Under the Friday night lights: Braves set to host second annual night meet

GLADSTONE – Track athletes from several area schools will get a chance to see what they can do under the lights at the Gladstone Athletic Field Friday when the Braves host their second annual night meet.

Joining them are teams from Rapid River, Stephenson, Norway and the Escanaba boys.

Field events begin at 6:30, with running events starting at 8.

Although team scores won’t be recorded, Gladstone girls’ coach Jim Murtha says the meet is still very important.

“We still have some things to find out about our team,” Murtha added. “We need to find out where our relays need to be. This is still a competitive situation.”

The Braves were second in a triangular meet at Esky on Tuesday and led by senior Jessica Young, who won both weight events. Classmate Andrea Starr took the 100-meter hurdles and sophomore Iris Robare captured long jump.

Others to watch are Rapid River’s Neena Brockway (weight events), Norway’s Alexis Kallenbach (high jump) and Stephenson’s Breanna Martin (pole vault).

Esky’s girls, who won’t be competing Friday, are entered in Saturday’s Negaunee Invitational.

The Gladstone boys are fresh from winning at Esky, where senior Justin Pederson took long jump at 21 feet, two inches and high jump (6-2) and classmate Jared Vuksan captured shot put (51-6) and discus (143-11).

Rapid River junior Jake Pearson is fresh from winning discus (142-11) and the 200 in 24 seconds flat in Friday’s Stephenson Invitational.

Others to watch are Gladstone’s Riley Ballard, Chris Sedenquist, Kyle Kleiman and Pederson (sprints) and Zach Sturdy (pole vault), Esky’s Andrew Stenberg and Eric Cousineau (distance), Jordan Ogren (middle distance) and Quinlan Hillesheim (hurdles), Rapid River’s Dan Blair (distance), Robert Metter (pole vault) and Riley Pajnich (hurdles) and Stephenson’s Ken Truitt and Connor Cappaert (distance).

“Our 3200 relay will be revamped Friday,” said Braves’ coach Gary Whitmer. “We’re going to experiment with some things. This gives kids a chance to try diffferent events.”