Ramey runs a PB for third-place Emeralds

MANISTIQUE – Senior Kevin O’Keefe enjoyed a record-setting day Thursday while helping the Negaunee boys capture the Mid-Peninsula Conference track title with 157 points.

The Miners were followed by Ishpeming 125 1/2 and defending champ Manistique 106 on this partly sunny, cool and breezy day at A.F. Hall Stadium.

O’Keefe set school records while winning the 100 and 200-meter dashes in 10.88 and 22.57 seconds, respectively. His effort in the 200 topped the previous best of 22.59 (in the 220-yard dash) by Wilho Kangas in 1938.

“We did the conversion and discovered that Kevin indeed set the 200 record,” said Negaunee coach Kevin Bell. “We’re so proud of his effort. Kevin didn’t have any idea today would be the day he would do this. We worked a lot on fundamentals in practice on Wednesday and Kevin had a good practice.”

Manistique senior Ryan Ramey was also clocked at (a personal-best) 22.57 in the 200, with O’Keefe gaining the title on a lean.

“The 200 was very close,” said O’Keefe. “He pushed me real hard. It’s nice to have that competition because it pushes you to your best. I was surprised when I heard my time in the 100. I got off to a great start and my legs felt good. The starts are huge. That’s what sets you up for the rest of the race.”

O’Keefe added a first in high jump at a season-best six feet and helped the winning 800 relay.

Ramey also set a school record while winning the 400 in 50.46 and anchored the winning 1600 relay.

“That was a decent time (in the 400) for me, especially with the wind in the backstretch,” said Ramey. “Even on the corner there was a cross-wind which kind of pushed you. The wind was right in your face. I just pumped my arms to get through it. I had a very slow start in the 200. But once I got around the corner, I pushed through it. I’m definitely going to practice my starts next week. In the 1600 relay, Logan Hayward ran a nice split and the other guys put us in position (Robert Ayotte and Will Pomeroy) kept us in position to win it.

“Overalll, as a team we’re a little disappointed we came in third, but the weather was all right.”

Negaunee collected nine firsts, including a sweep of the hurdle races by junior Jason Bell.

“Going into this meet, Manistique was projected to win, which I think gave our kids some motivation,” said coach Bell. “Jason nearly had the school record in the 110 hurdles and had a great day, too. We had some personal bests in discus and Tyler Thomas and Austin Caya had good days.”

Jason Bell won the 110s in 15.31 seconds and 300s (42.25) and helped the 800 relay.

Caya copped pole vault at 12 feet and Thomas won shot put (41-11). Junior Jeremy Bell took discus (118-8) and placed third in shot (40-0).

Ishpeming’s firsts came in the 400 and 3200 relays and junior Tommy Potter was runner-up in the 800 (2:13.3), 1600 (4:49.08) and 3200 (11:14.51).

Ayotte added a first for Manistique in the 800 (2:11.78).

“Robert’s first in the 800 was a good thing, and we’re very pleased with Ryan’s running today,” said Emeralds’ coach Mary Lou Lund. “Unfortunately, Travis Dufour went down with a hip injury in the 3200 relay and we didn’t place in the open 3200. Although, our guys in the 3200 have improved. Overall, it was a good day.”

Iron Mountain sophomore Nate Carey became a double-winner, taking the 1600 (4:46.3) and 3200 (10:56.46).

Westwood made its best showing in long jump with junior Ryan Anttila winning at 19-5 1/2 and classmate Marquise Baggiore runner-up (19-1).