By John Vrancic
Special for Second Half
KINGSFORD – The St. Ignace girls achieved a three-peat in convincing fashion here Saturday, taking their third consecutive Upper Peninsula Division 2 track title with 130 points.
They were followed by Ishpeming with 61 and Bark River-Harris at 54.
St. Ignace grabbed seven firsts, including a trio by Libby Becker.
The senior distance ace captured the 800-meter run in two minutes, 23.1 seconds; 1,600 (5:20.63) and 3,200 (12:13.88).
"It was really hot," said Becker, who plans to run track and cross country at Michigan State in 2019-20. "The heat kind of got to me. My main goal was just to win the 3,200. I was pretty happy with my 800 and 1,600. Madeleine (Peramaki) really helped me with those."
Peramaki, a senior from Munising and Cedarville (Ohio) University recruit, was runner-up in the 800 (2:27.32) and 1,600 (5:40.86).
St. Ignace freshman Ally Schultz captured the 200 (27.05) and 400 (1:02.24) and placed second in the 100 (13;18).
"I usually run a negative (200) split in the 400, but today I got a positive split," said Schultz. "Often you're feeling good, then you get to the last 100 and your legs start to tighten up. You just have to push through it."
Junior Heather Lamb, who was battling hip problems, provided the Saints with a first in long jump at 15 feet, 10½ inches, and freshman Brooke Brandstrom won high jump (5-1).
"Libby is amazing in all her events," said Saints' coach Trudy Olsen. "Ally also had an amazing day. Heather did well for having hip problems, and Sarah Lamb had a real good day."
Although this wasn't Heather's longest jump, she was happy with the victory.
"My PR (personal record) is 16-5¾," she said. "My sister helped me count my steps. I tried to get as far as I could on my first jump and make adjustments when needed. I hope to break the school record (17-7½), but I have a ways to go. I have to practice in the offseason."
Gwinn senior Emily Curtice took the 100 (12.95) and anchored the Modeltowners to a U.P. Finals record in the 400 relay at 52.34, shaving two hundredths of a second off the previous best by Manistique run in 2010.
Junior teammate Marissa Delmont added a first in shot put (37-0).
Sophomore Rebekah Loman provided Ishpeming with its lone first, in discus (104-7).
BR-H senior Hailee Demers won the 300 hurdles (47.66) and anchored the winning 800 relay (1:54.82).
"We practiced a lot on handoffs," she said. "This was a perfect time to have good handoffs. This was one of our better times."
Manistique senior Ashley McDonald retained her pole vault title (7-6) and helped the Emeralds establish a school record in the 1,600 relay (4:25.67) and take the 3,200 relay (10:52.86).
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PHOTOS: (Top) St. Ignace’s Libby Becker checks the clock as she approaches the finish line in the 800 on Saturday. (Middle) The Saints’ Ally Schultz, far left, wins the 200. (Photos by Cara Kamps.)