Ramey powers Manistique to second
KINGSFORD – The Manistique boys had the opportunity to take home a trophy for the second straight time from Saturday’s Upper Peninsula Division 2 Track Finals.
Unlike last year, it wasn’t the championship trophy. But it was still a trophy.
Ishpeming was crowned champion for the first time in 11 years with 115 points. The Emeralds were runners-up at 76 and third-place Hancock had 61.
“We did all right,” said Emeralds’ coach Mary Lou Lund. “We hadn’t trained in a day above 65 degrees all year, then it jumped to 86 (on Saturday). But that’s not an excuse. It is what it is. We told the guys they’re not the only ones going home with a runner-up trophy. I know it was tough for the boys, but they gave everything they had. This time, it wasn’t meant to be for us. Ishpeming just had a better day than we did.”
Manistique senior Ryan Ramey retained his 400-meter title in 51.71 seconds, but yielded his 200 crown to L’Anse senior Ryan LaBerge.
LaBerge was clocked at 23.33 seconds, with Ramey runner-up (23.63) and Ishpeming junior Nate Meyer third (23.73).
Ramey also helped the Emeralds take second in the 1600 relay and placed fourth in the 800 (2:12.09).
Senior teammate Tony Floyd gained his first 100 title in 11.64, with Westwood junior Ryan Anttila runner-up (11.89).
“I focused on my starts (in practice) real hard this week and felt pretty good coming out of the blocks,” said Floyd, who will attend Northern Michigan University this fall. “There’s more pressure than motivation coming in here as defending champs. We knew we had to step up.”
Floyd also placed in the 200, taking fifth in 23.83 seconds.
“Tony taking first in the 100 was nice, and Ryan’s times weren’t what he wanted to run,” said Lund. “We had a pole vaulter (sophomore Dalton Kaiser) go 10-6, which is the best he has jumped.”
Ishpeming held a wide advantage in the jumping events, where it outscored the Emeralds 32-10.
“They beat us pretty good in jumping, which was huge for them,” said Lund. “Our guys did what they could. They controlled what they could control. We had a great season.”
Kingsford captured its first Division 1 title with 127 points, also marking its first U.P. championship since 1990 when it was competing in Class A-B.
Marquette squeezed past Negaunee 82-81 for the runner-up trophy.
Defending champ Gladstone dropped to sixth this time with 39 points, the first time in more than a decade the Braves failed to finish in the top three.
Gladstone’s leader was senior Cody Malanowski, who won shot put (49-1 1/2) and was runner-up in discus (137-8). Classmate Chris Sedenquist added a second in the 400 (51.74) and Jacob Rosa shared fourth in pole vault with Negaunee senior Austin Caya (11-0).
Escanaba scored 10 of its 25 points in the distances, with freshman Joey Wolfe taking fourth in the 1600 (4:47.03) and fifth in the 3200 (11:09.64). Junior Eric Cousineau, who won the 3200 a year ago, settled for fourth this time (10:48.28).
In the field events, junior Brendon Schuenke took fourth in high jump (5-6) and Ryan Timler was fifth in shot put (41-1).
“Ryan improved quite a bit during the year,” said Esky coach Ryan Wender. “He started the year at 33 feet and on Saturday he threw his best in shot all year. He was pretty happy with that.”
Sault Ste. Marie sophomore Parker Scott set a U.P. record in the 1600 (4:18.09), topping the previous best of 4:22.3 by Jamie Cihak of Marquette in 2002.
Scott also retained his 800 title (1:58.59) and placed third in the 3200 (10:26.53).