Alpena XC teams finish 1st, 2nd at Rau Invitational

WEST BRANCH-The Alpena boys cross country team took first place at the Dwayne Rau Memorial Invitational at Ogemaw Heights on Thursday.

The Wildcats topped the field of all 11 team, finishing with 22 points, well ahead of second-place Beaverton (81) and third-place Ogemaw (104). Rogers City was fourth with 124 points, but finished first in the small schools division.

Alpena runners took six of the top 10 spots in the 58-runner field. Nevin McHarg finished second in 18:29. R.J. Centala was third at 18:45 and Ryan Wirgau was fourth at 18:45. Isaac Cross took fifth (18:55), Clay Jacobs was eighth (19:29), Ben Diamond was 10th (19:48) and Tellis Donajowski was 11th (20:06).

“It was so hot, 92 degrees there, and they have one of the toughest courses we will see all season,” Alpena coach Joy Bullis said. “But with a lot of first-year cross country runners, they did a great job. I expect it will take a few races for them to figure out their strategy and energy levels during the race.”

Ogemaw won the six-team girls race, finishing with 38 points, just ahead of Alpena which had 42. Rogers City was sixth with 149 points, but was third in the small schools division.

Alpena had five runners finish in the top 12. Mikayla Oliver was Alpena’s top finisher, taking third place out of 78 runners in 24:34. Hannah McDonald was seventh (25:23), Alayna Nugent was ninth (25:32), Taylor Kunath was 11th (25:42), Brooke Burrone was 12th (25:51), Lauren Heath was 20th (27:07) and Phoebe Wojciechowski was 22nd (27:11).