U.P. Track Finals Division 2 Boys: Emeralds’ title drought finally ends

KINGSFORD – The Manistique High School track program has waited a long time for a moment like this.

And as it turned out, all a thunderstorm could do was delay the process by little more than an hour at Flivver Field.

The Manistique boys, holding a four-point lead (92-88) over Ishpeming heading into the 1600-meter relay, then placed an exclamation point at the end of their season by winning the day’s final race to secure the school’s first U.P. title since 1960.

Manistique finished on top of the Division 2 standings with 102 points, followed by Ishpeming 96 and West Iron County 75.

“I was a little worried about having to come back and run after that long of a delay,” said Emeralds’ coach Mary Lou Lund. “But the guys found a way to get it done.”

Ishpeming was approximately 20 yards ahead of Manistique when junior Ryan Ramey grabbed the baton for the anchor leg of the 1600 relay. He responded by covering the final lap in 48.2 seconds, enabling the Emeralds to nip the Hematites at the wire.

“It feels great to finally win this (U.P. Finals),” said senior Kenner Broullire, who led off that relay. “Ishpeming definitely wanted to run and we wanted to run. We wanted to win this meet fair and square. Ryan had a lot of ground to make up. But nobody will ever doubt Ryan. He just finds a different gear.”

Ramey also won the 200 in 23.82 seconds and 400 in a school-record 51.12.

Ishpeming sophomore Nate Meyer, who beat Ramey for the Mid-Peninsula Conference 400 title on May 23, was runner-up this time (51.68).

“I knew I had to take Meyer early,” said Ramey. “I was more relaxed and got out of the blocks faster than in the M-PCs.

“I slipped out of the blocks in the 200. I knew then I had to find another gear in the first 100 and use the home stretch for my kick.”

Broullire set the U.P. record in the 300 hurdles (39.35), topping the previous mark (40.98) by Munising’s Lee Denman in 2004. He also won the 100 (11.37), edging West Iron’s Tyler Stafford by .06 second.

“I didn’t get a great start in the 100, then I decided to go for it in about the final 15 meters,” said Broullire, who also owns the D-1 record in the 300 hurdles at 39.74. “I was hoping to run in the 38s in the 300 hurdles, although you can’t complain about a title. I’m also excited about our team winning. Deep down I knew we had the potential to win it. This is a great way to end a high school career.”

Lund also knew the Emeralds had to potential to take the U.P. title at the beginning of this season.

“This is one of the goals we decided to go after during our March 11 sit-down (meeting), and many of the guys were doing two practices a day,” she said. “We just wanted the guys to do what they could. Our goal all along was to win the big three (regional, M-PC and U.P. Finals). We’re also happy about Kenner setting the U.P. record in the hurdles. He has really worked hard for that.”

Ishpeming set a U.P. record in the 400 relay (45.16), topping the previous best (45.35) by St. Ignace in 2008.

Newberry senior James Sutton set the high jump record (6-4) for the second straight year, a half-inch higher than last season.