For The Daily News
NEGAUNEE - With a wind chill in the mid-30s, snow pellets and a gusty breeze of 16-25 mph, conditions at the Mid-Peninsula Conference Cross Country Meet were less than ideal Thursday.
Norway’s boys won the Mid-Peninsula Conference cross country championship for the first time in school history Thursday. Pictured front row from left — Jake Wetsel, Ben DeCremer. Back row — Jeremy Bjorkman, Randy Mueller, Steve Raboin, Mike Zygiel, Justin Anderson, Nick Wicker
That didn't stop the Norway boys from making school history.
Putting four runners in the top 10, led by Justin Anderson and Steven Raboin in sixth and seventh, respectively, the Knights claimed the school's first ever league cross country championship.
"I'm very proud of the boys," Knights' head coach Rose Zygiel said. "I don't know if we've ever won a conference title before (none since 1976). I was hoping for a second or third place today, but we've been running well all year in a pack.
"Just to get that many in the top 10 was the key. Each of my runners pushed each other along the way."
Norway won the boys' team championship by one point over Gwinn (47-48), with Negaunee coming in third with 60 points with top runner Keenan Gantz absent.
Tyler Pomeroy of Manistique won the boys' individual title with a time of 18:07 on the Negaunee Township course, while Wyleen Kniola came in at 21:12 to claim the girls' crown.
"I was freezing," Pomeroy said after successfully defending his M-PC crown by beating runner-up Matt Moilanen of Gwinn by seven seconds. "I have bad knees and the cold didn't help them at all.
"I was surprised when it started hailing."
The Negaunee girls, meanwhile, claimed their fourth girls' title in a row with 54 points to runner-up Westwood's 59.
Gwinn head coach Jim Morris was both happy and disappointed with his team's second-place finish.
"I'm very proud of the boys," he said. "We wanted to win this, but it just didn't work out.
"I'm hurt (though). I don't like to lose to anyone. I'd rather get beat by 100 points than one."
Norway's girls finished in fourth, led by Alexis Kallenbach in fourth place with 22:52, and Kyra Johnson (23:52) in ninth.
Boys team standings: 1. Norway, 47; 2. Gwinn, 48; 3. Negaunee, 60; 4. Manistique, 66; 5. Westwood, 138; 6. Ishpeming, 152.
Medal winners: 1. Tyler Pomeroy (M), 18:07; 2. Matt Moilanen (G), 18:14; 3. Evan Fezatt (NEG), 18:30; 4. Derek Reetz (G), 18:42; 5. Bryson Lawrence (M), 18:47; 6. Justin Anderson (NOR), 18:49; 7. Steven Raboin (NOR), 18:50; 8. Grant Johnson (NEG), 18:57; 9. Mike Zygiel (NOR), 19:17; 10. Jacob Wetsel (NOR), 19:15; 11. Ryan Ramey (M), 19:16; 12. Alex Redlon (G), 19:16; 13. Zach Carlson (NEG), 19:19; 14. Alex Anderson (G), 19:20; 15. Randy Mueller (NOR), 19:20.
Girls team standings: 1. Negaunee, 54; 2. Westwood, 59; 3. Gwinn, 60; 4. Norway, 64; 5. Manistique, 118; 6. Ishpeming, 137.
Medal winners: 1. Wyleen Kniola (NEG), 21:12; 2. Clara Churchill (NEG), 21:55; 3. Holly Blower (M), 22:28; 4. Alexis Kallenbach (NOR), 22:52; 5. Anna Honkala (W), 22:59; 6. Gabby French (W), 23:28; 7. Makayla Mayo (G), 23:34; 8. Annie Bjork (W), 23:41; 9. Kyra Johnson (NOR), 23:52; 10. Sarah Bietila (NOR), 24:01; 11. Brittany Dunklee (G), 24:09; 12. Autumn Hedlund (G), 24:38; 13. Dani Anderson (NEG), 25:12; 14. Laura Thompson (G), 25:38; 15. Christine Leppanen (I), 25:50.