Kick it into high gear: Negaunee Miners girls, Kingsford Flivvers boys win Negaunee Lions track titles

Escanaba's Quinn Nelson, left, and Marquette's Benjamin Hellman race to the finish line at the end of the boys' 800-meter relay during the Negaunee Lions Invitational high school track and field meet held at the Miners' track in Negaunee on Friday. (Journal photo by Travis Nelson)

NEGAUNEE — The Negaunee Lions Invitational track and field meet annually brings some of the best high school competition that the Upper Peninsula has to offer.

This year’s edition was no different during the heat on Friday afternoon when the host Miners girls and Kingsford Flivvers boys were victorious.

The girls meet featured 10 teams and the boys nine.

All six Marquette County teams — Friday’s combatants plus Republic-Michigamme — will be back in action at 3:30 p.m. today in the Marquette County Meet to be held at Gwinn.

Here is a rundown on each meet:

Ishpeming's Lola Korpi, right, edges out Negaunee's Marlee Plaxco to win the girls' 1,600-meter run during the Negaunee Lions Invitational high school track and field meet held at the Miners' track in Negaunee on Friday. (Journal photo by Travis Nelson)


Miners girls hold off Esky

Negaunee accumulated 121 points, besting runner-up Escanaba’s 97.

Among area teams, Marquette was a close third with 88, with Westwood fourth with 51 and Ishpeming sixth with 24. In a four-way tie for seventh place, Gwinn finished with 10.

Negaunee had three winners, including two in field events. Madison Pekrul won the 100 hurdles in 17.19 seconds, while the Miners’ Alyssa Hill and Eliana Juchemich swept the throwing events, Hill hurtling the discus 114-feet-1 and Juchemich heaving the shot put 34-2.

Marquette's Baux Truckey runs her leg of a girls' relay during the Negaunee Lions Invitational high school track and field meet held at the Miners' track in Negaunee on Friday. (Journal photo by Travis Nelson)

“I’m just really proud of the girls and they really gave it everything they had in order to come out with that win,” Negaunee assistant coach Krista Squiers said, filling in for head coach Vickie Paupore. “Madison has done a great job for us all year long, so she’s really coming along as a freshman, and to handle that kind of responsibility of going out there and competing against all of these upperclassmen.

“Alyssa and Elle have been pretty strong in the ‘fields’ for us as they’ve gotten older, and have gotten better. We’re gearing up for that regional meet, and we’re hoping to peak at the right time on Thursday.”

That’s when the Miners will participate in an MHSAA Division 1 regional.

Despite finishing third, the Redettes took home five victories. Baux Truckey was a triple winner, taking the 100-meter dash in 12.83 and running the anchor leg on Marquette’s winning 400 and 800 relays.

The 400 team that also included Ava Jones, Bella Coleman and Siena Lingle won in 53.39, while the 800 quartet with Jones, Lingle and Julia Ott won in 1:51.56.

Ott also won the 200 in 27.12, while Abigail Harma gained Marquette’s other victory in the 3,200 in 13:10.00.

Lola Korpi continues to impress this season, winning Ishpeming’s only event in the 1,600 in 5:58.03.

Faith Spiroff captured Westwood’s lone triumph in the high jump by clearing 5-4. That was not only the winning height, but also broke the Patriots’ school record of 5-3 set by Jenny Swanson back in 1998.

From L’Anse, their lone winner was Kyra Sipe in the 400 in 1:03.27.

The runner-up Eskymos had several winners. Bailey Barron won their only individual event in the 300 hurdles in 52.69. She also ran a leg in Escanaba’s winning 1,600 relay in 4:28.26 that also included Clara Ostrenga, Sofia Bazzico and Morgan Makosky.

The Eskymos also won the 3,200 relay as Ostrenga, Makosky, Ava Gardner and Annabelle Neumeier clocked 11:05.30.

Gladstone’s Jamisyn Bergeron was a double winner, taking the 800 in 2:35.79 and long jump with 15-2. Emily Siebert also scored a victory for the Braves in pole vault by clearing 9-0.

“When you compete against the best, you’re going to see top performances from your kids,” Squiers said. “These kinds of meets that are big with 10 teams, it’s really fun because you get to see the competition that you might not always see that are altogether at the same time other than the U.P. Finals.”


Kingsford boys win by nearly 40

The Flivvers boys cruised to their victory with 164.75 points, nearly 40 points ahead of second-place Marquette with 126.75. Third-place Gladstone was even further back with 79.75.

Host Negaunee was fourth with 57, while Ishpeming and Westwood were neck and neck for sixth, as the Hematites edged the Patriots 24.75 to 18 to round out area teams’ scoring.

The Flivvers won more than half the events, nine of 17, to leave no doubt on the scoreboard. Kingsford won every sprint event except the 1,600 relay while adding on three of five field events.

“Beautiful day for a track meet, Negaunee does a great job hosting it and it was a lot of fun,” Kingsford coach Joe Kriegl said. “We’re really blessed right now with some really gifted athletes. It makes my job real easy, I just have to put their names in the right events and the gun goes off and they compete.”

“As a team, I thought we did outstanding. A lot of personal bests were done, and the kids just competed and it was a lot of fun. We’ve got some big meets coming up here, and we’ll be right back up in Negaunee for regionals. Hopefully we do well in that and everyone stays healthy.”

Diego Przeslakowski and Trestan Larson were triple winners for KHS, while Michael Floriano and Cole Myllyla each won twice.

Przeslakowski took home his lone individual title in the 300 hurdles in 41.46, and was also a part of two winning relays. He teamed up with Larson, Floriano and Myllyla to win the 400 relay in 44.87. Przeslakowski and Larson also ran with the 800 relay winners, along with Brody Kopp and Michael Meneguzzo, taking it in 1:35.94.

Larson also won the 200 in 23.37, while Floriano took the 100 in 11.22. Cardel Morton helped Kingsford earn a sweep of individual sprints, taking the 400 in 53.69.

In the field, Myllyla won the long jump in 20-3.25, Noah Johnson the discus with 137-03 and Lucas Tappy the shot put with 44-6.5.

Marquette wasn’t too far off Kingsford’s mark, garnering six victories, making for 15 of the 17 events won by MSHS and the Flivvers.

Cullen Papin was a double winner for the Redmen, taking the 800 in 2:02.60 as he was also a part of MSHS’ 1,600 team with Lamb Ngafeeson, Jacob MacPhee and Colin VanderSchaaf in 3:42.91.

Marquette got another relay win in the 3,200, posting 9:20.30 with James Krea

g, Marlow Quigley, Mathew Tripp and Braden Ketzenberger.

Sam Markey took 110 hurdles in 16.25, Carson VanderSchaaf the 1,600 in 4:31.52 and Luke Janofski the 3,200 in 10:42.35.

In the two other events not won by those teams, Brady Schultz of Menominee broke a U.P. record by clearing 6-7 in the high jump.

Westwood got its only win from Lenny Pizziola, whose 12-0 clearance won him the pole vault.

Travis Nelson can be reached by email at tnelson@miningjournal.net.


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