BR-H returns to D-2

HARRIS — A different situation awaits the Bark River-Harris track teams as they enter this season.

The Broncos are returning to Division 2 after competing in D-3 the past eight years.

BR-H, comprised of 15 girls and eight boys, open with the Ishpeming Invitational today at 3:30 p.m. at Northern Michigan University’s Superior Dome.

“Being in D-2 will be a challenge because we’ll be competing with bigger schools,” said coach Katina Demers. “I think Wednesday’s meet will be a good test. That will let us know where to gauge ourselves.”

Gone through graduation is Jaelin Lockwood, who helped the BR-H girls capture the Upper Peninsula D-3 400-meter relay title last season.

BR-H returns last year’s D-3 300 hurdles champion Hailee Demers, also part of the winning 400 relay. Joining her are classmate Ashleigh White and junior Makenna Lockwood.

Demers may also be entered in long jump with Lockwood ready to do high jump.

Additional returners are seniors Savannah Stein and Lilian Stenberg in the distances and Destiny Stenberg (middle distance) and junior Gracie Peterson (weight events).

“We’ve been lacking in the distances the last couple years,” said coach Demers. “We’re hoping to pick up a few points there. We’re working on Gracie’s form for disc and her release has gotten so much better.”

Sophomore newcomers include Abbie Flagstadt (sprints), Raegan Nummilien (distance and weight events) and Selena Britton (middle distance), who’s recovering from ACL surgery and hopes to ready by May 1.

Freshman hopefuls are Aspen Frederick (sprints and relays), Tressa Ives (middle distance and relays), Gracie Varoni (middle distance, high jump and long jump), Katie Viau (hurdles and middle distance) and Alaska Peterson (hurdles, high jump and long jump).

“These numbers really help us out,” said coach Demers. “Last year we had eight. Track is such a numbers game. Having five seniors is really going to be a benefit and we have a real good group of freshmen whom I think are going to do amazing things this year.”

The boys have three upperclassmen, including senior Colton Brunette (weight events) and juniors Kyle Adams (distance) and Devon Kurz (sprints and relays).

Other hopefuls are sophomores Joey Stein and Blake Stenberg (sprints and relays), Clayton Eichhorn (sprints, relays and high jump) and Kaeton Bartoszek (middle distance and weight events) and freshman Ty Cortinez (hurdles, high jump and long jump).

“I think our sprinters are going to do pretty well and we’ll be all right in the throwing events,” said coach Demers. “I think we’ll be able to pick up some points in those events and hope to get some points in other events.”

Also part of the team is senior manager Dylan Hardy, who’s unable to compete due to health reasons.

“Dylan is real good at helping with interval training,” said coach Demers. “He’s a very good leader.”

Also new on the Broncos’ schedule is the BR-H Relays May 14.

“We’ve held an invitational in the past, but decided to try something a little different,” said coach Demers. “I think that will be a fun meet before the regionals.”

The schedule:

April 24 — Ishpeming Invitational (Superior Dome); April 25 — Delta County Invitational at Escanaba; April 29 — at Gwinn; April 30 — North Dickinson Invitational.

May 6 — Norway Invitational; May 7 – BR-H Jayvee Invitational; May 9 — Rapid River Invitational; May 14 — BR-H Relays; May 17 — D-2 regional at St. Ignace; May 21 — Skyline Central Conference.

June 1 — U.P. Finals at Kingsford.