KINGSFORD - Area girls' track teams were unable to keep pace with the leaders Saturday as they finished well down the list in the U.P. Division 1 Finals.
Marquette retained its title with 106 points. Runner-up Negaunee scored 99 and third-place Calumet had 81.
Gladstone took sixth at 43, followed by Escanaba 41 and Manistique 19.
Iris Robare of Gladstone splashes the dirt in the long jump landing pit Saturday at the U.P. Track Finals in Kingsford. (Daily Press photo by Dennis Grall)
However, area athletes turned in some strong individual performances.
Gladstone junior Jessica Young earned the U.P. discus crown for the first time at 106 feet, 6.75 inches and senior Laura Alexander won pole vault (9-0).
"It's nice to see Laura go out as a U.P. champion," said Braves' coach Jim Murtha. "Also, it was great for Jessica to win discus. She worked hard on her throwing."
Young won by nearly five inches in disc and placed fourth in shot put (31-5)
"I'm surprised I won (disc) by that much because there was somebody seeded ahead of me," said Young, who took fourth in disc last year. "In fact, I'm really shocked I got first because my practices were horrible. I was real nervous last year, but I relaxed a lot more this time.
"I didn't qualify in shot last year, so I'm glad I had a chance to do that in the Finals. I came in seeded fourth and moved up a spot. I'm pretty happy about that."
Murtha was also pleased with some of the other performances by the Braves.
"Andrea Starr had a good race in the (100) hurdles," he said. "Iris Robare ran her best time in the 400 (1:03.88) and took second in long jump and Jamie Snowaert has been solid in pole vault all year. I think we'll have three more good years out of them. Overall, I thought the meet went very well. Every girl who went to Kingsford earned a medal."
Esky senior Olivia Nash fell short in her quest for a fourth straight high jump title. She and classmate Meredith Marlett cleared 5-1, with Nash taking second on a tie-breaker.
Houghton's Adeline Grier-Welch won high jump (5-4) and set the U.P. long jump record for the second straight year (17-3.5). She jumped 17-0.75 a year ago.
"If you're going to lose to somebody, I don't mind Olivia losing to somebody of that caliber," said Esky coach Dan DeLong.
Esky sophomore Lynsey Collins placed third in the 300 hurdles (53.33) despite tripping over the last hurdle and senior Morgan Mathieson was fourth in discus (99-11).
"We would have been happy with second in the hurdles, but Lynsey still had a good day," said DeLong. "Morgan was a little disappointed she took fourth. Yet, she did well for her first time at the Finals.
"Our 800 relay taking second was a nice surprise and Aubree (Peterson) had a real nice day. She pulled our 3200 relay from seventh and nearly got us fourth."
In pole vault, Esky junior Holly Ettenhofer injured her neck after landing on her pole, going out at 7-6.
"Holly went up to 7-6 right away," said DeLong. "She still has that foot injury. We didn't want her taking too many jumps."
Manistique's 400 relay was runner-up to Menominee on a lean and senior Taylor Lockwood shared second in pole vault with Calumet's Valerie Clevenger (8-0).
Calumet's Chelsea Jacques set the D-1 record in the 100 (12.55), trimming .03 second off the previous record by Stephanie Ostrenga of Esky in 2005.