Records fall at Lions Invitational
Norman, Paupore lift Negaunee girls to victory
By JOHN VRANCIC
Escanaba Daily Press
NEGAUNEE — The weather was sometimes a bit chilly, but track and field action was hot and heavy during the Negaunee Lions Invitational Friday.
A school record and at least seven meet records were established in a variety of conditions, including sunshine, clouds, drizzle and even a few snowflakes at times.
The Gladstone boys earned top honors with 89 points, followed by Westwood 72 and three-time defending champ Marquette 65.
“The guys really pulled together,” said Gladstone coach Gary Whitmer. “There was very good competition here today. They wanted to do it for coach (Matt) Houle. We’re pleased with the way they performed.”
The Negaunee girls retained their title with 89 points, followed by Marquette 73 and Escanaba 63.
“We really did well,” said Negaunee coach Vickie Paupore. “We had a slow start to the season, but we told the girls that was okay. It was good to see them do so well and get good points in a big meet. Chloe Norman was amazing today. Emily (Paupore) is always consistent in the distances and our field events are coming along nicely.”
Negaunee junior Chloe Norman won four events and was selected the girls’ Most Valuable Participant.
Norman set a school and meet record in the 300-meter hurdles in 46.52 seconds and added a meet record in long jump at 17 feet, 1/2 inch. She also took the high jump (5-0) and 100 hurdles (16.65).
“We just work real hard in practice,” said Norman, who was all smiles after the 300s. “The competition was great, which made us push harder and the support from my teammates makes me want to do good.”
Westwood senior Nathan Beckman earned boys’ Most Valuable Participant honors, setting a meet record in the 200 (23.06), helping the Patriots sweep the sprint relays and placing second in the 100 (11.6).
“This was a great day for a great kid,” said Westwood coach Scott Syrjala. “He’s valedictorian of his class and one of hardest working kids I know. As a team, we’re coming along. We’re getting there.”
Gladstone senior James McKnight set a meet record in the 110 hurdles (15.97) and junior Greg Chenier added a record in discus (128-3) and junior Luke Van Brocklin did likewise in the 400 (51.56).
“We had to take an exam and got here a little late,” said McKnight, who was runner-up to sophomore teammate Calvin Thibault in the 300s. “We didn’t have much time to warm up, but I did some hurdle stretches and it helped loosen my legs. It felt good coming out of the blocks. I was surprised. I wasn’t expecting that at all.”
Thibault ran a 42.09 and McKnight was clocked at 43.09 in the 300s.
Esky junior Dayton Miron took pole vault with a meet-record jump of 13 feet and senior Kyle Gendron was runner-up in high jump at a personal-best 6-2.
“Kyle is a great field events guy,” said Esky coach Scott Dykema. “He jumped 6-1 in the first meet (April 16 at Menominee), then he struggled a little. Although, he and Dayton jumped well today.”
Ishpeming’s Jonah Broberg won the 800, 1600 and 3200 and Marquette’s Raphael Millado copped high jump (6-3) and long jump (19-10).
Beside Norman’s victories, junior Emily Paupore provided the Miners with firsts in the 1600 (5:30) and 3200 (11:52).
“I’m trying to be patient,” said Paupore, who missed part of the basketball season due to a stress fracture in her shin and missed additional time this spring with bronchitis. “I’m just thankful to be running again. My endurance is totally fine. As far as my speed, eventually I’ll get there.”
Marquette had three firsts, including victories in the sprint relays.
“We didn’t run everybody in all our events,” said Marquette coach Natalie Messano. “We were missing some kids, although Negaunee ran well today. Chloe is quite the athlete.”
Gwinn’s Emily Curtice took the 100 (13.21) and 200 (27.96).
Esky won the 1600 and 3200 relays and sophomore Ahna Larson was Gladstone’s highest finisher with seconds in the 300 hurdles (48.84) and long jump (15-6).
“Chloe is in three of my four events,” said Larson. “Running against her is so hard, but she definitely made me get a better time.”