Regional track and field competitors battle winter-like conditions
By BURT ANGELI
FELCH – Forest Park’s girls and North Dickinson’s boys, competing in weather that fit this spring’s unpredictable track & field season to a tee, carved out MHSAA Division 3 regional championships Thursday.
Snow, rain and temperatures in the 30s greeted athletes from seven schools. Top four finishers in individual events and best two relays qualified for the May 31 U.P. Finals in Kingsford.
Forest Park’s girls accounted for 80 points, followed by Bark River-Harris, 26.
“I couldn’t be prouder of these girls,” Forest Park Coach Chandra Ziegler said. “They’ve trained in weather like this and even worse. They were fully prepared for this weather. They’re tough and they had to be tough.”
Seniors Mary Grandahl and Kendra Campbell fueled the Trojans with four firsts. Grandahl streaked in the 100, 200 and 400-meter dashes along with anchoring the 800 relay.
Campbell came through in the 100 hurdles and 300 hurdles along with the 400 relay and 1600 relay.
Amanda Bustillos legged out the 1600 and 3200-meter runs along with the 3200 relay. Bustillos, Macey Hammerberg and Casey Ponchaud grabbed top three berths in the 1600.
Although the Lady Trojans were shut out in qualifying field events to the U.P. Finals, they made up for that by claiming 19 spots in the individual races.
“I was just thrilled to qualify the most people I’ve ever had in my seven years,” said Ziegler, who took a victory lap with her team. “Two and three girls in multiple events is significant.”
North Central’s Baylee Wells (discus) and North Dickinson’s Deborah Starnes (shot put) provided two other area firsts.
Tim Hruska’s three firsts and a couple lineup maneuvers boosted the North Dickinson boys, 63, past Stephenson, 43.
“I thought they did just about everything they were supposed to,” Nordics coach Mike Lindholm said. “Sometimes I think kids are fair weather runners. But under these conditions they did quite well. Even the long jumpers had to adjust (to a wet board and where to take off).”
Hruska snapped up the 110-meter hurdles, 100-meter dash and 300-meter hurdles. Matthew Schultz and Logan O’Neil followed Hruska in the high hurdles.
O’Neil is new this season to the high hurdles and the Nordics also capitalized on Noah Berg making his debut in the 400. The sophomore came out of the slow heat to win the event in 56.75 – .18 faster than runner-up David Hartges of Stephenson.
“We made a couple changes (O’Neil, Berg) and that worked out well,” Lindholm said. “My sprinters did pretty well and I think we’re going to improve there. I don’t think we peaked yet in the sprinting.
“I think we have room for improvement. We have a couple weeks and, hopefully, it warms up.”
In the sprinting department, Nordics’ Jordan Neumann placed second in the 100 and third in the 200. Hruska was fourth in the 200.
Also from the area, Forest Park’s Bill Ragio took the 200-meter dash, pole vault and long jump. Ragio, after winning the pole vault, said he couldn’t feel his toes or fingers.
Teammate Steve Hallmann followed up his Kingsford Invitational shot put title with the regional award.
North Central won the 3200-meter relay and 1600 relay plus Morgan Cox triumphed in high jump. Stephenson’s Connor Cappaert was a double winner in the 1600 and 3200-meter runs.
Forest Park’s coach summed up the feelings of most everybody competing.
“They had to go out and leave everything they had on the track, and that’s what they did,” Ziegler said. “They had their goal in mind from the beginning of the season on what they wanted to do.
“I’m looking forward to see what we can at the U.P. Finals. Anything can happen there.”
Results from the Division 3 regional at North Dickinson follow:
BOYS – North Dickinson 63, Stephenson 43, North Central 33, Forest Park 29, Bark River-Harris 12, Carney-Nadeau 6, Baraga 0.
3200 relay – North Central, 9:15.5; North Dickinson; 800 relay – Stephenson, 1:41.89; Bark River-Harris; 400 relay – Stephenson, 48.50; North Dickinson; 1600 relay – North Central, 3:53.02; North Dickinson.
110 hurdles – Tim Hruska, ND, 16.70; Matthew Schultz, ND; Logan O’Neil, ND; David Hartges, S.
100 – Tim Hruska, ND, 11.78; Jordan Neumann, ND; Tristan Johnson, S; Jake Greenfield, BRH.
1600 – Connor Cappaert, S, 5:02.09; Dionte Blahnik, CN; Bryce Holle, NC; Tyler Bentley, NC.
400 – Noah Berg, ND, 56.57; David Hartges, S; Justin Clark, ND; Tristen Harper, NC.
300 hurdles – Tim Hruska, ND, 44.0; Logan O’Neil, ND; Mathew Schultz, ND; Dylan Bloniarz, BRH.
800 – Connor Cappaert, S, 2:18.17; Josh Granquist, NC; Dionte Blahnik, CN; Noah Berg, ND.
200 – Bill Ragio, FP, 24.28; Jake Greenfield, BRH; Jordan Neumann, ND; Tim Hruska, ND.
3200 – Connor Cappaert, S, 11:14.34; Seth Polfus, NC; Dillon Robinson, NC; Mark Cappaert, S.
Pole vault – Bill Ragio, FP, 9; Gavin Johnson, ND; Alex Mathias, BRH.
High jump – Morgan Cox, NC, 5-6; Jason Whitens, NC; Jake Denell, FP; Skyler Joslin, S.
Long jump – Bill Ragio, FP, 17-9.5; Noah Berg, ND; Skyler Joslin, S; Jason Dupont, CN.
Discus – Dave Bayerl, S, 117-7; Bradley Gustafson, ND; Steve Hallmann, FP; Brandon Kau, S.
Shot put – Steve Hallmann, FP, 41-2; Blake Lindeman, ND; Brenden Gatien, NC; Bradley Gustafson, ND.
GIRLS – Forest Park 80, Bark River-Harris 26, North Central 21.5, Stephenson 21, Carney-Nadeau 17.5, North Dickinson 16, Baraga 4.
3200 relay – Forest Park (Macey Hammerberg, Casey Ponchaud, Emily Faccin, Amanda Bustillos), 12:08.69; North Dickinson; 800 relay – Forest Park (Maria Stankewicz. Libby Shamion, Abby Nylund, Mary Grandahl), 1:58.33; North Central; 400 relay – Forest Park (Maria Stankewicz, Libby Shamion, Katie McCole, Kendra Campbell), 55.78; Bark River-Harris; 1600 relay – Forest Park (Maria Stankewicz, Libby Shamion, Abby Nylund, Kendra Campbell), 4:49.14.
100 hurdles – Kendra Campbell, FP, 17.70; Katie McCole, FP; Alyson Barra, BRH; Mady Wells, NC.
100 – Mary Grandahl, FP, 13.40; Maria Stankewicz, FP; Haley Truitt, S; Katie Schultz, BRH.
1600 – Amanda Bustillos, FP, 6:21.93; Macey Hammerberg, FP; Casey Ponchaud, FP; Darla Mensch, B.
400 – Mary Grandahl, FP, 1:07.27; Libby Shamion, FP; Becca Essa, CN; Haley Truitt, S.
300 hurdles – Kendra Campbell, FP, 52.97; Sara Sivula, CN; Katie McCole, FP; Jenna Grabowski, FP.
800 – Rachel Starzynski, S, 2:55.38; Macey Hammerberg, FP; Molle Boehmke, FP; Mollie Boehmke, FP; Gina Maki, FP.
200 – Mary Grandahl, FP, 28.73; Haley Truitt, S; Katie Schultz, BRH; Hanna Logan, FP.
3200 – Amanda Bustillos, FP; 14:37.56; Baylee Wells, NC; Abigail Steinbrecher, ND; Gina Maki, FP.
Pole vault – Breanna Martin, S, 7-6; Sonja Welch, B; Morgan Vanlanen, BRH; Samantha Cryderman, NC.
High jump – Haley Truitt, S, 4-4; Sara Sivula, CN; Janel Dani, CN, and Baylee Wells, NC (tied).
Long jump – Katie Schultz, BRH, 14-0.5; Sara Sivula, CN; Miranda Jacobson, ND; Morgan Wells, NC.
Discus – Baylee Wells, NC, 77-8.5; Andrea Dani, CN; Sydney Victorson, BRH; Morgan Vanlanen, BRH.
Shot put – Deborah Starnes, ND, 29-2.75; Morgan Vanlanen, BRH; Janel Dani, CN; Jaycee Faccio, NC.