Prep boys track: Negaunee wins numbers game in WIN meet at Superior Dome

MARQUETTE – Students on the Negaunee High School boys track team must be good in mathematics. Why? Well, the Miners certainly know how to play the numbers game.

Negaunee and Ishpeming each won six individual events at the WIN meet held at the Superior Dome in Marquette on Tuesday. The Miners took one extra relay victory, but still came up with a fairly comfortable win, scoring 79 points to 62 for Ishpeming as Westwood scored 28.

“This meet is always a benchmark for us with the regionals coming up next week,” NHS coach Kevin Bell said about his team’s third straight win in this meet. “This was our third indoor meet this spring, so it almost felt like a home meet for us.”

The Miners also participated at the Dome Division 2 meet and the Michigan Tech Invitational in April.

“I’m pleased with our depth,” Bell said. “We have a lot of young guys who show promise. And the seniors, I can’t say enough about them. Their leadership makes my job a whole lot easier.”

The Miners added six second-place finishes, seven thirds and four fourths to their half-dozen wins.

“There were just a few events where Negaunee got away from us,” Ishpeming coach Scott Syrjala said. “That’s where their depth really pays off. They’re a school twice as big as us.”

Westwood coach Eric Hill was encouraged as the Patriots got a win from junior Vincente Carlson in the 55-meter hurdles.

“This is only our third meet, so we’re working on improving as we go,” Hill said, mentioning junior Trevor Burke taking third place in the 400-meter dash, too.

Ishpeming junior Tommy Potter, a recent transfer from Southern California, made his mark by sweeping the three runs, the 800, 1,600 and 3,200.

“It’s a little harder running on the tight turns,” Potter said about the 200-meter track, half the distance of a normal outdoor layout. “You’ve got to establish the lead because the straightaways are so short it’s hard to find a place to pass.”

One other athlete was also a double individual winner – Negaunee senior Kevin O’Keefe in the 100 and 200 while tripling up as anchor of his school’s winning 800 relay.

“The 200 you really have to be careful with,” O’Keefe said. “You’re going all out and you have to let up just a little so you don’t lose it coming around that turn.

“I like it better than running outside on a day like this (with temperatures in the 40s). That’s when you really have to warm-up for a long time to make sure you don’t injure yourself. I’ve done that before.”

Junior teammate Jason Bell added a win in the 300 and a leg in the 800 relay, while three senior teammates each won a field event – Jeremy Bell the discus, Tyler Thomas the shot put and Zane Radloff the high jump.

Other Ishpeming wins were turned in by senior Adam Prisk in the long jump, junior Nate Meyer in the 400 and senior Noah Olgren in the pole vault. Prisk and Meyer also ran on the Hematites’ victorious 1,600 relay team.