ROGERS CITY-By her own admission, Alcona's Megan Quick wasn't at her best during the final North Star League cross country meet of the season.
But Quick's worst was still more than enough to be the best on Tuesday.
Quick finished in 22:55 to win the girls race, more than a minute and a half ahead of Rogers City's Emily Malocha, who came in at 23:29.
News Photo by James Andersen
Runners take off from the start line during the boys race of a North Star League cross country meet in Rogers City on Tuesday.
News Photo by James Andersen
Alcona’s Megan Quick, left, and Rogers City’s Emily Malocha run during the girls race of a North Star League cross country meet in Rogers City on Tuesday.. Quick won the race in 22:55, finishing more than a minute and a half ahead of Malocha.
"It was really rough. the hills were really hard. I did it, but it was my worst time though. But I guess it's not a 20-21 minute course," Quick said. "I'm not really used to all the uphills in the woods yet. I guess I'll have to train more on them. It was more windy, so I had to put my head down more, but I tried to use the hills to my advantage."
Quick who won the Oscoda Invitational last week in 21:42, pulled away from Malocha down the stretch. Quick had never run on Rogers City's revamped course before and she and the other runners battled through hilly stretches along with wind gusts that reached up to 20 miles per hour.
Malocha's finish was one of four top-10 finishes for the Hurons and secured them first place with 35 points. Oscoda was second with 65 and Alcona was third with 67.
Rogers City's other top-10 finishers were: Sami Bober (5th, 25:57), Victoria Bullock (6th, 26:08) and Amber Wirgau (10th, 27:34). The finishes of Alysse Hempel (12th, 28:24), Amber Nowicki (13th, 28:36) and Rebecca Myers (14th, 28:40) gave the Hurons seven of the top 15 runners.
Lilly Manning (8th, 26:51) and Hannah Terpstra (9th, 26:54) gave Alcona three top-10 placers.
Oscoda's Taylor Morse (23:34) and Gabrielle Hargar (25:16) took third and fourth respectively to round out the top-5.
With windy conditions and unfamiliarity with the course, several coaches advocated drafting to get ahead.
"Try to draft like NASCAR. That's the best thing to do: get behind somebody that's taller than you and have them break the wind, once your out of the wind try and pass them," Rogers City coach Rob Kortman said.
Fairview won the boys race with 40 points and had four top-10 finishers. Tony Oaks was third at 20:42, Harold Cummings was fifth at 21:15, Nathan Handrich was seventh at 21:31 and Kyle Morse was 10th at 22:34.
Whittemore-Prescott finished second with 58 points and Clayton Lang was the winner of the boys race, crossing the finishing line in 20:02. Ethan Baum was ninth at 22:27.
Rogers City finished third with 66 points and was led by Jacob Sobeck who finished eighth at 21:48. Jake Flemming (11th, 22:51), Zach Beland (12th, 23:05) and Chris Tulgestke (16th, 23:47) added to the Hurons' total.
"We're about where we've been every league meet so far. I've seen improvement in our girls and our boys. It was the first run with the North Star League and it didn't go too bad, so we'll build from here," Kortman said.
Rounding out the top 10 were Oscoda's Jake Montgomery (2nd, 20:14), Hale's Ethan Rash (4th, 20:47) and Alcona's Kyle Thum (6th, 21:24).
James Andersen can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 358-5694. Follow James on Twitter @ja_alpenanews.