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Putnam captures first career win as Stephenson girls win Rapid River invite
RAPID RIVER, Mich. — Stephenson’s Kayela Putnam captured her first career individual win at the 2023 Rapid River cross country invitational on Saturday.
Putnam ran the fastest time in the girls’ race, breaking the finish line tape in 22:30.5, edging Manistique’s Maya Carlson (22:44.5) by 14 seconds to take first overall.
“I couldn’t be more proud of her,” Stephenson coach Kate Kuntze said. “I thought she ran a smart, relaxed race today and showed great strength and fight at the end.”
Faith Cappaert gave Stephenson two of the top-three girls’ runners after taking third overall with a time of 23:01.4.
Putnam’s and Cappaert’s top-three finishes highlighted an overall strong showing for both the Stephenson boys and girls at Rapid River, with the Lady Eagles cruising to a first-place team victory with 26 points.
Meanwhile, the Stephenson boys took second overall after finishing three points behind first-place Munising. The Eagles finished with 52 points compared to 49 for the Mustangs.
Canon Kuntze paced the Stephenson boys with a third-place time of 19:29.8, while teammate Trevor Verba was close behind in fifth place after running a 20:00.2.
Munising’s Danny Goss (18:16.6) won the boys’ race while Engadine’s Duane Krenek (19:14.7) settled for second.
New personal-best times from Oren Marcoe (22:13.4) and Luke Olson (22:27.8) helped the pair finish 18th and 19th, respectively, while Zack Schwartz ran a time of 24:37.8 to capture 29th place and round out the day for the Eagles.
“It was nice to run with Engadine today because we don’t see them much and they are in our division. They have some strong runners and I thought Canon and Trevor did a nice job racing with them today. It was nice to see our other three boys have strong performances as well,” Coach Kuntze said.
Back on the girls’ side, Joelle Beaudo finished just outside the top-10 at 11th overall in 25:26.9.
Lilli Revall and Gabi Putnam, both freshman, earned their first varsity medals after each of them shaved 30 seconds off the prior personal-best times.
Revall (25:50.1) finished 14th overall while Gabi Putnam (25:59.4) was hot on her heels in 15th place.
“We were missing one of our girls today, Jada Kuntze, due to illness, but our fourth & fifth runners really showed up today. I’m really proud of these young freshman. They continue to gain confidence and faith in themselves,” Coach Kuntze said.
Morgan Bergquist took 21st overall with a time of 28:30.0 and Layla Engel brought home 24th place after crossing the finish line in 29:30.7.
Up nextStephenson: The Eagles travel to Munising to take part in the El Harger Invite on Wednesday at 3 p.m.
2023 Rapid River invite resultsGirls
Team scores — Stephenson 26, Rapid River 47, Manistique 55; Non-scoring teams: North Central, Munising, Engadine
Top 10 — 1. Kayela Putnam, Stephenson, 22:30.5; 2. Maya Carlson, Manistique, 22:44.5; 3. Faith Cappaert, Stephenson, 23:01.4; 4. Alex Goss, Munising, 23:01.5; 5. Jessa Rossler, Norway, 23:07.4; 6. Olivia Cotey, Munising, 24:18.6; 7. Kate Mattson, Munising, 24:19.9; 8. Kaylee Baldwin, Norway, 24:21.5; 9. Clara Gould, Engadine, 25:06.3; 10. Emma Sundling, Rapid River, 25:26.9.