Wykons land elusive U.P. crown
By BURT ANGELI
KINGSFORD – West Iron County, lacking a U.P girls track championship for 45 years, took care of that matter Saturday.
The Wykons, demonstrating strength in all facets, steamrolled to the U.P. Division 2 title at Flivver Field.
“It feels awesome,” Wykons coach Kristi Berutti said. “These girls are so driven. They went far and above what I expected.”
West Iron registered 144 points to 97 for runner-up Manistique. Iron Mountain placed fifth, 38, and Norway wound up eighth, 24.
At one point in the meet, West Iron’s 13-girl contingent trailed by 12 points. No problem.
“They knew exactly where to make up points,” Berutti said. “I knew we could make up the points but I didn’t think we would be at 144.
“They did better in almost everything (from the regionals).”
West Iron recorded seven firsts including a school record from Cassilyn Pellizzer in the 300-meter hurdles (48.70). She erased a mark established by Missy Christensen.
“I usually get tired in the home stretch and hit the last two hurdles,” Pellizzer said after winning by nearly two seconds. “I think all the excitement of being here may have helped.
“I was so nervous before but I think I transferred that energy to the race. Taking the U.P. title was icing on the cake.”
West Iron also raced to top honors with Carli Johnson in the 200-meter dash (28.30). She also placed third in 100 dash.
Three WIC relays prevailed – 3200 (10:36.01), 800 (1:52.19) and 1600 (4:28.92) – with Pellizzer on the 1600 team. She was also second in high hurdles.
Kylee Erickson and Rebekah Serbinski, WIC’s only seniors at the U.P. meet, helped the 3200 relay to first. Erickson also ran on the 1600 relay and tacked on a sixth in 400 and fourth in 800.
“Kylee and Bekah have been great leaders all year,” Berutti said.
In the field events, Megan Miatech won the shot put (34-10) and added a third in discus. Third-seeded Alexis Golfis copped the long jump (14-3.75). Ashley Capadagli earned a third in pole vault.
West Iron also claimed seconds from Victoria Hoogenboom in 1600 and 3200 runs.
The four-time U.P. runners-up hope to stay on top for awhile.
“It was a goal from the beginning,” Berutti said of winning the U.P. “We knew we were strong this year.
“My jayvees have been awesome. We’ll be strong next year, too.”
Iron Mountain’s Hailey Lafleur stepped to 100 (13.49) and 400-meter (1:03.02) dash titles.
The senior, who stumbled out of the blocks in the regional, was surprised to win the 100. She held off Manistique’s Elisa Macgregor along with WIC’s Johnson (third) and Casey Harrington (fourth)
“Not stumbling helps,” she said with a laugh. “I shortened up my stride, moved my arms faster and gained some speed. I had no idea how close she (second-place runner) was to me.”
In the 400, Lafleur was .20 faster than Norway’s Alexis Kallenbach. WIC’s Elizabeth Pellizzer was fourth. Kallenbach and Cassi Pellizzer wound up second-third in high jump.
“I came in knowing I had some competition,” Lafleur said. “Alexis is good. She’s always been there. I really wanted this in my senior year. I wanted to end it good.”
Lafleur also ran two relays – 800 (fourth) and 1600 (third).
Mountaineers’ Abby Gerhard placed third in 800.
Coach Chandra Ziegler’s Forest Park Trojans finished third, 47, in Division 3 behind four-time champion St. Ignace, 121, and two-time defending champion Brimley, 57.
Maria Stankewicz and Mary Grandahl figured in the bulk of Forest Park’s points. Stankewicz copped third in the 100-meter dash and ran on the 800 (third), 400 (second and 1600 (third) relays. Grandahl was third in the 200 along with assisting the 400 and 1600 relays.
St. Ignace senior Sarah Cullip was a triple winner, taking the 800-meter run in 2 minutes, 29.38 seconds, the 1,600 (5:36.43) and 3,200 (12:30.12).
Chassell senior Jamie Dompiere won the 400 in a school-record 1:00.62. She also took the 100 (12.83) and 200 (26.38).