Rapid River soars to title at invitational

Prep track

HARRIS — Junior Luke Gustafson continued to scale new heights Tuesday while helping the Rapid River boys capture the Bark River-Harris Invitational track title.

The Rockets scored 202 1/2 points, followed by North Central 111 and Stephenson 78.

Munising was crowned girls’ champion at 168, followed by Stephenson 116 1/2 and Rapid River 68.

Gustafson soared a school-record 13 feet, three inches in pole vault, an inch better than his previous record leap in Thursday’s Rapid River Invitational.

“I need to start skipping heights and conserve energy, so I can jump higher in the end,” he said. “I have to do the 3200 and 800 (meter) relay before I jump and lose some energy that way. Although, I’ve been doing it since my freshman year and I’m getting better at it. I just wanted to get over 13.

“But after I knew I had won, I just wanted to move the bar up without wasting too much energy and decided to go after another school record. I then tried 13-4 and knocked the bar down on my first try. After that I took two more lazy jumps. I was just too tired at that point.”

Gustafson also helped the winning 800 and 3200-meter relays as did junior Cameron Willemsen. Joining them in the 3200 relay were senior Conner Bryant and sophomore Brent Lundquist, with Lucas Sundling and senior Austin Wicklund helping the 800.

“I’m pleased we got a good workout and we came out of it relatively healthy, except Lucas Sundling was feeling a little under the weather and Jarrett LaCasse’s hamstring tightened up in the 200,” said Rockets’ coach Steve Ostrenga. “I’m happy with the effort and the 3200 relay kind of set the tone for us today. All our relays did a nice job.”

Junior David Johnson followed with a victory in the 110 hurdles in 18.52 seconds. Sundling then took the 100 (11.35).

“We had a real nice start to the meet,” said Ostrenga. “I was pretty happy with those guys. It was nice to see Lucas win the 100 early in the meet and Logan (Hardwick) had a personal best in discus, which is awesome.”

Hardwick won discus (145-5) and shot put (42-1) and Bryant added a first in the 800, using a lean to hold off North Central junior Connor Robinson.

“I could hear him behind me the whole time,” said Bryant. “I don’t like getting beat at the (finish) line. This is a family tradition. I always run for my brother (Brenden, who passed away in 2014).

I want to do good for him. I’m also trying my best to make it to the U.P. Finals and help our team.”

Senior Jared Anderson added a first in the 3200 (10:53.93).

Robinson took the 1600 (4:57.75). Senior Dylan Gagne captured the 300 hurdles (45.88) and Marcus Krachinski took long jump (18-2).

“Connor got boxed in during the 800,” said Jets’ coach Cherie Granquist. “It was so congested. There were so many people and there was nowhere to go. By the time he got free, it was too late. Overall, I thought our guys did well.”

Munising senior Michaela Peramaki won girls’ pole vault (10-0) and the 100 (12.75) and 400 (1:05).

Junior Alyssa Webber took the 1600 (6:01.65) and 3200 (12:57.53) and freshman Madeleine Paramaki copped the 800 (2:40.78), with each runner also helping the winning 3200 relay.

Rapid River’s lone first came on senior Erica Rubick’s toss of 89-4 in discus.

BR-H junior Jaelin Lockwood took long jump (15-9), helped the winning 400 relay and placed second in the 100 (13.3).

“The weather was perfect today,” said Lockwood. “The track was a little slippery at first and it took me a couple steps to get some traction in the 100. I thought our 400 relay went real well.”

Helping that relay were freshmen Makenna Lockwood and Grace Peterson and sophomore Hailee Demers, who later dominated the 300 hurdles (51.15).

“I had a good start for the hurdles,” said Demers. “Only, my steps have been a little off which is something I have to work on. My mom (coach Katina) told me to stride it out on the straightaway and it has helped. In the relay, we ran our best time all year (55.37). Our first two runners really pushed hard. We had been struggling with handoffs, but got them down today.”

Peterson also won an individual event with a toss of 29-11 in shot put.

“We have a lot of shin splints and pulled a lot of girls out of events,” said coach Demers. “I’d rather save them for Thursday (Division 3 regional at Rapid River). I think the girls did well for what we used. Hailee is bringing her time down steadily in the 300s and Jaelin taking second in the 100 is exciting going into the regionals. Our 400 relay did real well and Savannah Stein ran the 3200 for the first time and did a good job.”