Gladstone track wins home invite

GLADSTONE — The Gladstone track and field teams took care of their home turf in convincing fashion here Friday, sweeping to victory in both ends of their own invitational.

Gladstone’s boys scored 236 points, followed by Rapid River 119 and Iron Mountain 89,

The Gladstone girls finished with 196. They were followed by Iron Mountain 87 and Gwinn 71.

Junior Jacie Tuljus had a hand in four firsts and classmate Kristy Karl added three.

Karl captured the high jump with a personal-best leap of five feet, one inch and copped the 100-meter hurdles in 18.37 seconds and 300s (56.87) on this cloudy and chilly day.

“I wasn’t expecting that, but I was happy to clear 5-1,” she said. “I cleared five feet a couple times last year and got 4-10 at Marinette (April 11). It was a relief to get that. We ended up running the 100 hurdles twice. The official got us started okay, then he accidentally hit the start button when we were halfway through the race. I didn’t know what to do. Everybody kept going. It was pretty confusing, but it worked out okay. That gave my legs a chance to get warmed up.”

Tuljus copped the 100 dash in 12.59 and 200 (27.33) and anchored the winning sprint relays.

“The 100 went well,” she said. “I think everything went well overall. I didn’t run my best 200 time, but I’m okay with just winning. It was colder than it was in the last meet. Sprinting is not fun in cold weather. I look forward to running when it’s warmer.”

Senior Zoey Gillis added victories in shot put (26-8) and discus (85-10). Junior Chelsey Demeuse won the pole vault (7-6). Sophomore Payton Takkunen took the 800 (2:42.42) and freshman Eva Pankonien prevailed in the 400 (1:09.13).

“I thought the girls performed very well,” Braves’ coach Jim Murtha said. “This is the second week in a row we had a strong showing. We gave a great effort in both meets and Jacie and Kristy got us a lot of points. Kristy looked very good in all her jumps. She was very consistent and had a couple inches to spare when she cleared 5-1. It was nice to see Zoey win shot and disc and Payton and Eva did a nice job in their races. There was a good mix of teams and a lot of good athletes. We were just ready to go.”

Ishpeming senior Lola Korpi was overall winner in the 3200 in a school-record 12:00.44, followed by boys’ winner (Gladstone freshman) Chuck Cameron in a personal-best 12:12.18.

Korpi’s effort topped the previous school record (12:02) by Pat Arseneau in 1979.

“I went out and said I was going to do it,” she said. “The boy who finished right behind me was very nice and said ‘Lola, you’re going to do this’ and the Rapid River coach and our coach were cheering me on. The first couple laps were a little too fast. The conditions were not ideal, but I’m super happy with my time. This just makes me excited to see what I can do through the rest of the season. It was hard to sit out all of the other events (800 and 1600), but the anticipation was growing.”

Korpi also anchored the winning 3200 relay and her sister Laynie was runner-up to Iron Mountain sophomore Whitney Siren by slightly more than three seconds in the 1600 run.

“We were missing some of our girls due to a school play,” Lola said. “I’m super proud of Laynie for running that race and she did it in a good time (6:27.67). The coaches did a real good job preparing me for today.”

Junior Emma Sundling provided Rapid River with a runner-up finish in the 400 (1:10.92) and helped the Rockets take second in the 800 relay.

Junior Melody McBroom was Holy Name’s highest finisher with a third in long jump (11-4).

Iron Mountain junior Bella Pickett won the long jump at 13-6.

Gladstone senior Luke Brackett captured the boys’ 110 hurdles (15.33) and 300s (43.52) and classmate Tanner Howes took the 800 (2:17.79) and 1600 (4:58.16).

Junior Aaron Hughes earned his first victory in discus (121-1). Senior Kostya Olsen tied his personal-best while winning pole vault (12-0) and sophomore Mason Peltin added a first in high jump (5-10).

“Luke is getting close to the school record,” Braves’ coach Gary Whitmer said. “Kostya’s jump in the pole vault is pretty good in cold weather and Mason had a nice jump. Aaron getting his first win in discus I think is a confidence builder for him and Chuck did a nice job in the 1600.”

Hughes had thrown 121 feet in Marinette, but scratched on that throw and finished fifth at 109-8

“The conditions definitely helped me,” he said. “There was no wind pushing against me. I’ve been practicing about two hours everyday. My throws have been a little off balance and I’m still working on that. I ran the 4×800 (relay) first and was tired from that. Thankfully, the girls threw first and I had more time to recover.”

Rapid River won the 1600 and 3200 relays and took second in the 800.

“I’m very pleased with our effort,” Rockets’ coach Steve Ostrenga said. “I wasn’t sure what to expect. Gladstone has a very deep team. They can cover all their bases and Iron Mountain has good sprinters.”

Iron Mountain senior Matt Colavecchi was a triple-winner, taking the 100 (11.26), 200 (24.06) and long jump (19-0). Junior teammate Bryce Davis added firsts in the 400 (53.75) and shot put (42-9.5).


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