By John Vrancic
Special for Second Half
KINGSFORD — The St. Ignace girls placed in all 17 events Saturday, repeating as Upper Peninsula Division 2 track champions with 160 points.
Runner-up Iron Mountain scored 90 and Ishpeming placed third at 75.
St. Ignace junior Libby Becker won the 800-meter run in 2 minutes, 24.5 seconds, 1,600 (5:23.52) and 3,200 (11:56.41) and helped the winning 1,600 relay (4:24.82).
“I just wanted to do my best,” she said. “I wanted to PR. But if I didn’t, that’s okay too. I love these conditions. The breeze helped out a lot. It’s hard to run in dead heat.”
Junior Emily Coveyou, also a part of the 1,600 relay, added a first in the 400 (1:04.11) and was runner-up in the 100 (13.56) and 200 (27.73) on this sunny and mild day.
“That wasn’t my best time in the 400,” said Coveyou, who was battling a chest cold. “My starts were better today than usual, but it was harder for me to breathe.”
The Saints started the day by squeezing past Manistique for the 3,200 relay title. They were clocked at 11:04.29, edging the Emeralds by two hundredths of a second.
“Four different girls tried out for the 3,200 relay and it took a while to find the right combination,” said senior Caitlin Dean. “We just tried to keep pace with Manistique. It was exciting when Allison (Smith) went ahead for a while.”
A first trip to the Finals provided plenty of motivation for Saints’ freshman Hallie Marshall, who also helped the 3,200 relay.
“This is the last day of track,” said Marshall, who was also runner-up in the 3,200 (12:54.14) and third in the 1,600 (5:50.28). “I just practiced real hard for this. I’m really excited to be here.
“Our (3,200 relay) team really improved at the Regional (May 18 at Manistique). After finishing so close to Manistique in the Regional, we knew we had a chance.”
Freshman Emmalee Hart placed second in the 800 (2:30.74), shared second with teammate Jessie Frazier in pole vault (7-6) and helped the 1,600 relay.
“It felt great to end the day with a W,” said Hart. “It was a great effort by everybody. It’s nice to have a competitive team. Our seniors show us what we need to do to reach that point.”
St. Ignace senior Linnee Gustafson captured high jump for the fourth straight year at 4-11.
“That was definitely not my best jump, but I’ve been jumping around that height all year,” said Gustafson, who will play basketball at Northwood University next winter. “I just wanted to win it four years in a row. I wasn’t concerned about the height as much as the place.”
The Saints also got a first from Heather Lamb in long jump (14-8½).
Saints coach Trudy Olsen was understandably happy with the team’s effort.
“All the girls did good,” she said. “Linnee winning high jump four years in a row was real special. She works hard the year around. Emily did a great job considering she wasn’t feeling the best. Libby works real hard. That was an amazing performance by her.”
Iron Mountain’s Taylor Talerico won the 100 (13.45), with Olivia Berutti taking the 200 (27.72) and both helping the winning 400 relay (52.76).
Ishpeming’s Katie Loman won the 100 hurdles (16.55), and Berutti was runner-up (16.64). Loman (48.88) won the 300 hurdles just ahead of Talerico (49.34).
Iron River West Iron County had a double-winner in senior Rachael Tefft, who took shot put (36-6½) and discus (112-7).
Click for full results.
PHOTOS: (Top) St. Ignace’s Libby Becker sets the pace in a relay Saturday. (Middle) Ishpeming’s Katie Loman, left, and Iron Mountain’s Taylor Talerico clear the final hurdles in the 300. (Photos by Cara Kamps. Click for more at RunMichigan.com.)