By John Vrancic
For the Daily News
BANAT - Kingsford's Dan Kulas continued a tremendous senior cross country season Saturday, earning top individual honors at the Stephenson Invitational.
Kulas covered the 3.1-mile Dale Fountain Memorial Cross Country course in 16 minutes, 58 seconds for his fourth straight victory on this partly sunny and seasonably cool day.
He was followed by Stephenson's Connor Cappaert (17:00) and Escanaba's Andrew Stenberg (17:15).
"I tried to take him (Kulas) early," said Stenberg, who led for nearly two miles. "Then, Connor tucked in with Kulas and they reeled me in. I just need to work on my last mile. I need to step up my training a little."
The Flivvers edged Menominee 65-67 for runner-up honors with Esky winning for the fourth time in five meets with 41 points. Norway placed sixth at 96.
Kingsford's Nate Carey placed 11th (18:11), followed by Keith Holmes in 19th (19:02), Dylan Lawton 20th (19:08), Josh Johnson 21st (19:11) and Jorge Sanchez in 36th (20:26).
"This is a real confidence boost for the team heading into the second half of the season," said Sharon Lawton, who was filling in for head coach Dan Carey. ""Kingsford's top five boys each earned a medal."
Steve Raboin was Norway's leader in 17th (18:52).
The Esky girls also won for the first time this season, edging Menominee on a tie-breaker.
Esky and Menominee scored 31 points each, with Munising third at 83. Norway took sixth at 153, with North Central seventh with 182.
Menominee's Kameron Burmeister won in 19:57, edging defending champion Emily Ellman of Lena-Marinette St. Thomas Aquinas by less than a second. Esky's Aimee Giese took third (20:41).
Norway's Alexis Kallenbach was the area's pacesetter in 21st (23:16), followed by Forest Park's Casey Ponchaud (23:29). Hannah Allen led Kingsford in 30th (24:29). Maddie Shorkey placed 35th (26:14), Heidi Stenvig was 45th (28:52) and Danielle McConnell took 48th (29:26) for the Flivvers.
In the jayvee races, the Esky boys grabbed the top six points. Kingsford's Thomas Hagen took seventh (20:10), followed by five more Eskymos.
Esky's Isabelle Wellman won the girls' race in 22:34.
Area teams return to action at the Munsining Invitational Tuesday.