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Esky track takes second at Kiwanis

MANISTIQUE — Keeping pace with Marquette was difficult for other track teams here Friday as it swept both ends of the Manistique Kiwanis Invitational title.

The Marquette boys took first in 10 events and scored 194 points. They were followed by Escanaba 93 1/2 and Pickford 82.

“We had a real good day,” said Marquette coach Kyle Detmers. “We’re just happy to get this meet in, and Manistique did a great job putting it on. Escanaba has a nice team. Newberry has some good distance runners and Pickford and Gwinn have some good athletes.”

The Marquette girls collected 166 points, followed by Esky 121 and Manistique 82.

“We didn’t start practice until April 6, and this is only meet No. 2 for us,” said Redettes’ coach Natalie Messano. “We had a good day. Some of the times aren’t what the girls want, but the wind on the back stretch was tough. It was nice to get out and compete. Every meet we get in right now is a blessing.”

Senior Anna Smith presented the Esky girls with their lone first at four feet, 10 inches in high jump.

Manistique senior Kayla Muth won the 400-meter dash in 66.11 seconds, edging Esky junior Ciara Ostrenga by slightly more than a second, and anchored the runner-up 3200 relay.

“I just attacked the wind,” said Muth. “I didn’t think about it, I just ran. This is the first time we ran in D-1 while I’ve been in school. We did all right in the 3200 relay. We have two sophomores and a freshman in that relay. This is a change of pace for them, but they ran well despite the wind.”

The Emeralds got an additional first from freshman Danielle Lund in discus (86-11).

Marquette sophomore Baux Truckey won two individual events, including the 100 (12.71) and 200 (26.82).

“It feels awesome being out here and running at the meets again,” she said. “I think I had pretty good starts. I’ve been working a lot on those. I was shooting to get into the 26s in the 200 and this is the first time I’ve been in the 12s in the 100 this year. I’m very happy about that. Getting a meet in before this helped a lot. I had a better idea where I was in terms of time.”

Senior Guinn Wuorinen copped the 800 (2:47.2) and 1600 (6:13.3) and anchored the winning 3200 relay.

“I really enjoyed today’s meet,” said Wuorinen. “This is a beautiful facility. I like the rubberized surface. It’s similar to Marquette. I feel pretty comfortable running here. It’s always a challenge running into the wind. I was hoping to have somebody block the wind on the back stretch, but that didn’t work out.”

Teammate Kali McDonough added firsts in pole vault (9-0) and 100 hurdles (18.84), and Gwinn got a first from Tianna Taylor in shot put (30-8 1/2).

Pickford’s Lucy Bennin captured long jump (14-1 3/4). Lizzie Storey copped the 300 hurdles (54.28), and Haley Cornwell took the 3200 (14:25.82).

Esky senior Derek Douglas won the boys’ 800 (2:11.47), anchored the winning 3200 relay and was runner-up to Marquette’s Lincoln Sager in the 400.

“The wind was real strong on the back stretch, but I tried to run through it as if there was no wind,” he said. “The 400 went pretty good. There was good competition here today. I need to work on my form into the wind and endurance.”

Coach Scott Dykema was happy with the Eskymos taking second.

“Marquette is always strong,” he said. “We have a lot of freshmen and sophomores and need to find an event for them. Our kids are doing better. Our relays are dropping time.”

Marquette senior Kameron Karp took the 100 (11.5) and 200 (23.75) and helped the winning sprint relays and Gwinn’s David Duvall took long jump (20-3).

“Kam ran real strong,” said Detmers. “He and Owen Beauchamp gave us a good 1-2 punch in the 100, and our sophomore pole vaulter (Jeffrey Ingram) did a nice job winning that event.”

Pickford freshman Hayden Hagen captured the 3200 (11:27.38), and Hayden Taylor took shot put (38-11).

“I kind of stuck with the pack until the last three laps, then I picked up the pace,” said Hagen. “It was pretty challenging staying with Ephram (Evans) with his long legs. This is a big learning experience. It was disappointing to miss last year (due to Covid-19), but I’m glad we’re getting to run this year.”

St. Ignace got its lone first on Christian Koiveniemi’s leap of 5-8 in high jump.

Newberry’s Ephram Evans, who missed most of his senior basketball season due to a broken ankle, placed second in the 1600 (5:10.98) and 3200 (11:33.07).

“I finished really good,” said Evans, who will be attending classes at Wittenberg University in Springfield, Oh. this fall. “This was our first meet this year, and I had three weeks of training coming into this meet. “Personally, I’m very happy with how today went. Adversity, I think is what makes you a better runner. After my Injury (on Feb. 15), I had to ice my ankle for 5-6 days non-stop. Right now, I’m trying to figure out by cadence and gait.”

Pickford coach Garde Kangas was also pleased with where the Panthers finished.

“We told the guys they were going up against the two biggest schools in the U.P.,” he said. “Once we run against schools our size, it will be a little easier. We’re blessed with numbers. We have 30 on the team, and we’re pretty young. We’ll make some adjustments.”

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