Braves dominate with new lineup

IRON MOUNTAIN – Gladstone can consider its experiment a success.

Earning seven firsts and points in all but three events, the Braves were able to edge Escanaba 89.5 to 84 for top spot at Tuesday’s track and field quadrangular at Mountaineer Stadium.

“We came in here with the idea to experiment and see if we could find some people, and we did that today,” Gladstone coach Gary Whitmer said. “This was a nice surprise because going in, I just thought there was no way – with the matchups – that we could pull off the victory.”

Menominee (58.5) was third followed by the host Mountaineers (27).

Andrew Olesak carried the Braves with firsts in 300 hurdles (46.08), high jump (5-8) and long jump (18-2.50). Cody Malanowski added victories in the shot put (49-3) and discus (138-7) to give the Braves wins in five of the six field events.

“Some of those wins came from kids who haven’t done it so far this year,” Whitmer said. “We hung in there with our sprints with Menominee, Esky has the distance, and I just think across the board, we just had the better balance in scoring.”

Victories from Joey Wolfe in the 1600 (4:48.76), Eric Cousineau in the 3200 (11:09.12) helped the Eskymos try to close the gap, but it wasn’t enough to totally

close the gap.

“It was a fun, gratifying meet because we have had a lot of success over the years, but we’re working for everything we get right now,” Whitmer said. “I’m real excited for the kids. This was the first meet we actually found out something about ourselves, and that’s important at this stage.”

Iron Mountain took a win from Brandon Nichols in the 110 hurdles, with a personal best time of 16.37. Nate Carey went third in the 1600 and second in the 3200 for the Mountaineers.

“I was extremely happy with the kids effort today at our meet,” Mountaineers coach Dale Powell said. “Every one of the boys improved their times, distances, and jumps from our first meet. We are a pretty young team, and we will only get better as the season goes on.”

The girls competition was no competition, with Escanaba scoring more points than the other three teams combined, totaling 130.5 for the win. Gladstone was second with 67, followed by Menominee (44.5) and Iron Mountain (6).

“We put in some good times today,” Escanaba coach Dan DeLong said. “That’s what we were looking for, get some seeding times. We also mixed up our relays to try to get some good times for regionals next week.”

Menominee distance specialist Kameron Burmeister was the only athlete able to prevent an Eskymo sweep of the track events, as she collected comfortable wins in the 800 (1:57.52), 1600 (5:17.76) and 3200 (11:45.09).

Lynsey Collins was a triple winner for the Eskymos, taking the 100 (13.24) and 200 (27.21) dashes along with the 300 hurdles (48.30). Jade Helin swept the throwing events, winning shot put with a distance of 29-7 and discus with a toss of 91-11.

For Iron Mountain, Emma LaFleur placed fourth in the 800, and Kate Bugni was fourth in the discus. The Mountaineers closed with a third in the 1600 relay.