Delta County track Invite: Make it 11 straight for Braves boys

RAPID RIVER – Chris Sedenquist was feeling a little under the weather during Wednesday’s Delta County Invitational track meet.

It may have been hard to convince anybody else, however, after he led the Gladstone boys to their 11th straight county title.

He won long jump with a leap of 19 feet, the 200-meter dash in 23.97 seconds and 400 (51.85) and anchored the winning 800 relay.

“I’m real happy with the way everything turned out because I wasn’t feeling 100 percent,” he said. “I felt kind of tired after the 800 relay and my starts were slow. I just tried to pace myself off the other kids. I think this boosts my confidence. This lets me know my traning is paying off.”

Gladstone finished with 162 points, followed by Escanaba 151 and Rapid River 121.

The Braves clinched their most recent championship with Sedenquist’s victory in long jump and senior Riley Ballard’s third-place finish (17-9).

“No doubt, this meet was very competitive,” said Braves’ coach Gary Whitmer. “The places in long jump put us over after Escanaba scored 24 points in the two-mile (3200). Chris had a very big day. He took only one jump in long jump. With this being our first outdoor meet, we figured there was no sense in beating himself up. Although, he’s in real good shape.”

Senior Cody Malanowski added firsts in shot put at 48 feet, 10 inches and discus (136-5), edging Rapid River senior Jake Pearson by two inches.

“Cody scratched on his first two throws,” said Whitmer. “It was nice to see him bounce back like that. I think we’re going to get better in shot and disc. Those and pole vault are usually big events for us. Although, we struggled in pole vault today.”

The Braves were without senior pole vaulter Jared Syverson, who was nursing an ankle injury.

“I thought Jacob Rosa jumped well, only he came down on the bar each time. We’re real happy Connor Powell got a point in both the 1600 and 3200. He hasn’t been able to train much with us. He had been involved with robotics and got kicked in the ankle in soccer on Monday. It’s great we were able to come back and win this.”

Ballard won the 100 (11.73) for Gladstone, which grabbed the top four spots in that race, and helped the winning sprint relays.

Esky showed its strength in the distances, taking four places in the 1600 and 3200 and three in the 800.

Freshman Joey Wolfe copped the 3200 (10:30.91).

“We had some real nice performances,” said Esky coach Ryan Wender. “Our distance guys did well. Joey ran a nice 3200 and improved in the 1600. Eric (Cousineau) dropped his time quite a bit and I think (senior) Jordan Ogren ran his most complete meet of his career. Matt Judson had a real nice meet for us, too. It was also nice to see the young kids get some points. I was happy.”

Junior Brendon Schuenke added a first in the 300 hurdles (47.35), with classmate Bryan Kwarciany taking pole vault (9-6).

Rapid River sophomore Dan Blair copped the 800 (2:10.54) and 1600 in a personal-best 4:47.01.

“Our distance guys really worked hard,” said Rapid River coach Steve Ostrenga. “I’m very happy with the way our guys competed, which is a tribute to Gladstone and Escanaba. I enjoyed watching the Escanaba distance runners and Gladstone’s sprinters are strong. It was great to get this meet in, which allowed us to compete. We also appreciate the patience of all the coaches and all the people who volunteered to help us. I thought they did a fabulous job.”

Rapid River junior Steve Johnson copped the 110 hurdles (17.43), nearly a second ahead of the field.

Big Bay de Noc senior Cole Potvin captured high jump (6-2) and placed second in the 400 (52.71).