:00. J-L freshman Blake Fox finished eighth (19:17), while Joe Perry (10), Toby Hall (11) and Logan May (12) all recorded top finished for the Cardinals as well.
On the girls side, J-L won with 21 points. Indian Lakes finished second with 43 points, and Central Lake was the only other team to qualify for a score with 62 points.
Gaylord St. Mary star freshman Miriam Murrell cruised to victory with a time of 19:59. J-L's Natalie Zochowski finished second overall at 21:32.
The Cardinals were without star runner Adelaida Gascho due to injury, but displayed the depth necessary to still win the conference title.
Gloria House finished sixth overall with a time of 22:51, and the Cardinals also received solid times from Sydney Townsend (11th), Madalyn Agren (13th) and Lizzy Halbert (14th).
The Snowbirds did not qualify for a team score, but in addition to Murrell's individual victory, also got a fourth-overall finish from sophomore Emma McKinley (21:56).
Moving on the pre-regionals Friday night at Indian Lakes, both the Snowbirds and Cardinals found success, extending their seasons further into the postseason.
The Cardinals boys and girls again won the pre-regional as teams, thus qualifying for regionals. The Cardinals girls won with 22 points, while the boys won with 31 points.
“The boys ran really well," J-L head coach Craig DeHoog said of the pre-regional meet. "A lot of them had PRs that day. That’s a fast course, so we were proud of them. We told them not to get too into this race emotionally. We still had a lot of competitions. They did a great job competing. It showed how great of shape they were in. We want them to peak at the right time, and a lot of the boys are.”
Wartenburg finished medalist at the pre-regional with a time of 17:46.28. Gascho finished third overall at 18:30.41. Blake Hall (7th) and Toby Hall (10th) also recorded top-10 finished for the Cardinals.
“Jacob was super excited to win," DeHoog said. "We told him if he got to the two-mile mark and had chance to win to go for it. We told everyone to get a solid two-mile run and then go and compete in that last mile. It’s always great to win a meet like that. It’s great preparation for the regional meet.”
The Cardinals girls got Gascho back for the pre-regional after she sat out the conference meet, and she finished third overall at 21:12.09. Gloria House finished 10th at 22:44.53. J-L was without Zochowski for this race.
Townsend, Halbert and Agren all recorded top-20 finishes to ensure the Cardinals won the meet.
“Layla was still coming back from her ankle injury, so she was working her way back," DeHoog said of the pre-regional. "We had a group of girls who all came in together and really ran well together as a group. It was great to see Sydney getting back into form after still fighting back from her knee injury. She is a competitor and really does well in these big meets.”
Murrell again led the Snowbirds with a first-place finish. She won the pre-regional by over a minute at 19:50.89. McKinley finished sixth overall at 21:47.84. Both runners qualified individually for regionals. Snowbirds' Aidan Yaske also qualified for regionals on the boys side.
The top four teams, plus the next seven runners not on qualifying teams qualified for regionals.
The Snowbirds and Cardinals will be back in action Saturday at East Jordan with a chance to qualify for the state finals.
Both the Girls and the Boys CC teams won the Ski Valley Championship WEDNESDAY at Mancelona!
Individual Awards for the girls team: Natalie Zochowski (2nd Place) and First Team All-Conference, Gloria House (6th place) and Second Team All-Conference, Sydney Townsend (11th Place) and Honorable Mention All-Conference, Madalyn Agren (13th Place) and Honorable Mention All-Conference, Lizzy Halbert (14th Place) and Honorable Mention All-Conference.
Individual Awards for the boys team: Jacob Wartenberg (2nd Place) and First Team All-Conference, Malaki Gascho (5th Place) and First Team All-Conference, Blake Fox (8th Place) and Second Team All-Conference, Joe Perry (10th Place) and Second Team All-Conference, Toby Hall (11th Place) and Honorable Mention All-Conference, Logan May (12th Place) and Honorable Mention All-Conference.
2020 CROSS COUNTRY SCHEDULE
8/28/20 AT BENZIE CENTRAL INVITE
9/12/20 AT GROEN MEET
9/16/20 AT MANCELONA
MANCELONA — The Snowbirds and Cardinals cross country teams competed Wednesday in Mancelona, peppering the leader board with fast times.
The Johannesburg-Lewiston boys took second place in the meet, which featured a majority of the Ski Valley Conference teams.
Sophomore Jacob Wartenberg led the Cardinals with a second-place finish. He ran the 5,000-meter course in 18:31.
Toby Hall (eighth) and Ronin Vaden (ninth) also turned in top-10 finishes for the Cardinals. Hall finished with a time of 20:11, and Vaden finished at 20:23.
Aidan Yaske led Gaylord St. Mary on the boys side with a 14th-placed finish. He ran the course in 21:35.
The J-L girls runners have impressed all fall, adding another win to their resume on Wednesday. The Cardinals finished first 28 points. Mancelona finished second with 55 points.
Sophomore Adelaida Gascho led the Cardinals with a second-placed finish. She ran the course in 21:51. Fellow Cardinals sophomore Natalie Zochowski finished fourth overall with a time of 22:35.
The Cardinals also got a top-10 finish from Gloria House who ran the course in 23:45.
Although the Snowbirds did not have enough runners to accrue a team score, they did have the medalist in the girls race. Freshman Miriam Murrell cruised through the course in 20:27, more than a minute ahead of the Gascho in second. Murrell impressed last year as an eighth grader, and appears ready for a big first official season as a high-school runner.
St. Mary sophomore Emma McKinley finished fifth with a time of 22:48.
The Snowbirds and Cardinals should both be key contenders in the conference this season, with many of Northern Michigan’s top runners competing in the Gaylord area.
9/22/20 AT INDIAN RIVER BULLDOG INVITE
9/26/20 AT PETOSKEY INVITE
9/29/20 GROEN MEET
J-L CROSS COUNTRY ARCHIVES