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Niemi wins, Anderson 4th at Drummond invite


Jason Juno/Daily Globe

Ironwood's Nick Niemi, in red, leads the field of boys, including Hurley's Carson Thewis, in black, left of Niemi, at Thursday's cross country invitational hosted by Drummond at Telemark Golf Course in Cable, Wis. Niemi won the race and Thewis finished ninth. For more on the event, see page 9.

CABLE, Wis. — In as close to a WIAA Division 3 sectional preview as Hurley will get, Tori Anderson finished fourth Thursday at Telemark Golf Course.

Ironwood's Nick Niemi found out he would have a good shot at a Wisconsin state berth — if he weren't competing in Michigan. He won the invite with a time of 17:29.2, beating Drummond's Gavin Martell by 20.6 seconds.

Fourteen of the 20 teams from the sectional took part. But that excluded Chequamegon, which has been dominant this season and one of the bigger schools in the sectional in Grantsburg, which has three runners posting faster times than Anderson. Unity, Webster and Flambeau also have runners with faster times; they didn't attend Thursday's invite.

The top two teams at the Oct. 21 sectional back here qualify for state as do the top five individual runners not on one of those teams.

Part of the equation for Anderson's state chances is which of those three teams miss a trip to state and how many individuals that team sends to Wisconsin Rapids along with competition she'll face from other runners mentioned that day.

It'll be a very tough competition at sectionals.

"That is weeks away and too many variables with how Chequamegon, Grantsburg and Phillips qualify as teams," Hurley coach Jason Maki said. "However, I would be lying if I said coach (Amanda) Corullo and I aren't talking about it."

Of the 15 schools with teams here Thursday, just four of them had at least five girls, the minimum to qualify for a team score. Phillips won with five runners in the top 10. Frederic-Luck was second, Hurley third and Washburn fourth.

Emily Carey led Ironwood with a fourth-place finish. Melissa Simonar of Hurley was 21st.

The Ironwood boys finished fourth with Phillips winning, Solon Springs second and Drummond third.

Hurley's Carson Thewis was ninth and Ironwood's Andrew Niemi was 11th.

The Red Devil boys were at full strength and they finished 11 points closer to Solon Springs and Drummond than they did at last week's Indianhead Conference meet at Washburn. The non-conference teams present here may skew that number a bit.

They translated their energy from walking the course to competing very well in the race.

"This was the meet that we needed big time," Ironwood coach Ben Schmandt said. "Everyone ran well. We had guys that were kind of struggling the last week or so that bounced back this week.

"It was a meet we needed to have just to get the moral up, get a boost of confidence. Now I think we're in a good frame of mind. Now we have a week to prepare for the next conference clash, which is in Hurley (Thursday)."



Team: 1. Phillips 72, 2. Solon Springs 73, 3. Drummond 85, 4. Ironwood 105, 5. Ladysmith 115, 6. Washburn 134, 7. Hurley 149, 8. Butternut 168, 9. Shell Lake 258.

Top 5: 1. Nick Niemi, Ironwood, 17:29.2; 2. Gavin Martell, Drummond, 17:49.8; 3. Dale Hetke, Ladysmith, 17:52.4; 4. Connor Berg, Ladysmith, 18:13.8; 5. Jasper Bushman, Phillips, 18:33.8.

Ironwood: 11. Andrew Niemi, 19:02.7; 23. Cole Brunell, 19:49.8; 31. David Collins, 20:40.6; 48. Rico Braucher, 21:35.2

Hurley: 9. Carson Thewis, 18:51.9; 32. Luke Marczak, 20:44.3; 36. Tate Guenard, 21:02.1; 37. Dante Bender, 21:03.4; 45. Sabastion Yaeger, 21:32.3.

Mercer: 59. Tristin Woolf, 22:30.3; 71. Jesse Salinas, 23:25.5; 86. Davin Peterson, 26:57.7.


Team: 1. Phillips 21, 2. Frederic-Luck 48, 3. Hurley 66, 4. Washburn 106.

Top 5: 1. Kristin Belan, Phillips, 21:07.2; 2. Annikka Johnson, Phillips, 21:13.7; 3. Alize Bosio, Frederic-Luck, 21:45.4; 4. Tori Anderson, Hurley, 22:17.2; 5. Serenity Hetke, Ladysmith, 22:24.9.

Ironwood: 8. Emily Carey, Ironwood, 23:04.5; 15. Corissa Mattson, 23:37.1.

Hurley: 4. Tori Anderson, 22:17.2; 21. Melissa Simonar, 25:30.4; 22. Aiyana Nickel, 25:40.9; 28. Brooke Piilola, 26:13.3; 29. Riley Kangas, 26:16.0.

Mercer: 45. Kaylee Cassiani, 27:52.6.


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