By JOHN VRANCIC
For The Daily News
MUNISING - Junior Eric Cousineau reached a milestone while helping the Escanaba boys earn their fourth straight cross country title in Tuesday's Munising Invitational.
Kingsford medalists at Tuesday’s cross country meet were, from left, Dylan Lawton, Nate Carey, Lara Hakamaki and Hannah Allen. Carey and Hakamaki are students at Iron Mountain.
Cousineau earned his first varsity victory, covering the 3.1-mile course in 17 minutes, 25 seconds on the Valley Spor Cross Country Ski Trails.
He was followed by Menominee's Davey Luplow (17:28), Stephenson's Connor Cappaert (18:18), Kingsford's Nate Carey (18:20) and Esky's Gabe Ostrenga (18:25) on this cloudy, warm and humid day.
"This is a tough course, and I went out way too fast," said Cousineau. "I'm surprised I was able to stay ahead. Hearing Davey right behind me inspired me to push through for the team. I'm very happy we won it as a team."
The Eskymos, placing five among the top 13, scored 35 points. Runner-up Menominee had 92, followed by Munising 124, Ishpeming 139, North Central 152 and Kingsford 154.
"For our first meet of the year I thought we did a decent job," Flivvers coach Dan Carey said. "I was impressed that Nate Carey ran hard from the gun and finished fourth overall. Dylan Lawton (25th) also medaled and ran fine race given the humid conditions. Jorge Sanchez was right on his heals finishing 26th.
Menominee girls won with 39 points. Kingsford was fourth, 137.
Menominee senior Kameron Burmeister dominated in 20:17. Hannah Allen was best for Kingsford in 17th place.
"The girls, I thought, ran a pretty decent race considering how many new girls we have on the team," Carey said. "Hannah looked really strong the entire race. Newcomer, Lara Hakamaki, medaled in her first cross country race, placing 21st.
"Over the next few weeks I am expecting everyones times and places to improve. Many of the new runners are still figuring out how to compete."
Kingsford runs at Marquette Thursday.
Boys - E 35, MEN 92, MUN 124, ISH 139, NC 152, K 154, STEP 167, G 187, WW 189, SC 191, MAN 240, RUD 304.
Top 10 - 1, Eric Cousineau, E, 17:25; 2, Davey Luplow, MEN, 17:28; 3, Connor Cappaert, STEP, 18:18; 4, Nate Carey, K 18:20; 5, Gabe Ostrenga, E, 18:25; 6, Gunther DeDamos, MEN, 18:29; 7, Jordan Ogren, E, 18:36; 8, Nick Maki, SC, 18:44; 9, Tyler Hardwick, E, 19:08; 10, Skyler Dakota, WW, 19:17.
Girls - MEN 39, E 49, MUN 74, K 137, WW 148, STEP, MAN 169, RUD 210, SC 220, ISH 227, G 283, NC 284.
Top 10 - 1, Kameron Burmeister, MEN, 20:17; 2, Aimee Giese, E, 21:36; 3, Holly Blowers, MAN, 22:05; 4, Lily Johnson, MEN, 22:15; 5, Aubree Peterson, ESC, 22:24; 6, Isabelle Wellman, ESC, 23:25; 7, Marissa Immel, MUN, 23:53; 8, Anna Baij, MUN, 23:55; 9, Paige Reiswitz, MEN, 24:01; 10, Michaela Bougie, E, 24:05.