Dendel doubles up on trails

MARQUETTE – Cooper Dendel of Marquette was a double winner after several mountain bike races were held Friday and Saturday in conjunction with the inaugural Marquette Trails Festival.

Dendel won the women’s division of the dual slalom held Friday night at the Benson Grade near Marquette Mountain, then took the same division in the long course race of the Cross Country event held Saturday morning at the ski hill.

The dual slalom included head-to-head races on a track across M-553 and slightly north of Marquette Mountain, while the Cross Country races included courses of 27 and 14 miles, including the Benson Grade and trails on the other side of the highway.

In addition, the Iron Range Roll was also held Saturday on a trail encompassing the Iron Ore Heritage Trail from Ishpeming to Marquette. It included individual and team biking along with running.

Dendel won Saturday’s Cross Country women’s long course event over four competitors in 2 hours, 28 minutes, 8.3 seconds, nearly 11 1/2 minutes ahead of runner-up Abby Strigel of Madison, Wisconsin.

In the men’s Cross Country long course, Tyler Gauthier of Ishpeming came out on top in 2:08:15.8, more than 10 minutes ahead of runner-up Samuel Olson of Duluth, Minnesota, in 2:18.39.5.

In the 31-man field, Jason Vayre of Marquette was third with 2:23:37.8 followed by Evan Simula of Marquette in 2:25:14.2 and Cody McGrath of Negaunee in 2:27:49.4.

The Cross Country short course, which included 42 men and 13 women, was paced by Robert Platezka of Marquette for the men in 1:10:52.5, followed by Ryan Grim of Marquette in 1:11:34.8, Evandro Ficanha of Houghton in 1:12:04.7, John Bennett of Negaunee in 1:13:59.2 and Jason Jilbert of Marquette in 1:14:37.4.

For the women, Amy Michaels of Marquette led the way in 1:23:12.4, then Erica Cousineau of Marquette in 1:23:57.5 and Katherine Pearce of Marquette in 1:28:29.6.

In Friday’s men’s dual slalom, Phil Ott of Marquette won with Andy Kienitz of Duluth second and Doug Pennala of Negaunee third.

For the women, Jennifer Neuschwander of Marquette was second and Nichole Bell of Marquette third.

Youth were led by Marquette competitors. Aaron Grzelak won the boys, followed by Carson VanderSchaaf and a tie between Corbin Grim and Colin VanderSchaaf. For girls, Erin VanderSchaaf won.

In the Iron Range Roll, Christina Bennett of Marquette led a group of 68 women in 45:48.2, more than 11 minutes ahead of runner-up Grace Rickauer of Marquette in 57:16.9.

Two other women also broke one-hour – Jennifer Carlson of Negaunee in 58:03.6 and Kim Lamere of Skandia in 58:54.6.

After them were Christina Stacey of Ishpeming, 1:00:18.8; Anne Giroux of Ishpeming, 1:00.24.8; Stephanie Marder of Marquette, 1:00:27.5; Trista McClelland of Marquette, 1:01:24.5; Sydney Landers of Marquette, 1:01: 59.8; and Andrea Timm of Marquette, 1:02:37.6.

Nic Dobbs of Marquette took the 58-strong men’s by 3 1/2 minutes in 46:33.1 over Bruce Carlson of Negaunee in 50:00.3.

They were followed by Anthony Benaglio of Negaunee, 50:01.2; Mike Harrington of Ishpeming, 51:13.3; Darby Stacey of Ishpeming, 51:13.6; and Jeff Kehoe of Marquette, 51:16.4.

More events were also scheduled at and near Marquette Mountain, including the Downhill race late Saturday afternoon, three morning trail runs today and the noncompetitive Enduro bike event this afternoon.

Information compiled by Journal Sports Writer Steve Brownlee. His email address is