Prep cross country: MSHS runners dominate home course in Marquette Relays

MARQUETTE – They call it a “hard workout” meet, but Marquette Senior High School cross country runners treated it more like a regular contest Friday.

The MSHS boys and girls, each claiming a No. 1 tandem finish, easily captured the eight-team Marquette Relays held near the school’s football field.

Sophomore Lindsey Rudden and freshman Amber Huebner joined forces to take the girls’ portion of the meet. They ran the six-mile course – each running three, one-mile splits – in a record time of 34 minutes and 43 seconds.

“They broke the record by 1 1/2 minutes,” MSHS head coach Dale Phillips noted. “Lindsey has competitive spirit and is driven. Amber’s the same way.”

Rudden said knowing the course well was a major factor Friday.

“We run on it in practice, so this was like just another practice,” she said. “Running (three splits) is a little different. I like it better (than usual meets) because you have a break between each mile.”

Added Huebner: “I tried to run the first half-mile faster because the second half is more flat. It was a good workout.”

MSHS finished 1-2-3 in the girls’ test, with Calla Martysz and Shayla Huebner – Amber’s sister – placing second (37:24), and Cassidy Thomas and Nichole Mackey taking third (37:44).

“Our girls’ team is deep with a lot of returning veterans and some good newcomers,” Phillips said.

The Redettes topped the field with six points. Gladstone finished second with 25, followed by Negaunee at 39.

In the boys’ meet, sophomore Lance Rambo and senior Cole Rieboldt – in his first season of cross-country – took top honors with a combined time of 32:04.

“The first half-mile is tough with hills and you try to hit them fast,” Rieboldt said. “The flat stuff later is easier.”

Rambo added, “We did quite well. It’s more of a workout meet. You can gauge your time and determine your pace.

“We know every course turn, how to gauge the hills and how to pace yourself. We tried to go for the course record.”

Marquette’s Logan Zueger and Troy Sergey – both sophomores – finished second (33:36), while Munising’s Izaak Mahoski and Brett Hannah came in third (33:54).

“We have a young boys’ team with just 1 1/2 weeks of practice,” Phillips said. “Cole is a senior, but most are sophomores.

“Still, we had some tremendous times today.”

MSHS won the boys’ title with 12 points. Gladstone came in second with 25, while Negaunee placed third with 29.

Negaunee had a boys’ duo and a girls’ tandem earn medals, both with fourth place finishes: Grant Johnson and Zach Carlson (33:58) for the boys, and Clara Churchill and Wyleen Kniola (40:09) for the girls.

“I was impressed with my team today,” NHS head coach Lisa Bigalk said.

“It’s real early and I haven’t seen them very long, but they’re all hard workers. I was pleased with our medalists.

“We have some freshmen who looked good, too.”

Westwood’s Ryan Hunt and Skyler Dakota also medaled. They came in sixth in the boys’ event with a 35:21 clocking.