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A scorcher

Heat, humidity greet runners at City Park

Theresa Proudfit/The Daily News Photos Kingsford’s Melanie Wenzel (444) runs with the field at the start of Tuesday’s cross country meet at Iron Mountain’s City Park. Wenzel won the girls race with a time of 21:54.8.

IRON MOUNTAIN — Will somebody please turn on the air conditioner?

If it were possible to run cross country meets indoors, that request would have likely been granted here Tuesday.

Since that’s not the case, runners had to be prepared to deal with the heat and humidity in the Kingsford Invitational at Iron Mountain City Park.

Kingsford junior Melanie Wenzel captured the girls’ crown in 21:54.8, followed by Houghton’s Ingrid Seagren (22:11.9), Kingsford’s Sarah Kulas (22:44.3), Menominee’s Hayden Buck (22:51.5) and Houghton’s Maria Velat (22:57.9).

“I stayed hydrated all day,” said Wenzel. “The combination of the heat and humidity and hills made it challenging. This is the warmest race I ran in. I didn’t go out too hard. I wanted to save some energy for the end of the race. Running in this heat was a big adjustment. It affected my strategy a little. This is also the biggest meet I’ve run in. It was good to experience that. I think this will help me down the road. It was a fun race. All the teams were competitive and pushed each other.”

NORWAY’S ADAM CAVAGNETTO took third at Tuesday’s cross country meet.

Gladstone sophomore Jamisyn Bergeron placed 10th (24:02.6), followed by Kingsford’s Lily Menghini (24:06.5).

Florence’s leader was Faith Neuens in 21st (25:57.1) and sophomore Ciara Ostrenga paced Esky in 27th (26:21.6).

The Marquette girls also won with 51 points. Kingsford edged Houghton 68-73 for runner-up honors.

“Overall, I thought our girls varsity team ran really tough with the increase in temperature just for our meet,” Kingsford head coach Dan Carey said. “Our course is tough anyway with its hills but adding the heat makes it even tougher.

“Melanie did an awesome job running at the front of the pack the whole race. She is learning a lot in her first year on the team. Having Sara Kulas and Lily Menghini close behind makes us very competitive with other UP teams.”

The Marquette boys squeezed past Houghton 38-39 for the title. Third-place Gladstone scored 90 points.

“It was hot for everybody,” said Gladstone coach Gary Whitmer. “Overall, we didn’t run as well as we could have. Although, we’re real pleased with where the guys finished. Some of the Marquette guys passed some of the Houghton guys after the last turn and that’s what did it.”

Houghton senior Joe Wood copped the boys’ race, covering the 3.1-mile course in 18 minutes, 21.5 seconds. He was followed by Gladstone sophomore Giovanni Mathews (18:23.5) and Norway sophomore Adam Cavagnetto (18:33.2).

“It was a tight one,” said Wood. “You had to stay hydrated because it was very hot. I didn’t want to go out too hard because of the heat. These are the kinds of races that build character. I just gave it all I had in the end.”

The three leaders broke away from the pack after two miles.

Kingsford was led by Luke Ruble (20:30.2) in 18th place.

“Our boys are still trying to figure out the right chemistry on race day,” Carey said. “We only have one senior on the varsity side along many newer runners. I am expecting them to keep improving as the year progresses.”

BOYS

Marquette 38, Houghton 39, Gladstone 90, Menominee 104, Rapid River and Stephenson 158, Norway 159, Kingsford 199. Escanaba, Florence, Wis. and North Central NTS.

TOP 10 — 1, Joe Wood, Houghton, 18:21.5; 2, Giovanni Mathews, Gladstone, 18:23.5; 3, Adam Cavagnetto, Norway, 18:33.2; 4, Branden Peterson, Houghton, 18:56.1; 5, Peyton Osborne, Marquette, 19:00.5; 6, Moses Waite, Marquette, 19:02.1; 7, Colin Vanderschaaf, Marquette, 19:09.5; 8, Luke Janofski, Marquette, 19:13.9 9, Landen Clausen, Menominee, 19:16.5; 10, Jake Sullivan, Houghton, 19:26.5.

GIRLS

Marquette 51, Kingsford 68, Houghton 73, Menominee 84, Gladstone 116, Stephenson 175, Escanaba 178, Florence, Wis. 211, Rapid River 215. Norway, West Iron County and North Central NTS.

TOP 10 — 1, Melanie Wenzel, Kingsford, 21:54.8; 2, Ingrid Seagren, Houghton, 22:11.9; 3, Sarah Kulas, Kingsford, 22:44.3; 4, Hayden Buck, Menominee, 22:51.5; 5, Maria Velat, Houghton, 22:57.9; 6, Olivia Moffit, Marquette, 23:03.4; 7, Reegan Ketzenberger, Marquette, 23:06.2; 8, Katie Anderla, Menominee, 23:23.5; 9, Josie Danielkiewicz, 23:35.8; 10, Jamisyn Bergeron, Gladstone, 24:02.6.