Runners make further gains
by Tom Coombe
There’s little doubt that Ely’s cross country teams will be battle-tested by the time they match up against schools their own size.
Both had solid days Tuesday at Grand Rapids, where the Timberwolves competed and led all Class A foes at the Paul Bauer Invitational.
On another warm day for running, Ely trailed Class AA and AAA opposition but beat some of those teams as well.
The girls, fueled by another impressive outing by senior Zoe Devine, took sixth among 11 teams.
In boys competition, Ely was fifth in a 10-team field with Caid Chittum leading a pack of four Wolves runners who were all within four seconds of each other.
“It went good,” head coach Jayne Dusich said of the day. “It was a big meet and a lot of AA schools and it was hot and humid. They ran on a ski trail so it’s crowded and not very wide. We did good against bigger schools.”
Devine, who has previous state meet experience, took 16th overall out of more than 80 runners with a time of 21:32.
“Zoe is moving up every meet,” said Dusich. “She’s running well and ended up 16th, but you look at the results and a lot of the runners ahead of here were fro Duluth East.”
Duluth East easily won the team title and has six of the top-15 finishers. Mt. Iron-Buhl junior Liz Nelson won in 19:49.4.
Eighth-grade standout Molly Brophy was Ely’s next-best finisher, taking 27th in 22:09.4, while Elsa Ellerbroek had a breakout performance and was 35th. The ninth-grader’s time was 22:54.1.
“It was a great race for Elsa,” said Dusich. “She finished as my third runner and ran a minute-and-a-half faster than her best time.”
Ely senior Phoebe Helms was 39th (23:03.3) with junior Claire Blauch (45th, 23:26), sophomore Evie Cavalier (49th, 23:48.88), and sophomore Anna Dunn (57th, 24:40.1) rounding out the lineup.
The Ely girls finished in front of Cloquet, Duluth Marshall, Duluth Denfeld, Grand Rapids and Deer River/Northland.
In the boys meet, five Ely runners ran together for much of the race and four - Chittium, Otto Devine, Jake Cochran and Ben Cavalier - finished in a row from 27th through 30th
“They ran the whole race pretty much together,” said Dusich. “And Silas (Solum) was in that group for awhile. They had a good race. Every time they came around a corner they were together.
Chittum, a sophomore, was 27th in 18:45.9 while ninth-grader Devine was one spot back in 18:47.3.
Seniors Cochran (18:48.2) and Cavalier (18:49.2) were 29th and 30th, respectively and Solum took 36th in 19:21.4.
Next for the Wolves was junior Leo Stalmer (48th, 20:05.6) while sophomore Milo McClelland shaved a minute-and-a-half from his previous best and was 64th in 20:58.3.
Led by Cameron Stocke, one of the state’s elite runners and the overall winner in 15:48.3, Rock Ridge won the team title by nearly 20 points over Duluth East.
Ely was fifth and in front of Cloquet, North Shore, Proctor, Duluth Denfeld and Chisholm.
Other Ely results were:
20. Ava Skustad, 24:40.5;
23. Kiarstin Eaton, 25:05.8;
26. Grace LaTourell, 25:28.6;
50. Sydney Durkin, 30:57.5;
53. Juliet Stouffer, 32:03.3;
68. Tory Hughley, 23:09.8;
71. Eli Olson, 23:29.7;
72. Dylan Durkin, 23:37.6;
73. Drew Marolt, 23:38;
87. Max Cochran, 25:54.4;
Junior High Girls (3.2K)
6. Mattie Lindsay, 13:42.1;
55. Julia Zgonc, 17:54.3;
Junior High Boys (3.2K)
8. Mason Spate-Kurnava, 11:39.7;
10. Brooks Brenny, 11:57;
13. Oliver Hohenstein, 12:01.3;
27. Aksel Skustad, 12:50.6;
41. Grant Chittum, 13;25.4;
42. Mason Molden, 13:25.9;
54. Noah Axelsson, 14:24.3;
56. Brian Cook, 14:30.2.
The Ely teams are off until their lone home meet, set for Tuesday, Oct. 4 at 4 p.m. at the Ely Golf Course.