2018 CROSS COUNTRY MEETS
Saturday, August 18th at 11:00 a.m. - Ryan Shay
Saturday, August 25th at 10:00 a.m. - Mancelona Invite (High School Only)
Wednesday, August 29th at 5:00 p.m. - East Jordan Invite
Saturday, September 8th at 9:00 a.m. - Charlevoix Mud Run
Saturday, September 15th at 10:30 a.m. - Ellsworth House on the Hill Run
Tuesday, September 18th at 4:00 p.m. - Bulldog Invite
Saturday, September 22nd at 11:00 a.m. - Hot Dog Invite
Thursday, October 4th at 4:00 p.m. - Mancelona Invite (Middle School Only)
Saturday, October 13th at 10:30 a.m. - Leroy Maxie - 3 Mile
Saturday, October 20th at 10:00 a.m. - Northern Michigan Champions
Saturday, October 27th at TBD (Regionals/High School Only)
Saturday, November 3rd at TBD (State Finals)
J-L's Gascho, Townsend each win Leroy Maxie meet
FAIRVIEW — After winning the individual Ski Valley championship Wednesday, Johannesburg-Lewiston sophomore Carlos Gascho followed it up by winning the annual LeRoy Maxie cross-country invitational Saturday at Fairview.
Gascho, who transferred from Fairview to J-L before his freshman year, helped the Cardinals place second as a team. Mancelona won the meet, while Whittemore Prescott took third.
Also competing for the Cardinals were Gavin Weaver in seventh, Jack Perry in eighth, Gage Boughner in 16th and Spencer Townsend in 20th. Elijah Fisher (24th), Toby Hall (25th) and Evan Idalski (40th) also raced.
In the girls meet, Sydney Townsend took first place to push J-L to a second-place finish. Mancelona won the meet, and Central Lake placed third.
Kennedy Johnson placed fourth, followed by Jersey Layman in 12th, Claire Mullins in 15th, Kamryn Kennedy in 22nd, Elizabeth Eaton in 24th and Holly Kussrow in 26th.
In middle school action, Ki Gascho and Jacob Wartenberg took first and second, respectively, on the boys side. Blake Fox placed sixth, and Ronin Vaden was 10th. The girls race saw Layla Gascho place third, Lizzie Halbert take sixth, Eliza Idalski finish seventh and Rosie Gascho end up eighth.
Cardinals' Gascho repeats as Ski Valley champion
MANCELONA – Carlos Gascho used a permanent marker to write “BNF” on his left arm before Wednesday’s Ski Valley Championships.
Going into the season, the Johannesburg-Lewiston sophomore thought his team didn’t exude too much confidence because of how many seniors it graduated from its conference championship-winning cross-country team in 2017. Some of them feared they wouldn’t be able to repeat.
So he came up with the saying “believe no fear,” and the Cardinals have used it as their mantra all season long. While they didn’t repeat as Ski Valley champions at Mancelona, they did finish as the runner-ups behind the Ironmen, beating Inland Lakes, Onaway and Bellaire.
What’s more, Gascho crossed the finish line in 17:06 – over a minute faster than Mancelona’s Tyler McClure, the second-place finisher – to repeat as the individual boys Ski Valley champion.
“Every meet, I’ve had ‘BNF’ on tape, but it kept falling off, so today I used a permanent marker,” he said. “I didn’t want it falling off, so I wrote it on my arm.”
Gascho was fearless as he tackled the retooled course at Mancelona High School. His goal was to finish each mile around 5:30 so he could break 17 minutes and post a strong score as he readies himself for the Division 4 regional in two weeks.
He hit his first mile at 5:10 and then he clocked in his second mile at 10:40. He was well on his way to reaching his goal, even waving his arms up and down to control the lactic acid in his body and find a proper running rhythm.
But then he started struggling down the stretch.
“I felt really good, and I felt strong until that last mile,” he said. “During that last mile, really I just died. But it looks like everyone just ran slow times today. I was really hoping it would have been a good time today because of this weather — I love running in (rainy) weather. It is what it is.
“I was in the low 17s, so I can’t argue with it. It’s still good to be the conference champion.”
Jack Perry (18:55) and Gavin Weaver (19:03) took seventh and ninth, respectively, to help the Cardinals. Also scoring were Spencer Townsend (20:38) and Gage Boughner (20:48) who took 17th and 18th.
Toby Hall (21:36), Elijah Fisher (21:42), Aaron Latusek (21:47), Vince Hummel (22:04), Cody Layman (22:15), Ethan Voss (22:23), Evan Idalski (23:56) and William Carey (24:37) also competed.
St. Mary didn’t have enough runners to score as a team, however, Aidan Yaske (24:05), Ian Oliver (24:08), Nic Switalski (24:51) and Kyle Brown (26:36) each raced for the Snowbirds.
Up next for the Cardinals is a meet Saturday, Oct. 13, in Fairview. Then it’s the Northern Michigan Championships on Saturday, Oct. 20, at Michaywé Pines Golf Course, the same course the regional meet will be held at. Gascho knows it’ll be important to ride Wednesday’s success into those two meets.
“I feel really good about regionals,” he said. “Today was something where the last mile just happened. Hopefully, I can clean that up and really accelerate during my next performance."
Sports Roundup: Cardinals runner-ups at Inland Lakes cross-country meet
At the start of the season, it looked as if Inland Lakes and Mancelona were going to push the Johannesburg-Lewiston cross-country team, the defending Ski Valley champions. While that still might be true, the Cardinals proved Tuesday that they're still a contender to win it all again this year.
Both J-L's boys and girls teams were runner-ups at an invitational at Inland Lakes, beating the host Bulldogs, St. Mary and Pellston. Only Boyne City, a Class B school, finished better than the Cardinals.
Carlos Gascho (17:22) and Jack Perry (18:46) placed first and third, respectively, to pace the boys team. Spencer Townsend (20:45) and Toby Hall (20:49), a freshman who has ascended the Cardinals' lineup since Day 1, took 13th and 14th, while Elijah Fisher (21:05) was 16th.
Also running were Aaron Latusek (21:06), Cody Layman (21:39), Vince Hummel (22:38) and Evan Idalski (25:30).
"The team's top 1-2 punch of Carlos Gascho and Jack Perry lead once again," coach Craig DeHoog "But without top-five runners Gavin Weaver and Gage Boughner today, the other runners stepped up. Spencer Townsend and Toby Hall cracked the team's top five once again as well as Elijah Fisher for the first time this season.
"The depth of the boys team is really showing."
The girls team finished with three top-10 runners, including Sydney Townsend (22:44) in fourth, Jersey Layman (23:47) in ninth and Lydia Hummell (23:51) in fourth. Kennedy Johnson (23:55) and Claire Mullins (26:49) also scored.
Kamryn Kennedy (30:42), Elizabeth Eaton (31:38) and Holly Kussrow (32:28) competed as well.
"The girls edged out Ski Valley Conference foe Indian River by two points for a second-place trophy," DeHoog said. "Returning to action (after missing the last two meets), Sydney Townsend was the team's top runner. Jersey Layman was second, and the dynamic freshmen trio of Lydia Hummel, Kennedy Johnson and Claire Mullins continue to shine and have an instant impact."
Also competing during the meet was St. Mary, whose girls team took fourth place but boys didn't have enough runners to score as a team.
Alivia Zaremba (20:51) is doing her best to fill in the shoes of recent graduate Averi Bebble, as the eighth-grader was the individual champion of the girls race, even beating out Townsend, who won the SVC title last season.
Cardinals' Gascho finishes 2nd at House on the Hill meet
Despite being thrown in the big-school division, Johannesburg-Lewiston cross-country runner Carlos Gascho fit right in.
Once again, Harbor Spring senior Jeremy Kloss (16:03) placed first, but Gascho (17:13) finished behind him in second during the House on the Hill meet Saturday in Ellsworth.
Both the boys and girls Cardinals' teams placed seventh out of 10 teams, battling both Division 2 and 3 teams as well as the heat.
"(It was) very hot conditions, overall, so (it was) great to see runners step up and help out the team," J-L coach Craig DeHoog said.
Jack Perry (20:11), Gage Boughner (20:52), Cody Layman (21:34) and Aaron Latusek (21:49) each scored for the Cardinals, while Gavin Weaver (22:07) and Toby Hall (22:08) also competed.
The girls were without top-runner Sydney Townsend, but Lydia Hummel (24:27), Jersey Layman (24:28) and Kennedy Johnson (24:42) each placed in the top 50. Claire Mullins (29:11) and Elizabeth Eaton (32:05) also scored. Kamryn Kennedy (32:14) and Holly Kussrow (34:28) raced as well.
Gascho almost healthy, takes 2nd at East Jordan meet
EAST JORDAN – The scary part is Carlos Gascho isn't 100 percent healthy yet.
The Johannesburg-Lewiston sophomore placed second individually in a Division 3 and 4 cross-country meet Wednesday at Rotary Park. He crossed the finish line in 17:05, four seconds faster than third-place finisher Benjamin Lentz of Charlevoix.
Gascho suffered a calf injury before the season started. He missed the opener at Central Lake but returned for J-L's second meet at Mancelona, ultimately winning the race despite still feeling the ill effects of his injury.
"Running on hard surfaces is what hurt it," Gascho said. "At Central Lake, when I was running, I was running in the sand the whole time because it felt better on my calf. Running in the sand really helped.
"Today there wasn't much sand at all, so today I wanted to get into a good rhythm and see how good I'd do from there."
Although he was injured, Gascho's goal was to keep up with Harbor Springs senior Jeremy Kloss, who will likely compete for or win an individual state title in November. Kloss quickly separated from the pack and won the race 66 seconds faster than anyone else. He finished in 15:59.
"I was going to try to stick with Kloss today," Gascho said. "Today my calf didn't feel right, so I got a nice, easy pace and rhythm. It feels good to get in a rhythm. It doesn't hurt once I get into a rhythm, and it feels pretty good from there.
"It's (the calf injury) getting a little better. It's getting a little stronger. Today was another day to get my feet wet."
Gascho has been taking magnesium to help his calf heal. Cramps have bothered him, though. He expects he'll need another week to continue recovering.
For now, he's just thankful he had Lentz to run alongside and compete with today.
Last year, Gascho battled St. Mary's Brendan Delaney for Ski Valley supremacy all season long. Gascho later edged Delaney for the conference title. Although Lentz is from Charlevoix, Gascho will rely on him when he needs a push during races. They'll race together again during the Charlevoix Mud Run next week.
"It was good having another kid pushing me," Gascho added. "Brendan Delaney left (because of graduation), and he pushed me, and we both got each other better. I think I found another teammate to help me with that, and that's Ben from Charlevoix."
Charlevoix won the meet, followed by East Jordan, Harbor Springs, Mancelona, Boyne City, Kalkaska, J-L and Grayling.
Gavin Weaver (19:17) and Jack Perry (19:22) rounded out J-L's Big 3 in 20th and 22nd place, respectively. Freshman Toby Hall stepped up and scored for the Cardinals in his second-straight meet, finishing in 21:15.
Spencer Townsend (21:49), Cody Layman (22:14) and Elijah Fisher (22:16) also ran for J-L.
Charlevoix also won the girls meet. Harbor Springs took second, followed by East Jordan, Boyne City, Mancelona, Grayling, Central Lake, Kalkaska and J-L.
Sydney Townsend and Jersey Layman were J-L's top-two finishers. However, East Jordan's timing team made an error and didn't record the duo's official times.
Lydia Hummel (24:53), Claire Mullins (28:57), Elizabeth Eaton (29:15), Kamryn Kennedy (29:50) and Holly Kussrow (33:42) also competed for the Cardinals.
Gascho returns from hamstring injury, wins Mancelona invite
MANCELONA – Carlos Gascho sat out the first cross-country race of the season with a hamstring injury.
The Johannesburg-Lewiston sophomore proved he's over the injury. He finished in 17:50 to individually win a nine-team invitational Saturday at Mancelona. It was the same course where he won his Ski Valley title as a freshman.
Mancelona won the meet, followed by Grayling, Boyne City, Kalkaska and J-L. Also competing were McBain Northern Michigan Christian, Inland Lakes, Onaway and Rogers City. St. Mary didn't bring enough runners to score as a team.
Jack Perry (20:13) continued to prove he's a solid No. 2 runner for the Cardinals this season by taking 14th. Gavin Weaver (20:53), who also missed the opener with an injury, took 22nd.
Gage Boughner (21:30), Toby Hall (22:27), Elijah Fisher (23:00), Ethan Voss (23:25), Aaron Latusek (23:49), Evan Idalski (23:57) and Vince Hummell (24:17) also competed for the Cardinals.
St. Mary's finishers included Ian Oliver (25:03), Aidan Yaske (26:27) and Kyle Brown (27:35).
The girls race proved to be a boon for the rebuilding Snowbirds, who had three top-15 finishers.
Alivia Zaremba, only an eighth-grader, took fifth place after crossing the finish line in 22:38. Bailey Murrell (23:59) and Emma McKinley (25:08) took ninth and 15th, respectively.
Summer Sullivan (31:51) rounded out St. Mary's effort in 45th. While the Snowbirds didn't score as a team, they're just one consistent starter away from being able to compete at competitive Division 4 meets.
Boyne City won the meet, followed by Mancelona, Inland Lakes, Grayling and Rogers City. J-L took sixth and Kalkaska finished last.
Sydney Townsend, the 2017 SVC champion, placed seventh for the Cardinals with a time of 23:34.
Also running for J-L were Lydia Hummel (26:41), Claire Mullens (30:20), Kamryn Kennedy (33:01), Elizabeth Eaton (22:04) and Holly Kussrow (34:24). No. 2 runner Jersey Layman missed the meet to take a college placement test.
By Brandon Folsom - Gaylord Herald Times
CENTRAL LAKE – Jersey Layman made one of the toughest decisions of her athletic career over the summer.
She elected to stop playing volleyball, which she has played her entire life, and join Johannesburg-Lewiston's cross-country team.
What a gamble. But it paid off.
The senior completed the 2-mile Ryan Shay Memorial in 15:15 on Saturday at Jean Burns' Farm to become J-L's best girls finisher. The team's top runner, defending Ski Valley champion Sydney Townsend, was working at Otsego County Fair and unable to run.
Layman, the rookie, picked up the slack, though, and finished 43rd among a stacked field of bigger Division 3 and state-ranked runners.
"I felt like it was kind of what I had to do," she said. "Even though I had never run with them before, I felt like I had to do it for them and prove that I needed to be on the team."
Layman's no slouch when it comes to running, however. Last year, she was the breakout star on the track and field team, even qualifying for the D4 state final. She was a middle distance runner, but she found success as a 2-miler by the end of the season.
The confidence she gained in the spring made her curious about joining the cross-country team. It was a summer volleyball camp that sealed the deal for Layman, though. Once again, her position on the volleyball team changed, and she was tired of being moved around.
"I just still had that cross-country thing in the back of my mind, and I really love running," Layman explained. "People have been putting bugs in my ear (about running cross-country) for a really long time. I guess with the whole position changing constantly, I just decided it wouldn't hurt to call up (J-L volleyball coach Kristine Peppin) and be like, 'Hey, what do you think? I really have an interest in cross, but don't get me wrong, I love volleyball.'
"I talked to her about it and just decided, 'You know what? It's my senior year. I'm just going to go for it.'"
Peppin gave Layman her blessing about switching sports. Now Layman is learning the nuances of running up hills and on rough terrain.
She said she was overwhelmed by the number of runners in Central Lake, but she loved the freedom of not being restricted to one of the eight lanes on a track.
"I loved it," she said. "It was so awesome (running on the trail) because it wasn't boring for one second. You always had something to look forward to, whether it was another hill or changing from grass to gravel to dirt to whatever it was."
No one is as happy about Layman's addition to the team than coach Craig DeHoog.
"With her and Sydney, that's quite the 1-2 punch," the fifth-year coach said. "If Sydney has the year that she had last year, this will be a really good team with Jersey on it, too. I think she'll be great.
"We'll see how she does at a 5K, but she did really well. It's a lot different than track, but we talked about that with her and our newer kids. There are no lanes, so you can pass anytime you want.
"For her to jump into cross and do that well – after playing volleyball for a number of years – I'm super proud of her."
DeHoog said Layman's work ethic at practice is what sets her apart from other runners. But he's right. Running a competitive 5K for the first time will challenge Layman, especially since she's run only one 5K before – at the Lewiston Timberfest earlier this month.
"When I ran the Timberfest 5K, that was hard for me, mentally, because I was running hard by myself the whole time," Layman said. "And I had no idea how fast to run it. There were hardly any girls my age there. (When I run my first 5K), I want to get the distance under my belt, get a feel for the race and still be competitive in it."
Also crossing the finish line for the Cardinals were Kennedy Johnson (15:32), Claire Mullins (19:22), Kamryn Kennedy (21:22), Elizabeth Eaton (21:23) and Holly Kussrow (23:30).
The boys team was without Ski Valley champion Carlos Gascho. The sophomore suffered a hamstring injury before the race. Junior Gavin Weaver also was unable to run with a knee injury.
However, Jack Perry stepped up and led the team. The junior completed his 2-mile run in 12:15, good enough for 41st place. Gage Boughner finished in 13:39, followed by Toby Hall (14:09), Cody Layman (14:11), Ethan Voss (14:25) and Evan Idalski (14:49).
"Our top boy, Jack Perry, I thought looked good, and I think we have some good things coming from him," DeHoog said.
The Cardinals race again during an invitational Saturday, Aug. 25, at Mancelona. Layman will miss it because she'll be taking the SAT. But there's plenty of people excited about her making her 5K debut the following week. That includes her coach.
"I'm glad she's running this year," DeHoog said. "She's a good kid. It takes guts to talk to your volleyball coach and make a change like that. She's a nice girl and a very good kid, and she works harder than anybody."