Marquette girls return to full strength, win D1 Regionals
ESCANABA — It was a dominating performance in the running events by the Gladstone boys here Thursday as they captured the Division 1 regional track title with 79 1/2 points.
The Braves, who won 8 of 12 events on the track, were followed by Marquette 55 1/2 and Escanaba 28.
Gladstone’s dominance especially showed in the hurdles, taking the top three places in the 110s and 3-of-4 spots in the 300s.
“Our kids had an exceptional day,” said Braves’ coach Gary Whitmer. “On paper it looked like we were going to win by five points, but we won by 24, which is huge in a regional meet. Nick Dawson had a personal-best in pole vault (10-6) by a foot. The kids stepped up and had a nice meet.”
The Marquette girls, a little shorthanded last week, returned to full strength and won with 66 points. They were followed by Sault Ste. Marie 45 and Menominee 39.
“This was a great day,” said Marquette coach Natalie Messano. “The kids had a lot of good performances. We didn’t qualify as many (for the Upper Peninsula Finals) in the field events as we would have liked, but we had multiple qualifiers in many other events.”
Sophomore Calvin Thibault collected four firsts, taking the boys’ 100-meter dash in 11.49 seconds, 200 (23.64), 110 hurdles (15.4) and 300s in a season-best 41.25 on this sunny and warm day. Senior James McKnight was runner-up in the 110s (15.97) and 300s (43.0).
“I started feeling the heat at the end of the 300s,” Thibault said while icing his forehead after the 200. “It’s easier to stay warm on a day like this, but harder to stay hydrated. I’m real proud of our team. We were getting a lot of firsts and lot of guys got PRs (personal records). I’m so impressed with Adam (Bruce). He has a lot of heart and does so much for the team.”
Bruce added firsts in the 1600 (4:40.73) and 3200 (10:29.38).
“I felt good in both races,” said Bruce. “I knew the 1600 would be fast and it was a great race. I knew the 3200 would also be a little tough. Hogan (Nemetz of Marquette) ran a great race. Across the board, I’m so proud of my teammates. The U.P. is a great place to run. We get to know each other so well and it creates great rivalries.”
The Braves swept the sprint relays. Junior Luke Van Brocklin copped the 400 (51.37) and sophomore Blake Servant took discus (124-3).
Esky junior Dayton Miron won pole vault at 11 feet, then elected to go after the school record (13-7) but came up short and sophomore Derek Douglas took the 800 (2:06.14).
Marquette senior Raphael Millado captured high jump (6-2) and long jump (19-11) and was runner-up in the 200 (24.12). The Redman also took the 1600 and 3200 relays.
The Marquette girls were led by junior Spenser Waite, who won the 100 (13.14) and 200 (27.66) and helped the winning sprint relays.
Classmate Delaney Sall was a double-winner, taking the 400 (1:01.29) and 800 (2:27.22).
Sault sophomore Emily McLean took shot put with a school-record toss of 39-2 and discus (95-7).
“I think the weather and all the support from my coaches and teammates were in my favor today,” said McLean. “I had good speed in the circle, although my kick needs to get a little faster. I’m happy with where I’m at, but you can always improve.”
The Blue Devils also won the 1600 relay and sophomore Kara Mosher copped pole vault (8-6).
“We had a pretty good day,” said Sault coach Scott Menard. “I thought maybe we’d be closer to Marquette, but Menominee has a pretty good team too. Our 1600 relay ran a season-best (4:23.69) and we had a lot of personal-bests. There was a lot of good competition here today. Emily has already thrown 105 feet in disc, but I think she’s only going to get stronger. This is the first time she’s thrown over 38 in shot all year.”
Menominee sophomore Makenzie Wellner took the 100 hurdles (16.19), 300s (46.73) and junior Katie Anderla captured the 1600 (5:39.66) and 3200 (12:37.36).
Freshman Allison Korpi was Esky’s lone winner in high jump (4-6) and Gladstone sophomore Ahna Larson took long jump (15-7).
“We have a young team,” said Esky coach Dan DeLong. “This was a learning experience for a lot of younger girls. It was an eye-opener for them to see Marquette at full strength. It was nice to see Courtney Boyle finish strong (runner-up) in the 100 hurdles as a senior. That was a good win for Allison in high jump and Morgan Gartland was seeded 11th in shot put and took fourth, which is good for her.”
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