MHSAA U.P. Track Finals: Marquette boys unable to four-peat in Kingsford, finish fourth

KINGSFORD – The Marquette Senior High School boys track and field team was able to capture its fourth-straight championship at the MHSAA Division I U.P. Finals on Saturday in Kingsford, finishing fourth overall with 61 points.

Gladstone won the Division 1 boys title with 112 points while Menominee took second with 80 and Kingsford third at 73.

The Redmen did, however, peak at the right time to record some highlights.

“After a pretty rough start to the season and being a little behind on the season, our guys really performed well,” said MSHS head coach Kyle Detmers. “We ran our fastest times of the year. We had a lot of young guys who really came through for us.”

One of those runners was sophomore Andrew Banitt, who set a personal record in the 800-meter run, hitting the finish line in 2 minutes, 1.70 seconds. He was also the final leg of the 3,200 relay team that finished second in 8:24.70, nearly 30 seconds faster than its previous best time.

The 1-2 punch of freshman Lance Rambo and junior Cole Rieboldt also racked up points for the Redmen. Both set PRs in the 1,600, with Rambo taking second (4:39.41) and Rieboldt (4:39.87) third.

Rieboldt also snagged second in the 3,200 (10:19.47) and Rambo finished fourth (10:38.23).

The Redmen only featured two seniors, including Alex Gagnon, who finished in second place in the 200 (23.32) for the third year in a row. He also took fourth in the 100 (11.48).

“He’s a real solid person and a great leader,” Detmers said. “Not just a good runner, but a solid guy. His leadership is what I’m going to miss the most about him.”

Negaunee finished in sixth overall (42) and was paced by junior Austin Caya, who took first place in pole vault, clearing 12 feet.

NHS senior shot putters Alex Dempsey and Adam Francis took third (43 feet, 8.5 inches) and fourth (42-.5), respectively, while junior Kevin O’Keefe dashed to a third-place finish in the 200 (23.49).