Prep track: Newberry wins Division 2 girls title at Superior Dome

MARQUETTE – With victories in the 1,600- and 3,200-meter relays, the 3,200 run and pole vault, Newberry was the champion of the Division 2 Marquette Dome Invitational girls’ high school track meet Wednesday at the Superior Dome in Marquette.

Newberry topped Ishpeming by just six points with final scores of 106 1/3 and 100 1/3, respectively.

Sophomore Natalie Beaulieu paced Newberry, finishing first in the 3,200 run by nearly a minute at 12 minutes, 27.68 seconds. She also placed second in the 1,600 and was part of the winning 3,200 relay team.

Newberry’s Alexis Pillion and Bridget Stoetzer were part of both winning relays. Freshman Taylor Bryant of Newberry won the pole vault competition with a jump of 7 feet, 9 inches, and she also placed second in the 55-meter dash.

Ishpeming head coach Scott Syrjala said the second-place Lady Hematites are a young team, but full of leadership and potential.

“We might have a lot of sophomores and juniors, but a lot of these girls are new to track this year,” Syrjala said.

“We’re trying to find, as coaches, who fits best where. They’re trying to find what they like and what works for them.”

Ishpeming junior Nassie Thomas, who was unsure whether she wanted to join the track team this year, walked away with two victories. Thomas won the 55 at 7.82 seconds and also finished first in the long jump, leaping 15-5.25.

“She’s never long jumped in her life, so I was really proud of her,” Syrjala said.

The Hematites also acquired some girls from the basketball team, including junior Morgan Skytta, who finished first in the 400 at 1:08.54 in her first running of the event.

“Having some girls from the basketball team is good because they have a lot of athletic ability,” Katie Harrison of Ishpeming said. “I think this is one of the better years on the girls’ team.”

St. Ignace placed third as a team, Westwood placed fourth and Manistique finished fifth.

Manistique coach Eric Hill said he was happy with his team’s results given the difficult practice circumstances.

Between school cancellations and snow storms, Manistique athletes were unable to train in high jump prior to warming up at the Dome on Wednesday. Regardless, Manistique freshman Kelsey Dehanke won the event, clearing 4-8.

Manistique had two other wins on Wednesday, both from Holly Blowers. Blowers finished first in the 800 at 2:39.40 and first in the 1,600 at 5:41.32.

“We had some nice surprises for not having as much preparation as we would’ve like,” Hill said.