Negaunee girls track prevails despite winning just 4 events

NEGAUNEE — Not winning may have actually been a good sign for the Negaunee girls track team on Thursday.

That’s because the Miners were still able to comfortably take the title at their own four-school Negaunee Invitational by 17 points over runner-up Houghton.

Negaunee won just four of the girls’ 17 events compared to seven for the Gremlins, but piled up other high finishes to make up for it.

In particular, the Miners had nine runner-up finishes.

“We were the queens of second place,” NHS girls track coach Vickie Paupore said. “We lost a powerhouse class last year (due to the coronavirus pandemic), where we had some really elite athletes.

“This year, we seem to have more depth and a lot of younger athletes who still have time to develop.”

In the boys meet, Houghton won the meet by a similar margin of 19 points over Negaunee even as the Miners actually won one more event.

The Miners report they have three meets next week, starting by hosting the Negaunee Invitational on Tuesday afternoon that is scheduled to also include Marquette, Houghton, Gladstone and Iron Mountain.

Here is a synopsis of each meet, with members of relay teams unavailable:

Depth carries Miners

Despite the fewer wins, the Negaunee girls did have one of the meet’s three double individual winners — Alyssa Hill in the discus (104 feet, 3 inches) and shot put (34-3).

“We won all four times in field events,” Paupore said. “In fact, what was key was taking four of the five places in the long jump.”

Negaunee finished with 96 1/2 points as the Gremlins had 79 1/2, Westwood 48 and Calumet 32.

In that event, freshman Seere Helms-Gleason leaped 15-4 1/2 to edge out Calumet’s Caitlyn Strom by an inch. Everyone else was about a foot and a half back, but all were Miners — Ellie Sundberg in third, Raquel Carlson in fourth and Olivia Lunseth in fifth.

Carlson also won the high jump, clearing 4-8.

One of the meet’s other double winners was the Patriots’ Allyssea Smith, who swept the hurdles — she won the 100 in 17.65 seconds and 300 in 54.38.

Also winning twice was Houghton’s Ellie Wagnor, who took the 100 in 14.28 and 200 in 30.20.

Westwood also got a win from Elizabeth Williams in the 400 in 1:06.27 as the Pats’ 1,600 relay was fastest in 4:45.61.

Negaunee boys win 7

Westwood’s Jack Boase was the boys’ meet star as he was the only athlete to win three times, taking the 110 hurdles in 17.07, 300 hurdles in 45.11 and 200 in 25.52.

Negaunee actually had six different athletes win its six individual events, and with a win in the 800 relay, had seven wins altogether.

But it was six-event winner Houghton prevailing with 94 points as the Miners had 75, Westwood 44 and Calumet 22.

Negaunee’s Kai Lacar won the 100 in 12.44, edging out teammate Philip Nelson’s 12.53. Teammate Ethan Ihamaki won the 800 in 2:22.13, just two-hundredths ahead of Houghton’s Cyrus Hamlin.

The Miners also won four field events — Nelson won the long jump by leaping 19-3, Andrew Hopkins-Bey prevailed in the discus with a toss of 106-6, Bode Bonovetz took the shot put by heaving 35-10 1/2 and Joe Rosten won the pole vault by clearing 9-6, a tiebreaker winner over the Gremlins’ Chase Crisman.

Information compiled by Journal Sports Editor Steve Brownlee. His email address is sbrownlee@miningjournal.net.


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