Rockets boys track team conquers Superior Dome

MARQUETTE – The Rapid River boys were happy to just get a track meet under their belts Thursday.

Opening the season with a victory in the Division 3 Dome Invitational made it seem even better.

The Rockets, who scored 74 points, were followed by Pickford 60 and Lake Linden-Hubbell 49.

“We’re thankful for Superior Central putting on this meet,” said Rockets’ coach Steve Ostrenga. “Granted, they didn’t have a few (of the regular) events today. Teams were putting guys in different spots. But it was nice to get this in. The kids tried hard. I’m happy with that.”

Thursday’s meet inside Northern Michigan University’s Superior Dome provided 22 schools with an opportunity to compete despite the prolonged winterlike condictions which forced teams to practice mainly indoors

Rapid River junior Jake Pearson won shot put with a toss of 46 feet, 6 1/2 inches, an inch better than senior Jacob Pikka of Wakefield-Marenisco. Mid Peninsula senior Brett Branstrom placed third (45-2 1/2).

For Pearson, this was redemption for dropping the baton in the 800-meter relay, resulting in disqualification.

“I was pretty ticked off after that,” said Pearson, who hit the winning distance on his second throw. “I guess I just wanted to take it out on the shot. I knew after it left my hands it was one of my better throws. Everybody came in here kind of rusty. Nobody really has a feel for it yet.”

Senior Riley Pajnich added a first in the 55-meter hurdles in 9.07 seconds, followed by teammates Steve Johnson (9.37) and Shane Norberg (9.58).

“I’m very surprised we got the top three places,” said Pajnich. “A kid from Pickford hit a hurdle, otherwise he would have been right with us. It’s such a short distance. There’s no room for mistakes. You must have good form on the hurdles and the steps have to be right.

“It was very important to get this meet in, especially with already having a meet cancelled for Tuesday.”

Mid Pen, led by junior Chad Branstrom’s winning leap of five feet, 10 inches, grabbed three of the top four spots in high jump.

Big Bay de Noc junior Cole Potvin won the 400 (54.72), with Superior Central junior Nick Maki runner-up (55.89).

Bark River-Harris won the 800 relay and Superior Central copped the 3200 event.

The Brimley girls were crowned champions with 77 points, followed by Lake Linden 50 and Pickford 42.

Superior Central led area teams in eighth place with 32 points, with BR-H ninth at 30.

BR-H senior Kim Palo won pole vault (8-0). The Broncos also won the 800 relay.

“I think we did okay,” said BR-H coach Katina Demers. “We were hoping to be in the top 10 and we did that. Both of our 800 relay teams won, so that was a shining moment. Our sprinters did real well.”

Superior Central junior Tesyln Tyner was runner-up in the 100 (13.37) and 200 (28.62) and helped the Cougars take second in the 800 relay.