U.P. Track: Grandahl retires shoes

By BURT ANGELI

Sports Writer

KINGSFORD – Mary Grandahl retired her track shoes Saturday at the U.P. Track & Field Finals.

Forest Park’s speedy senior got four years out of her multi-colored track shoes. Yes, all four years with the same footware.

“I couldn’t wear them if I wanted to,” Grandahl said after her final event at Flivver Field. “There’s a not a race left in them. I think I wore them out.

“I didn’t want to buy a new pair because I like these. I always seem to have luck in them. I may have to retire them in my closet.”

Grandahl blazed to firsts in the 100 and 400-meter dashes along with assisting the winning 800 relay. She was a close second in the 200.

She couldn’t pinpoint a favorite event but calls track her No. 1 sport.

“I love the relays,” said Grandahl, who also played basketball and volleyball at Forest Park. “I love working on hand-offs. I love working with the girls on getting our handoffs perfect and getting that team within a team bonding going every year.

“As much as I hate it, I love the 400. Everyone knows the 400 is probably the worst race you can run. Every time I get to the starting line, ‘here we go,’ as soon the gun goes off I know what I have to do. I love it.

Grandahl will “stick to her studies” at Central Michigan University, going into pre-occupational therapy.

“The next 10 years of my life are basically going to be spent in school so I’m not done yet,” Grandahl said.

– From Tom (Richie) Kaeser, Marinette EagleHerald, on the U.P. meet: “Menominee long jumpers quickly turned the spray of sand into gold dust (with boys and girls champions) … Freshman medalist Haley Truitt is Stephenson’s “version of Haley’s comet.”

– Coach Doug Roberts’ Kingsford Flivver boys captured their first U.P. title since 1990. That was also Kingsford’s initial Division 1 crown. They racked up 127 points to slam Marquette, 82, and Negaunee, 81.

“They have a great, great team,” Marquette coach Kyle Detmers said of the Flivvs.

Tyler Roberts (three firsts) and Jake Allen (first, second, two thirds) paced the Flivvers with 30 points apiece. Cole Tengesdahl was next at 28, but he likely would have topped the team if not for the 400 relay disqualifying.

The 1600-meter relay of Jaxson Ferree, Allen, Jack Glodowski and Roberts broke the school record held previously by Sean Williams, Dan Sjoquist, Jake Meeuwsen and Josh Droese. They capped Saturday’s meet with a time of 3:31.18. The 2008 foursome did it in 3:31.27.

– West Iron County’s record-setting Cassilyn Pellizzer will continue her track career at Northern Michigan University. The Wildcats will likely keep her in the hurdles and high jump.

“We’ll see how it goes,” said Pellizzer, who snapped her own 300-meter hurdles mark (48.19) at the U.P. meet. “I love running. Maybe not practices but I like the competing.

“We all get along. That’s the most fun part about track.”

– Sault High sophomore Parker Scott, who dominated the 1600-meter run in a Division 1 record time of 4:18.09, will be moving to Texas with his family this summer.

“I always like running up here and wanted to end it with a bang,” said Scott. “Breaking 4:20 in the mile is a big milestone for me.”

Also departing is Manistique sophomore Holly Blowers, who won the 800 and 1600 run tile.

“This is my last day as an Emerald,” said Blowers, bound for Marquette.

– Temperatures in the 80s affected several runners including Marquette’s Lindsey Rudden, who smashed the 1600 record in a sizzling 4:55.28. She missed the 400 about an hour later despite her being the No. 1 seed in the event.

She said that after having some pretzels and an electrolyte drink really perked her up and allowed her back for the 800 about another hour after that.

– MHSAA conducted another survey of U.P. track coaches on keeping the 3200-meter run late in the meet or, perhaps, starting the day with the lengthy crowd-clearing event.

Last year’s survey drew a split decision.

– From Ishpeming’s Scott Syrjala, Division 2 boys championship coach, on seniors Bobby Zhulkie, Derek DeCaire, Noah Olgren and Adam Prisk: “You might as well call them the Four Horsemen. They showed up for Saturday workouts and they showed up for Sunday workouts.”

– Norway high jumper Alexis Kallenbach will not pursue a track & field career in college. The U.P. Division 2 champion, headed to Grand Valley State, plans to be a nurse practitioner.

(Ogden Newspapers and U.P. track authority John Vrancic contributed.)