By John Vrancic
For The Daily News
WILSON - The North Central boys turned Wednesday's Central U.P./Skyline Conference cross country meet into an historic event as they were crowned league champions for the first time with 42 points.
They were followed by two-time defending champ Munising 56, Superior Central 63, Carney-Nadeau 70 and Big Bay de Noc 113.
Jets, who had all seven of their runners this time, secured the title by taking five of the top 15 spots.
"We ran inspired," said Jets' coach Jerry Root. "You can't put a price tag on (senior) Josh Granquist being here. He's an inspiration to all our guys. This is also the first year he has been involved in a conference championship. From one to seven, all of our guys ran hard."
The Munising girls retained their crown with a perfect score (15), followed by Superior Central 64, Big Bay 73, Carney 74 and North Central 81.
In the boys' race, Munising sophomore Brett Hannah retained his championship by covering the hilly 3.1-mile course in 18 minutes, 16 seconds on this sunny, breezy and mild day.
"Something has come up with my hip," said Hannah. "It started bothering me a few days ago. It doesn't bother me when I run, then it hits me after. I'm trying to get rested up for the U.P. Finals. Today, I just tried to do the best I could."
North Central freshman Seth Polfus was runner-up (18:25), followed by Carney senior Dionte Blahnik (18:39), sophomore teammate Bryce Holle (18:41) and Superior Central senior Nick Maki (19:01).
"I was shooting for the top three," said Polfus, who trailed Blahnik by five yards with a mile to go. "Dionte and I battled all the way through, then I passed him for the last time at 2 1/2 miles. We do a lot of hillwork here, which I think helps us. It also helps to have a team to run with. Bryce and Josh also had real good races. In fact, the whole team had a decent race."
Granquist, who also plays on the school's football team, placed eighth (19:51), with Tyler Bentley 13th and Dillon Robinson 15th.
"Seth and Bryce have been excellent leaders for us, and Tyler has made a significant contribution," said Root. "Dillon has been sick and injured, but he's a battler. He has been fighting through it.
"We also appreciate the efforts of our assistant coach Dave Granquist. He has been a major contributor to the success of our program. His junior high team taking first today is huge for our overall program."
The Munising girls, led by freshman Marissa Immel, grabbed the top five places. Anna Baij took second (22:58), followed Alyssa St. Amour third (23:51), Julia Jacques (24:00) and Sara Charboneau (24:02).
Central U.P./Skyline Conference
Boys -North Central 42, Munising 56, Superior Central 63, Carney-Nadeau 70, Big Bay de Noc 113.
Top 10 - 1, Brett Hannah, Munising, 18:16; 2, Seth Polfus, North Central, 18:25; 3, Dionte Blahnik, Carney-Nadeau, 18:39; 4, Bryce Holle, North Central, 18:41; 5, Nick Maki, Superior Central, 19:01; 6, Sam MacArthur, Munising, 19:25; 7, Anders Busk, Munising, 19:42; 8, Josh Granqiust, North Central, 19:51; 9. Jesse Eisenbroek, Superior Central, 19:58; 10. Luke Leppanen, Superior Central, 20:06.
Girls -Munising 15, Superior Central 64, Big Bay de Noc 73, Carney-Nadeau 74, NC 81.
Top 10 - 1, Marissa Immel, Mun 22:13; 2, Anna Baij, Mun, 22:58; 3, Alyssa St. Amour, Mun, 23:51; 4, Julia Jacques, Munising, 24:00; 5, Sara Charboneau, Munising, 24:02; 6, Evie Walters, Superior Central, 24:43; 7, Diana Charboneau, Munising, 24:54; 8, Selina Walters, Superior Central, 25:42; 9, Morgan DuPont, Carney-Nadeau. 25:43; 10, Patience Harris, Big Bay de No, 26:27.