J-L Cross Country Team



J-L Girls Division 4 State Champions 2022!

J-L Boys Division 4 State Runner Up 2022!

J-L girls' cross country captures school's first state championship
By Dylan Jespersen - Gaylord Herald Times

BROOKLYN ― After falling a point shy of a regional championship last Saturday in East Jordan, the Johannesburg-Lewiston girls cross country team wasn't fazed.

Their goal wasn't a regional title. It was a state title.

Traveling to Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Mich. on Saturday, November 5, the girls would have to fend off a tough team from Whittemore Lake, the team they just fell to in regionals in Harbor Springs among countless other talented groups.

With their best team performance of the season, they accomplished all that and then some.

Led by a third-place finish overall by sophomore Allie Nowak, the Cardinals had six of their seven runners finish in the top 100 of the Division 4 State Final race for 118 overall points and the team's first state championship.

Nowak (3rd, 19:20.80) and Yolanda Gascho (7th, 20:04.18) led the Cardinals' stellar performance as they outscored the second-place finishes, Hillsdale Academy, by 33 points. Madalyn Agren (49th, 21:17.05), Adelaida Gascho (54th, 21:26.87), Rosalinda Gascho (58th, 21:32.23), Natalie Zochowski (73rd, 21:42.64) and Cora Mullins (106th, 22:23.10) rounded out the championship performance.

This comes after a season full of turmoil for a girls team that came in with high expectations. Injuries held back many of their runners throughout the year; a broken femur that didn't heal properly limited Adelaida Gascho all season, Agren missed part of the season with an Achilles injury and Yolanda Gascho missed three weeks with a groin injury.

Still, when it mattered most, they showed their talent every time.

"The JoBurg girls have been clutch when it matters all six years I've been here though and Saturday was no exception," head coach Brendan Marcum said.

They just outperformed the boys' team, who also captured the school's first state runner-up in school history as they finished with 101 points on the day.

Jacob Wartenberg led the way, finishing sixth overall with a time of 16:17.89. Three more runners earned all-state honors, including Blake Fox (16th, 17:00.49), Ronin Vaden (28th, 17:16.01) and Malaki Gascho (29th, 17:17.32) all placing in the top 30.

Other Cardinals runners included Benjamin Lauber (58th, 17:47.46), Jeremiah Witt (68th, 17:52.71) and Dusty Layman (167th, 19:18.75).

"It was a rocky year with Mitchell Hall going out after the first meet of the season with an ankle that hadn't properly healed from a break as a child, Ki (Gascho) partially tearing his Achilles in that same meet, and Ben limping through most of the season with a hip issue," Marcum said. "The last few weeks have been a blast though as the gang was all back together, except Mitchell sadly, and they were gaining confidence rapidly after the prospect of getting second had seemingly slipped away."

While defeating Wyoming Potter's House, who eventually won the State Championship as the lowest-scoring team in D4 State Finals history with 35 points, was not in the cards, the Cardinals were able to put distance between themselves and the third-place finishers from Petoskey St. Michael to cruise to the second-place finish.

"It was a good day for the boys and they'll put their nose back down to the grindstone and work for one final year in hunt of a State Championship," Marcum said.



Go Cardinals!

Friday, August 26th at Benzie Invite
J-L cross country sweeps small schools division at Benzie Invite

Go Cardinals!

Tuesday, September 6th at The Groen Meet

Go Cardinals!

Friday, September 16th at Spartan Invite - 12:55 p.m.

Go Cardinals!

Saturday, October 1st at Shepherd Invite
Jacob Wartenberg breaks school record!

Go Cardinals!

Saturday, October 8th at Portage Invite
J-L Cross Country Team traveled to Portage for the biggest Invitational of the year

Go Cardinals!

Wednesday, October 12th at Mancelona Conference

Saturday, October 22nd, 2022 at Otsego Club
The Cardinal Cross Country team raced at the Otsego Club

Go Cardinals!

Saturday, October 29th at East Jordan Regionals
Jacob Wartenberg breaks his own school record & Allie Nowak breaks 11 year school record

Go Cardinals!

Saturday, November 5th at Michigan International Speedway State Meet

J-L Girls Division 4 State Champions 2022!

J-L Boys Division 4 State Runner Up 2022!

Go Cardinals!

Back to Top

On Saturday, October 29th, 2022 the Cardinals made their way to East Jordan for the regional meet.

Jacob Wartenberg kicked the day off with another 16 second PR breaking his own school record in a time of 15:58. He won the race, breaking a formidable opponent, Cal from Harbor Springs in the process. Blake Fox finished second in the region running a personal best of 16:37. Ronin Vaden came next in 5th Place breaking 17 for the first time by running 16:53.

Malaki Gascho returning from an Achilles tear helped to pace two of his teammates to a smart but fast race before taking off from them the last mile to gain a few more points for the team. 

The team was rounded out by Jeremiah Witt, Benjamin Lauber, and Dusty Layman, who all had big PR days to help the Cardinals win back to back regional championships. They finished in 17:41, 17:46, & 19:12.

The boys head to the Michigan International Speedway this weekend to fight for a runner-up trophy at the state meet. They look to finish behind only the best team in division 4 history Wyoming Potter’s House.  

Not to be outdone Allie Nowak set the tone for the girls by breaking an 11-year-old school record by .85 of a second. She ran 18:47 winning the regional title in dominant fashion. She was followed by Yolanda Gascho in second place who ran a personal best of 19:31.

Madalyn Agren came in next as she returns from an Achilles injury and continues looking stronger by the day. 

Rosalinda Gascho was just behind her with a PR of 21:00. She will certainly be looking to break that barrier at MIS next weekend.

Natalie Zochowski had a big day running a season best of 21:10 to round out the scoring five.

Layla Gascho in only her second race after breaking her femur last year in gym took a minute and thirty seconds off her time from last weekend, she too is looking stronger by the day and is poised to have a big race this coming weekend. Cora Mullins came in just behind her continuing her breakout season with the second fastest 5k of her life, after hosting yet again another great team dinner the night before. 

The girls finished second at regionals by 1 point to a Harbor Springs team that had “Been trained for this all year”. 

Our girls hadn’t been training for regionals, as they focused on the state meet where they will be dressing for revenge and look to get even against Harbor Springs and fend off the very impressive Whittemore Lake team for the state championship. 

Back to Top

The Cardinal Cross Country team raced at the Otsego Club on 10/22/22

Jacob Wartenberg started off the day by defeating Harbor Springs previously undefeated senior Cal Benjamin, breaking his own school record in the process. 

Blake Fox followed him up with a season best. 

Coming back from injury Ki Gascho passed Jeremiah Witt to another solid race. 

Ben Lauber also did some pacing work, helping Dusty Layman break 20 minutes and in the process became an official post of varsity for the championship portion of the season. 

Wyatt Stein had another great race for the Cardinals. Wrapping up his season as a beloved member of the team. 

Andrew Zochowski finished his year with yet another 2 minute & 30 second PR!

The girls were led by top 5 finishes from Allie Nowak & Yolanda Gascho. 

Rosie Gascho turned out another consistent performance and looks poised to strike at the fast East Jordan course this Saturday at regionals. 

Her sister Layla Gascho saw competition for the first time after a 7 month recovery from breaking her femur in gym class. 

Bethany Byard wrapped up her season with the second fastest time of her life. 

The team was rounded out by Carlee Campbell who recently PR'd in the 200 & 400 after a strong summer and fall of sprint training. With just 2 weeks of distance training she hopped in a 5k and cut over 5 minutes off her time from last year! 

Back to Top

The cardinal XC team traveled down to Portage this weekend for the biggest Invitational of the year. 

Our girls won the division 4 race. 

They scored 56, with second place far behind scoring 137.

Allie Nowak took 3rd with the 3rd fastest time in school history of 19:18. 

Rosie Gascho and Cora Mullins both had huge 45 second PRs running 21:11 & 21:21.

Bethany Byard also chopped another 45 seconds off of her personal best. 

Natalie Zochowski and Madalyn Agren rounded out the team’s dominant victory. 

For the boys sophomore Jeremiah Witt had a 35 second PR running 17:56 

Dusty Layman cut off 45 seconds from his time going 20 flat.

While Wyatt Stein had yet another minute PR breaking 22 for the first time! 

Blake Fox and Jacob Wartenberg both placed in the top 15 as well.

Next up is the conference meet on Wednesday in Mancelona. 

Back to Top

Jacob Wartenberg broke the school record in the 5k by 8 seconds, running 16:14 at the Shepherd Invite. Since freshman year he said he would break it someday and true to his word he has. 

He was followed up by Ronin Vaden who PR’d by 42 seconds running 17:11, Jeremiah Witt PRing by 25 seconds, Wyatt Stein with over a minute PR, and Andrew Zochowski taking a couple seconds off his best.

The girls had a solid day of their own. 
The team finished second in their race behind the strong division 2 team of Alma.
Allie Nowak & Yolanda Gascho both broke the 20-minute barrier for the first time, making them the 3rd and 4th fastest girls in modern school history, and taking 7th and 9th place. 
Cora Mullins scored vital points for the team as the all important 5th runner, PRing by 8 seconds in the process. 

The JV races at Mancelona on Wednesday & then the Varsity squad is back in action on Saturday at the biggest Invitational of the year in Portage. 

Back to Top

Go Cardinals!

J-L cross country sweeps small schools division at Benzie Invite
By Dylan Jespersen - Gaylord Herald Times

BENZIE — Like many of the Johannesburg-Lewiston athletic programs, the Cardinals' cross country team comes into the 2022 fall season with high expectations.

Returning most of its top performers from its Regional Championship winning 2021 team, with the girls finishing sixth and the boys finishing ninth at the MHSAA Division 4 state finals a year ago, the J-L team has lofty expectations for themselves individually and as a team.

Competing in their first 5k of the season at the Benzie Invitational on Friday, Aug. 26, those high expectations left some individuals leaving with bad tastes in their mouths, despite both the boys and girls teams claiming victories at the invite in the small schools (D4) division.

"While on paper things looked good, the kids were really bummed with how they performed," head coach Brenden Marcum said.

The team came in off of a productive summer, training and enjoying each other's company while taking their second team trip to Colorado.

According to Marcum, while the athletes came in physically ready to compete, there was a lack of urgency from the team, mostly by design.

"Almost no one was nervous for the meet, and while we all hate that feeling, it's pretty essential to prime the body for race day," Marcum said. "This was intentional as it felt like there was a bit too much pressure last year and so we wanted to try keeping things light to see how that worked. "

This year's approach was an overcorrection, in Marcum's eyes.

"The pendulum swung too far in the 'no pressure' direction and a lot of the performances suffered because of it," Marcum said.

While some individuals left with some extra motivation, others did have standout performances that helped drive J-L's teams to victory.

On the boys side, J-L had five of the top-ten finishers, with senior Jacob Wartenberg leading the way with a personal record of 16:39.9 and a first-place finish. The girls also had five of the top ten, with sophomore Allie Nowak finishing in second with a PR of 20:32.5.

Other standouts included Cora Mullins, whose 22:10 time beat her previous PR by over a minute, Ben Lauber, a freshman who finished tenth in his first high school 5k with a time of 18:11.9, and Mitchell Hall, a senior who upped his PR by over a minute (18:13) in just his second season running cross country.

"A lot was learned from the meet and we'll all be better prepared in the future because of it," Marcum said. "Like we've told them before, the most valuable races and experiences are the tough ones, because when things don't go right you have your best opportunities to learn and grow. When everything goes well it's just like the icing on cake; it feels great, but doesn't have much nutritional value."

The Cardinals' next meet is the Groen Meet on Tuesday, Sept. 6 with Gaylord St. Mary and Bellaire. Following that, the team travels to East Lansing on Friday, Sept. 16 for the Spartan Invite at Michigan State University.

Back to Top




It's a Great Day to be a Cardinal!

J-L Sporting Event Ticket Prices

Adults ~ $6.00
Students ~ $4.00
Family ~$12.00



Updated 11/12/22