Eskymo girls are runners-up

MENOMINEE – As the sun set on the Fran Mellinger Track and Field, Kingsford’s Ryan Camp soared into the clouds with a school record to highlight the Flivvers’ climb to the Great Northern Conference title.

Marquette laid down a deep red stripe of top-two finishes on the Maroon track to run away with the GNC girls’ crown.

The Redettes amassed 161 points to outpace Escanaba (129) for the title. Menominee took third with 103.

Kingsford claimed nine gold medals while dominating the boys’ meet with 180 points.

“I didn’t expect the points to be like this,” Kingsford coach Doug Roberts said. “We’re pretty deep and we have 11 great senior leaders who have stuck it out for four years and it’s paid off for them.”

Marquette won a four-team dogfight for second place with 87 1/2 points, followed by Gladstone 83, Menominee 77 and Escanaba 72.

As athletes converged on the pole vault area, Camp shattered his own school record when he cleared 14 feet, two inches as the crowd erupted in cheers.

“It was great. I can’t describe how that felt,” said Camp. “I’ve been working hard the last couple of years and all the hard work paid off. There wasn’t any wind and it wasn’t cold. I was able to grip the pole.

The Flivvers raced to gold in three relays and Cole Tengesdahl sprinted to gold in the 100 and 200.

Menominee’s Justin Briliinski took top honors in long jump (20-8) and teamed with Aeron Forsberg, Nate Marcin and Devon Harris to take top honors in the 400 relay (45.17), as Harris kicked it down the stetch to beat Kingsford by .66 second.

Forsberg added a second-place sprint in the 200 (23.52) and a bronze medal in the 100 and Forsber, Marcin, Brilinski and Harris churned out a silver medal sprint in the 800 relay (1:33.53). Harris gave the Maroons a 1-2 finish in long jump with his second-place leap of 19-10 1/4.

Cody Peterson cranked out a second-place finish in shot put (43-4 1/2) with a little extra motivation from his mom, who has terminal cancer.

“I try to think about my mom in the shot put,” he explained. “It makes me strive to be better. I’ve been working on my technique and I get great coaching from coach (Greg) Langlois.”

“I went through the same thing with my mom, but Cody is pretty young,” said Langlois. “He seems to be able to focus and battle through it. I’m proud of him.”

Austin Voracheck had a third-place leap in long jump (18-11).

“I think we have a shot at runner-up at the U.P. Finals,” said Langlois.

Gladstone’s Cody Malanowski won shot put (48-0) and discus (141-10) and Esky’s Joey Wolf copped the 3200 (10:06.92).

Lindsey Rudden won the 1600 (5:13.27) and 800 (2:16) and Hunter Viitala earned gold in high jump (5-10) and anchored the winning 1600 relay (4:15.56) to lead Marquette’s charge to the GNC trophy.

Paiton Plutchak gave the Maroons a flying start by winning the 100 hurdles (16.49). Plutchak, Jane Enderby, Kristina Tetzlaff and Allia Stewart headed to the starting blocks with a chip on their shoulder after being disqualified at the (Division 1) regionals. The Maroon foursome clicked off a gold medal time of 52.54.

“I have mixed emotions,” said Stewart, who did the anchor duties. “It’s my last time here. I made a lot of memories here. Jane and I have been running together for four years. I’m going to miss her and Paiton and Kristina are great runners.”

Steward added a second-place sprint in the 100 (13.18) and Tetzlaff also took home a gold in the long jump (15-4 3/4) and Stewart took third.

Kameron Burmeister piled up the distance points for the Maroons, pulling away for a break-away win in the 3200 (11:19.88) and taking second to Rudden in the 800 (2:23) and 1600 (5:17).

Sophia Sartorelli sailed to a silver medal in pole vault (8-6), losing on a tie-breaker to Gladstone junior Jaime Snowart.

“Jaime did a nice job in pole vault and Leigha (Woelffer) had a nice day,” said Gladstone coach Jim Murtha. “Our girls did well. We had quite a few personal bests. All our relays ran their best times and we dropped a lot of time in the 3200 relay. We gained experience and got better throughout the year.”

Haley Truitt took third in the hotly-contested 100 (13.21) and Breanna Martin was third in pole vault (8-1) for the Stephenson girls.

Esky senior Lynsey Collins won the 300 hurdles (46.84). Jade Heliin copped discus (96-8) and the Eskymos won the 800 relay (1:49.81)

David Hartges was fourth in the 300 hurdles (44.83) and Conner Cappaert took fifth in the 3200 (10:27.61) for the Stephenson boys. Skyler Joslin was fifth in high jump (5-6) and Hayden Sardina took fifth in shot put (38-9).