Best in the county: Nathan Beckman leads Westwood Patriots boys, Delaney Sall the Marquette girls to track and field wins at Marquette County Meet
Westwood senior Nathan Beckman set the pace on the boys end of things, winning four events to help the Patriots to that team title with 94 1/2 points.
Marquette followed with 89 1/2 while Ishpeming was third with 78. Negaunee followed with 64, while Republic-Michigamme had 13 and Gwinn 9.
Marquette held off Negaunee in the girls meet, 119-114. Westwood was third with 58, followed by Gwinn with 30 and Ishpeming 28. R-M did not score.
Beckman earned two of his four wins in sprints, claiming the 100- and 200-meter dashes. His other two victories came with his Patriots teammates in the 400 and 800 relays.
“It feels good and it’s always nice to win,” Beckman said. “All the hard work you put in all year, it finally starts to show right here.”
Westwood boys head coach Scott Syrjala had high praise for Beckman, his senior star runner and Michigan Tech football commit.
“I’m going to miss that kid,” he said. “He had a great day.”
While Beckman was a bright spot, Syrjala also had some of his other athletes lay low as the MHSAA Upper Peninsula Division 1 regional meet looms later this week.
“We held a few kids back but a lot of the teams do,” he said. “Having the Marquette County Meet the week of regionals isn’t the best, but then where do you put it? Where do you fit it into your schedule?
“We talk about that as coaches all the time. This meet, I held some of our kids back. We didn’t have Chad (Pohlman) today, Ashton Bergman I held out of the long jump, but with that being said, we still performed well. We had some (personal records) and I was pretty happy with that.
“I just hope we can continue this. We’ll practice (today) on fine-tuning some things like field events and stuff. On Wednesday, we’ll kind of scale back and relax and hopefully we’re ready on Thursday.”
Marquette girls head coach Natalie Messano said the warm weather helped her team, calling it a confidence boost going into Thursday’s regional at Escanaba.
“It was really nice, especially with the nice weather, to get everybody a last good race right before regionals,” she said. “They can sort of take a breath. There’s always a lot of anxiety going into regionals, but the girls know their times are coming down.
“There were a lot of good times (Monday), which is nice. It’s nice to see that progress right before regionals. I think some of the girls have been frustrated with the cold weather, and of course you’re not going to be as fast in the cold.
“It (the weather) was definitely a confidence booster going in. Thursday is going to be tough. Now it’s just putting the pieces all together and hoping we have another showing like (Monday).”
The Patriots boys won three events outside of Beckman’s victories, earning victories in the 110 hurdles, 300 hurdles and pole vault.
Sophomore Jack Boase won both hurdles with a times of 16.38 seconds in the 110 and 43.33 in the 300. Junior Elliott LeMire won the pole vault with a mark of 12-feet-6.
In the relays, Beckman, Taylor Dellangelo, Chad Pohlman and Erik Anderson won the 800 in 1:37.14, while Anderson, Beckman, Dellangelo and Travis Uren won the 400 in 46.43.
Ishpeming won the 3200 relay in 8:48.59, while Marquette claimed the 1,600 in 3:46.20.
The Hematites boys also received individual victories from senior Logan Kruhlik, junior Jonah Broberg and sophomore David Liimatta.
Broberg claimed wins in the distance runs, winning the 1,600 and 3,200. Kruhlik won the discus and shot put while Liimatta took the 800.
Negaunee junior Drew DuShane won the 400 while Marquette’s Raffy Millado claimed the high jump and long jump.
The Redettes took all four relay events on the girls side, as well as two individual victories from junior Delaney Sall and one from junior Spenser Waite.
Sall won the 400 in 1:04.12 and the 800 in 2:29.64. Waite was victorious in the 200 in 27.45, edging out Gwinn’s Emily Curtice by three-hundreths of a second.
Curtice did win the 100 in 12.99, edging Marquette’s Clarissa Remillard, who clocked 13.07.
Gwinn junior Marissa Delmont won the shot put with a mark of 37-6 1/2.
The Miners girls were paced by juniors Chloe Norman and Emily Paupore, who combined for six of seven of Negaunee’s wins.
Paupore won the 1,600 and 3,200 while Norman took both hurdles events, the high jump and the long jump. Junior Abbie Tollefson also won the discus throw with a throw of 104-3.
Negaunee girls head coach Vickie Paupore said she was proud of how her team kept a strong Redettes squad within striking distance.
“I’m very impressed with my girls,” she said. “Marquette’s got a great team and we hung in there with them for the whole meet. We had a lot of PR’s (today) and a lot of great performances.
“Chloe broke her own record in the 300 hurdles and got another in the long jump. She’s been having a great season and has been dropping a lot of records. I’m very proud of her. Our distance crew also ran great. We had a lot of impressive performances. My high jumpers, long jumpers and throwers are also impressing me this year.
“They’re just all having outstanding performances. I have the best assistant coaches and they definitely made a difference on our team this year.”
Westwood received a win on the girls side, with junior Katelyn Anttila wining the pole vault by clearing 7-6.
Email Ryan Spitza at email@example.com.