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Rockets earn gold on both sides

RAPID RIVER — It was keep the title at home day for the Rapid River Rockets here Thursday as they swept both ends of their 43rd annual invitational track meet.

The Rapid River boys scored 163 points, followed by Stephenson 125 and Munising 59.

“The neat thing is our guys and girls both won,” said Rockets’ coach Steve Ostrenga. “That’s pretty exciting. Although, Stephenson was missing some kids. We have seven seniors and our team is led by those seniors. We actually had three guys running in the 300 hurdles, and they stepped up and got us 12 points. We’re just trying to get track back, and it’s nice to have it back.”

The Rapid River girls collected 125 points, including 60 in the field events. They were followed by Stephenson 108 and Mid Peninsula 78 on this partly cloudy and mild day.

“Stephenson finished well ahead of us at their invitational (April 30),” said Rapid River coach Greg Rubick. “Obviously, they were shorthanded, although we took advantage of that.

“I thought we performed well. Nearly half our points came in four events.”

Rapid River senior Morgan Anderson won shot put at personal-best 30 feet, 10 inches and discus (93-3 1/2). Junior Gabby Moss added a first in long jump with a personal-best leap of 14-9 1/2, and Addie Christoff took pole vault (7-6).

“Morgan has been steady for us, and today she finally got over 30 feet,” said Rubick. “Although Stephenson was missing some kids, their program is going strong. They have good numbers in their boys’ and girls’ programs. Somebody’s doing something right down there. Mid Pen got seven firsts in the running events, which is pretty impressive for the numbers they have. Munising has some good athletes, only their numbers don’t seem to be what they usually are.”

Mid Pen senior Daisy Englund won the 100 in 13.69 seconds, 800 (2:34.25) and led off the winning 800 relay.

“I usually don’t run the 100, but switched from the 400 to get more recovery time,” she said. “One of our girls has shin splints, so I filled in for her. It was a tight race. Everybody was leaning for the finish. I like running the 100. It’s a lot faster than the 800.”

Junior teammate Landry Koski added firsts in the 400 (1:05.62), 1600 (6:01.71) and 3200 (13:06).

“I ran my best times all year in the 1600 and 3200,” said Koski. “It makes me feel good to see I’m improving. It was good to be able to run with the boys in the 3200. It’s nice to have that competition to help your mindset.”

The Wolverines also get a first from freshman Tia Nummilien in the 200 (29.36).

“Tia had a nice 100 and 200,” said Mid Pen coach Lauren Marshall. “I was really happy with her 200. Overall, I’m happy with our performance.”

Bark River-Harris sophomore Hazel Conklin was a double-winner, taking the 100 hurdles (19.52) and 300s (54.0).

In the boys’ meet, Rapid River senior Ishmael Hernandez won the 1600 (5:22.08), helped the winning 1600 and 3200 relays and was runner-up to North Central senior Daniel Dani in the 800.

“The 1600 was a good win, but lost a step in the 800,” said Hernandez. “Then, he (Dani) hit another level, and I couldn’t stay with him. He’s a great runner. It’s hard to come back after losing a year (due to Covid-19), but we’re coming back strong.”

Rockets’ senior Parker Dausey copped discus (116-0).

Ben Lenaker took long jump (19-10), and Max Lenaker copped high jump (5-8).

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