KINGSFORD — Steady improvement through this season paid off for the Newberry boys track team Saturday as it scored 130½ points to win its first Upper Peninsula Division 2 title in 11 years.
The Indians were followed by three-time defending champ Ishpeming with 102 and Stephenson at 58.
“We had a lot of great performances,” said Newberry coach Gene Schroll. “Our goal was to improve through the year, and we did that. We had our share of firsts and scored in every event. We were fortunate enough to have four good seniors.”
Senior John Paramski had a hand in four firsts, taking long jump at 18 feet, 10 inches, shot put (48-7) and discus (119-5) and helping the Indians take the 400-meter relay in a U.P. Division 2 Final-record 45.03 seconds on a day that saw temperatures soar above 80 degrees in Dickinson County. St. Ignace previously set the 400 relay record (45.11) in 2009.
“The weather and atmosphere helped,” said Paramski, who will play football at Michigan Tech this fall. “When you have all the teams here, it really motivates you. It’s nice to have everything come together in the U.P. Finals.
“I didn’t have my best throw in disc, but it was good enough.”
Classmate Alex Johnson won the 110 hurdles in 15.99 seconds, edging Norway’s Inocenio Stankevich on a lean, and placed third in the 300 (43.69).
Ishpeming senior Grady Kerst took first in the 800 (2:00.65) and 1,600 (4:29.11), anchored the winning 3,200 relay (8:37.40) and was runner-up in the 3,200 (10:36.22).
The Hematites also took the 800 relay (1:35.69) and placed second in the 400 (45.70) and showed their depth in the distances.
Ishpeming’s Daren Guichin was runner-up in the 800 (2:10.73), with Kyle Pruett fourth (2:12.62).
In the 1,600, Spencer Giroux placed third (4:42.15), followed by teammate Jonah Broberg (4:54.45). Giroux also took third in the 3,200 (10:40.13).
Stephenson sophomore Montell Glover became a triple winner, taking the 100 (11.41), 200 (23.65) and 400 (50.76) and anchoring the second-place 800 relay (1:36.51)
Munising sophomore Matt Revord set a meet record in pole vault (13-6), topping the previous best (12-6) by Sam Winkler of Stephenson in 2001.
“In practice, I’ve been working on getting vertical,” said Revord. “I had 13-9 cleared, but came down on the bar. I definitely felt quick on the runway, but I wasn’t as fast as on other days. I’ve been working on inversion for the most part.”
Ironwood sophomore Nick Niemi took the 3,200 (10:20.23), anchored the winning 1,600 relay (3:43.47) and placed second in the 1,600 (4:36.99).
PHOTOS: (Top) Newberry’s anchor runner stretches to finish a meet record run in the 400 relay Saturday. (Middle) Ishpeming’s Grady Kerst passes Newberry’s Kindred Griffis during the 3,200 relay. (Photos by Cara Kamps.)