By John Vrancic
Special for Second Half
KINGSFORD — Prior to Saturday, the Newberry girls track program had gone 24 years without an Upper Peninsula championship.
The Indians, competing in Class C at that time, ended that drought by edging Brimley 64-58 for their first Division 3 title. Ontonagon and Lake Linden-Hubbell tied for third with 48 points apiece.
Newberry junior Natalie Beaulieu won the 800-meter run in a school-record 2 minutes, 26.63 seconds and the 1,600 (5:23.45), and was runner-up in the 3,200 (12:09.09).
“I gave it my all in the 800 and 1,600,” said Beaulieu, who won the U.P. Division 2 title in the 3,200 last year. “I really focused on those races. When I heard that I had a 1:10 in the first lap of the 800, I felt I had a chance. I was really tired in the 3,200. It still went okay, but I didn’t have much left. I’m happy overall.”
Newberry’s Taylor Bryant won the 100 in 13.6 seconds, edging Stephenson’s Haley Truitt by one hundredth of a second, and placed fourth in the 300 hurdles (50.04). Bridget Stoetzer took second in the 400 (1:03.42) and fifth in the 800 (2:34.67).
Cedarville sophomore Emma Bohn took first in the 3,200 in a U.P. and school-record 11:49.16, topping the previous U.P. meet record (11:51.06), set by Erica Johnson of North Dickinson in 2011.
“My goal was to stay with Natalie as long as I could (in the 3,200),” said Bohn. “The pace was pretty good for me, and I passed her in the sixth lap. I thought about passing her a few times before that, but I wasn’t sure it would work out. You try to pace yourself for the whole meet, although that can be a pretty big challenge. I felt good today and ended up running two of my best times. The weather was perfect.”
Bohn placed second in the 1,600 (5:30.3) and third in the 800 (2:32.11).
Brimley’s runner-up finish was unexpected, according to coach Joyel Hyrvainen.
“This is a nice surprise for us, especially after placing extremely low at the (Superior) Dome at the beginning of the season,” she said. “Our weight events gave us some big points, and our hurdler (Kerri Chartrand) is a big part of our sprint relays. I’m very proud of the effort our girls gave today.”
Brimley junior Alyssa Hyrvaninen captured shot put at 35 feet, six inches and discus with a season-best toss of 104-8. Teammate Anne Archambeau placed second in shot (35-4) and third in disc (97-8).
“I just tried to stay relaxed,” said Alyssa. “I was pretty nervous before the meet. I just prayed about it and calmed down. I had good speed in the circle today. I’m more motivated now. I’m going to work hard at it all summer. This was one of the colder meets this year. I’m pleased with my distances, considering.”
Chartrand was runner-up in the 300 hurdles (48.77) and helped the Bays place third in the 400 relay.
Ontonagon junior Paige Blake won the 400 in a personal-best 1:03.1 and long jump (14-11¾), took fourth in the 200 (28.32) and fifth in the 100 (13.68). Classmate Lori Wardynski was runner-up in 100 hurdles (16.89) and third in the 300 (48.8).
“I wanted to get the school record in the 400,” said Blake. “I came up short today, but still have another year. Having so much competition here really helped me today. The Lake Linden girls are good competition, which really helps push me to the times I’m getting. It’s not always about yourself. I couldn’t do it without them. Having Lori here also helps. We push each other in practice. Otherwise, you’d never know what you could really do.”
Lake Linden-Hubbell’s Sarah Audette and Munising sophomore Michaela Peramaki both cleared a U.P. meet-record 10 feet, ¼ inch in pole vault, with Audette getting the victory on a tie-breaker. Their efforts topped the previous best (10-0) set by Lauren Marshall of Rapid River in 2007.
St. Ignace freshman Linnee Gustafson qualified for high jump only, but won that at 5-1.
“I cleared 5-2 last week (at the Eastern U.P. Conference meet at Pickford on May 21). Our school record is 5-2½. I’ve attempted 5-3, but it hasn’t worked out for me yet. I mostly had to keep telling myself that I can do it. I went for 5-3 again today. I was able to get over the bar, but I kept hitting it on my way down.
“I really don’t think this is different from any other meet. There’s just more competition here.”
Bessemer’s Valerie Rowe was a double winner, taking the 100 hurdles (16.51) and 300 (48.09). She added a second in the 200 (28.1) and third in pole vault (9-0).
Click for full results.