It’s all in the finish

ROGERS CITY-Onaway’s cross country teams found the perfect ending to a grueling week of competition.

Joe Traynham won the boys race and the Cardinals’ boys and girls teams finished first and second in their respective races at the 7th annual Maurice Dewey Memorial Invitational on Saturday in Rogers City.

Traynham dictated the pace early in the boys race and finished in 18:32, well ahead of Cheboygan’s Max Pletcher who finished in 19:19 and Oscoda’s Jack Montgomery who took third place at 20:37.

Onaway finished first with 32 points. Rogers City was second with 47 points, Cheboygan was third with 79 and Oscoda was fourth with 83.

The win was the second one of the week for Traynham, who had won a meet at Black Mountain Lodge in Cheboygan a few days earlier.

“We have a lot of competitive kids in our conference that he’s been racing three years now and his work out regime is like no other,” Onaway coach Marty Mix said of Traynham. “When you tell kids hard work pays off, he’s the example of that.”

The race, which was named for Maurice Dewey, a longtime supporter of running in Rogers City, is usually held under sunny skies and Saturday was no exception. About 3/4 of a mile of the course was redone for this year’s race and the result was a course that was more viewer-friendly and more open for the runners.

“He was looking down on us today. He ran with the kids when he was here,” Rogers City coach Rob Kortman said of Dewey. “He was one of those guys that took the kids who maybe weren’t the best and worked with them and if you believe in those kids, it’s amazing what will happen.”

Cheboygan’s Mandy Paull won the girls race, finishing in 21:34. Rogers City’s Emily Malocha was second (22:59) and Oscoda’s Taylor Morse was third (23:37).

Other finishers for Rogers City in the girls race included: Victoria Bullock (8th, 26:09); Sami Bober (9th, 26:09); Alysse Hemple (11th, 26:21); Rebecca Myers (13th, 28:09); Amber Nowicki (15th, 28:39) and Maddie Steiger (17th, 31:28).

Other girls finishers for Onaway were: Sig Magnussen (5th, 25:22); Claire Bastian (6th, 25:27); Kate Olmstead (10th, 26:12); Hannah Materna (12th, 26:31), Tiffany Traynham (16th, 30:58) and Maddy Watz (18th, 32:02).

The races proved to be a good learning experience for all runners, but especially for Onaway’s girls team, which has only one returner from last season. The Cardinals had four girls finish in the top-12.

“I think today was a good exclamation point on a very, very difficult week for us; probably our most intense week of the season between the Rogers City course and the Cheoboygan course we ran earlier this week,” Mix said. “We told the kids that banking the miles on and putting the work in will pay off.”

Other boys finishers for Rogers City were: Jacob Sobeck (5th, 21:35); ChMyers ris Tulgestka (8th, 22:36); Brendon Koss (9th, 22:37); Dylan Lamb (12th, 23:09); Noah Sobeck (13th, 23:18); Jacob Flemming (14th, 23:38); Nathan Hilla (16th, 24:27); Zach Beland (18th, 24:59); Jared LaFleche (21st, 26;14); Tommy Vogelheim (22nd, 27:07); Andrew Selke (24th, 28:02) and Zach Myers (25th, 31:10).

Other boys finishers for Onaway were: Morgan McMlaine (4th, 20:51); Joe O’Bradovich (6th, 21:50); Cameron Horn (10th, 22:38); Preston Badgerow (11th, 22:42) and Felipe J (20th, 25:08).

James Andersen can be reached via email at or by phone at 358-5694. Follow James on Twitter @ja_alpenanews.