Braves boys make it 10 straight at Delta County

ESCANABA – They came, they saw, they conquered.

The Gladstone boys continued their stranglehold on the Delta County track title Thursday, winning for the 10th straight year with 189 points. Runner-up Escanaba scored 131, followed by Rapid River at 106.

“We’re pretty excited about that,” said Gladstone coach Gary Whitmer. “Our relays did well, and we did real well in the field events and sprints. This was a great effort by everybody.”

Gladstone took first in all five field events, including Justin Pederson’s leap of 20 feet, eight inches in long jump and 6-2 in high jump.

The senior harrier also won the 100-meter dash in 11.2 seconds and anchored the winning 800 relay.

Classmate Jared Vuksan added to Gladstone’s success in the field events by taking shot put (51-10) and discus (144-11) and anchored the winning 400 relay.

Senior Zach Sturdy provided the Braves with yet another first in the field by soaring 12-6 in pole vault.

Junior Chris Sedenquist, doing the 200 for the first time this year, won that race in 23.93 seconds. He also helped the Braves win the 1600 relay and take second in the 3200 relay and placed second in long jump (18-9).

“I’m very surprised with where I placed in the 200,” said Sedenquist. “I wasn’t expecting first. I’m very satisfied with my start. I’ve been working on that a lot. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get into the blocks in time for the 400, so I took it out on the track in the 200.”

The Braves, who scored 75 points in the field events, grabbed four spots each in the 100 and 200.

Esky dominated the distances, taking the top four spots in the 1600 and three places apiece in the 800 and 3200.

Senior Andrew Stenberg won the 1600 (4:55.11) and sophomore Eric Cousineau was runner-up (4:59.11)

Cousineau later copped the 3200 (10:46.88), nipping Stenberg at the wire, and junior Jake Walker added a first in the 800 (2:10.3).

“Escanaba sure cleaned up in the distances and the Rapid River kids did a nice job,” said Whitmer. “I thought our guys (Kyle Kleiman and Derek Mayo) did a pretty good job in the 800 and Chris (Sedenquist) did a nice job for us.”

Rapid River went 1-2 in the 110 hurdles with junior Riley Pajnich winning in 17.37 seconds, followed by sophomore Steve Johnson (18.21). Senior Robert Metter provided the Rockets with a second in pole vault (12-0) and a third in long jump (18-4 1/2).

Big Bay de Noc junior Cole Potvin came out of the slower heat of the 400 to win in a school-record 51.81 seconds and placed second in high jump with a personal-best leap of 6-1.

Mid Peninsula senior Brett Branstrom placed second in shot put with a school-record toss of 47-11 and junior Chad Branstrom was third in high jump at a personal-best 6-0.