WIN Track: Negaunee boys defend crown at Westwood

ISHPEMING – Negaunee High School’s boys track and field team celebrated its second straight WIN Meet championship with a triumphant run around the Westwood High School track Tuesday.

Miners’ head coach Kevin Bell said his team wasn’t necessarily focused entirely on winning the meet, however.

“Our main thing was to compete and get some personal bests,” he said. “But every one of our kids set a personal record in something today.

“With regionals coming up next week, that’s important.”

The Miners, winning eight events, picked up 82 team points to 62.5 for runner-up Ishpeming. Westwood placed third with 34.5.

Keenan Gantz led the way for the Miners, winning the 1,600-meter run (5:05) and the 800 run (2:18.53). He also anchored Negaunee’s winning 3,200 relay unit.

“My time (in the 1,600) is very bad,” Gantz said. “My best there is 4:46. But it’s been tough (training) with the snow.

“It’s getting to be crunch time, though, with regionals coming next week, so I’ll just have to work hard.”

Kevin O’Keefe also gave the Miners a boost, claiming the 200 dash (23.33) and the high jump (6-feet).

“He had a great day,” Bell said. “So did (Evan) Fezatt in the distances.

“We also had three guys place in three field events (discus, pole vault and shot put).”

Ishpeming got three wins from its 800, 400 and 1,600 relay units. Hunter Wirtanen ran on all three and also captured the 100 dash (11.28).

Noah Olgren took the pole vault (11-6), Josh Whittington claimed the long jump (18-8) and Nate Meyer won the 400 dash (54.75).

“It’s a tough race, because you have to have both speed and endurance,” Meyer said of his winning event.

“But I got a good start and was pushed by (teammate Adam) Prisk. It’s nice to have someone push me like that.

“My time was decent, but I want to get it down,” he added.

Ishpeming coach Scott Syrjala said “it’s tough going against Negaunee.

“They’re our crosstown rivals and our boys know that. But we had some good performances today, especially in the field events.

“Every one of our kids have shin splints running on the gym floor in practice, though,” he added.

Vincente Carlson posted Westwood’s lone win, that coming in the 110 high hurdles (15.84).

Craig Remsburg can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 251.