By John Vrancic
Special for Second Half
KINGSFORD — Senior Andy Cooper and junior Brett Hannah have been the leaders for the Munising boys track team all season.
They continued to lead Saturday as the Mustangs retained their Upper Peninsula Division 3 title with 134 points.
Rapid River brought home the runner-up trophy with 65, with Bessemer and Stephenson sharing third at 45 apiece.
Cooper set U.P. meet records in the 110-meter hurdles in 14.96 seconds and 300 (40.13). He also won the 200 (22.8) and high jump at 6-foot-2, making it two straight seasons with four individual Finals championships.
His effort in the 110 race topped the previous best (15.21) by Grayson Hood of Engadine in 2007. In the 300, he bettered the old standard (40.42) by Mike Schmaus of Ontonagon from five years ago.
Hannah established the 800 record with a personal-best 2:01.45, surpassing the old mark (2:03.41) by Tyler Veraghen of Powers North Central in 2009. He also captured the 1,600 (4:38.09) and 3,200 (10:40.5).
“Getting the PR (and U.P. record) in the 800 felt pretty good,” said Hannah. “It definitely helps to have people from our community come all the way over here and show their support. It’s definitely nice to have that sense of comfort.”
Senior Ben Stasewich added a first in shot put (44-2½).
Munising senior Alex Hill was runner-up in the 100 (11.64) by two hundredths of a second to St. Ignace’s James Cryderman. He also placed second in the 200 (23.95) and third in high jump (5-10). Classmate Austin Kelto was runner-up in long jump (18-5) and Ian McInnis was third in discus (122-7).
Rapid River didn’t get any firsts, but got seconds from junior Dan Blair in the 800 (2:03.2) and 1,600 (4:43.44).
Junior Jon Stropich added a second in pole vault (12-0) and freshman Logan Hardwick was runner-up in discus (125-11).
Rapid River sophomore Mason Berglund was third in the 110 hurdles (17.3) and 300 (44.24).
Bessemer retained its 3,200 relay title and Tim Buerger placed second in the 3,200 (10:51.06) and fourth in the 1,600 (4:58.98). Brayden Tomes was runner-up in the 300 hurdles (44.0) and senior Jess Mazzon placed third in the 400 (54.44).
Stephenson senior Brandon Kau won discus (135-9). Senior Connor Cappaert placed third in the 3,200 (10:58.42), and Tristan Johnson was third in the 100 (11.72).
Crystal Falls Forest Park junior Bill Ragio set the U.P. meet pole vault record at 13-3½, topping the old mark (13-3) by Jimmi Cretens of Rock Mid-Peninsula in 2007. He also took third in the 200 (24.14).
North Central junior Bryce Holle won the 400 (51.78) and placed third in the 800 (2:05).
“I just tried to build up a little speed in practice,” he said. “I did a lot of sprints by doing power line pulls where you sprint one, walk one and jog one (prior to repeating the process). Those seem to help me a lot. Winning the 400 means a lot to me. It’s hard to get good placing when there’s so much competition. The rest of the guys also did a pretty good job.”
Senior J.J. Larson became the first Hannahville athlete to place in the U.P. Finals, taking fifth in discus (114-0).
Click for full results.
PHOTO: Munising's Brett Hannah won the 800, 1,600 and 3,200 at the U.P. Division 3 Final on Saturday. (Photo courtesy of Cara Kamps.)