There’s no place like home

Ely runners host hundreds on beautiful Tuesday at the golf course

by Tom Coombe
Mother Nature cooperated for what proved to be the largest high school cross country event ever held in Ely.
About 350 runners, from roughly a dozen schools, took part in Tuesday’s Ely Invitational at the Ely Golf Course.
The runners raced under sunny skies, amid warm early-October temperatures and before hundreds of spectators.
Both Ely varsity teams were in the middle of the pack, with the boys tying for fifth among 11 teams and the girls sixth out of nine.
The hosts did record a clean sweep of the junior high races, with seventh-grade sensation Molly Brophy winning yet another junior high girls race and eighth-grader Nathan Hoffmeister taking first in the junior high boys.
“It was a good day, a really good day,“ said Ely Head Coach Jayne Dusich. “The weather was great. Some kids don’t like running in the heat but it was a really nice day for a meet.”
The Ely and South Ridge boys tied for fifth, and the Wolves were three points back of fourth-place North Shore.
Led by a one-two finish from Aaron Nelson and Cameron Stocke, Rock Ridge ran away with the boys team title although the Wolves’ Jake Cochran, a junior, took 16th overall in a field of 142 runners with a five-kilometer time of 18:24.
Next up for the Wolves were senior Gabriel Pointer (18:44.2) and freshman Caid Chittum (18:47), who were 23rd and 24th, respectively.
They helped pace the Wolves and were followed by:
37. Jace Huntbatch, 19:27.9;
41. Ben Cavalier, 19:33.4;
42. Silas Solum, 19:37.1;
43. Jon Hakala, 19:39.2;
66. Leo Stalmer, 20:33.1;
88. Tory Hughley, 21:28.4;
109. Drew Marolt, 22:52.9;
116. Sam Leeson, 23:09.6;
125. Eli Olson, 23:45.6;
141. Zach Robbins, 34:49.5.
Devine 10th
In the varsity girls race, Ely junior Zoe Devine led the Timberwolves with a 10th-place finish and a time of 21:02.2.
Not far behind was fellow junior Phoebe Helms, who was 17th in a field of 81 in 22:08.7.
“Zoe’s time was good and Phoebe’s was really good too,” said Dusich. “Our course is hard. If they have a good time on our course compared to a flatter course they did really well.”
Ninth-grader Anna Dunn was next in the Ely lineup with a 43rd-place finish (24:07.5).
Also running for the Wolves were:
48. Gracie Pointer, 24:46.4;
61. Sydney Durkin, 26:39.6;
76. Kiarstin Eaton, 29:54;
80. Juliet Stouffer, 30:56.1.
Proctor outpaced North Shore to win the girls team title and Mt. Iron-Buhl sophomore Kate Nelson won the individual title in 20:09.4.
Junior High sweep
As she has all season long, Brophy dominated the junior high girls competition.
The unbeaten Ely athlete had little trouble winning the 2.5K girls race in 10:08.7, crossing the finish line about 16 seconds ahead of her next-nearest foe.
On the boys’ side, Hoffmeister outran a field of 70 and cruised in 9:36, more than 21 seconds ahead of runner-up Grayson Reichensperger of Northeast Range.
Brophy and Hoffmeister have formed a potent one-two Ely punch at junior high races all season.
“Molly came to our Friday morning practices this summer and she could run,“ said Dusich. “She has natural talent. And then Nathan won. I’m not surprised, but with all of the other AA schools there he did really well to be first.”
Mattie Lindsay (sixth), Elsa Ellerbroek (seventh), and Evelyn Cavalier (12th) were other high Ely finishers in the junior high girls race.
Among tthe boys, Oliver Hohenstein took fifth, Wyatt Devine was 11th, Mason Spate-Kurnava took 12th and Aksel Skustad finished 13th.
Next up for the Wolves is a meet at International Falls on Tuesday.