By John Vrancic
Special for Second Half
KINGSFORD — Prior to Saturday, 18 years had passed since the Munising boys last hoisted a trophy at the Upper Peninsula Track and Field Finals.
The Mustangs, who were competing in Class C at that time, earned their first Division 3 title on Saturday with 107½ points. They were followed by defending champ Felch North Dickinson with 68 and Rapid River at 60.
Munising junior Andy Cooper won high jump at 6 feet, the 110-meter hurdles in a school-record 16.11 seconds and the 300 (40.77) and 200 dash (23.89).
Four days earlier, Cooper captured high jump with a school-record leap of 6-5 in the Bark River-Harris Invitational.
“Andy had a great day,” said Munising coach Matt Mattson. “Two school records and four U.P. championships makes for a pretty good year.”
Sophomore Brett Hannah, who had a hip problem at BR-H, retained his 3,200 title (10:49.97), captured the 1,600 (4:41.62) and was runner-up in the 800 (2:08.7) on this sunny and hot day.
“I had a PR (personal record) in the 1,600,” said Hannah. “I’m pretty happy with that and had my best time in the 800. The 800 is a rough race, but I qualify in that. I can’t just scratch from it. The two-mile didn’t go as well. I think the heat may have drained me a little. The wind helped a little. It felt good on the home stretch.”
Junior Austin Kelto placed third in the 100 (11.9) and long jump at 18 feet, 7 inches, and Alex Hill added a third in high jump (5-10).
“We made Brett take two days off this week. It’s pretty hard to get him to do that,” Mattson said. “The cold weather earlier this season made it pretty tough to compete, but our kids handled it well. I think our boys and girls are going to be pretty good next year.”
North Dickinson senior Tim Hruska retained his 100 title (11.83) and was runner-up in the 110 hurdles on a lean (16.12) and second in the 300 (42.93).
“I like the warmer weather,” said Hruska. “The 100 went real well. I had a real good start, and the 110 hurdles were real close. He (Cooper) was good. This is the first time I ran against him. It was fun.”
Big Bay de Noc senior Cole Potvin repeated as 400 champion in a school-record 51.17 seconds and was runner-up to Cooper on a lean in the 200 (23.91).
“This is my last race of high school,” said Potvin. “You can’t save it. I knew I was going to go out harder than I normally do because there’s nothing to save it for. It’s hard to maintain the pace for the 400. You wait till you see your time because you don’t know if you ran the pace you wanted or not.”
Rapid River senior Jake Pearson, who suffered a hamstring injury at BR-H, swept the throwing events. He threw 46-10 in shot put and 130-10 in discus, and classmate Hayden Hardwich was runner-up in shot (45-11).
Sophomore teammate Dan Blair added a first in the 800 in a personal-best 2:05.71 and was runner-up in the 1,600 (4:46.08) and fifth in the 3,200 (11:27.68), and helped the Rockets place fifth in he 3,200 relay.
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PHOTO: Munising's Andy Cooper (right) edges Felch North Dickinson's Tim Hruska in the 110 hurdles at the U.P. Division 3 Final on Saturday at Kingsford. (Click to see more from RunMichigan.com.)