Flivvers beat Redmen, Miners for Div. 1 boys title

KINGSFORD – Marquette Senior High School placed a distant second to winner Kingsford and Negaunee came in third at the MHSAA Upper Peninsula Division 1 boys track and field finals Saturday.

Nevertheless, both coaches of the Superiorland squads were pleased with their teams’ performances at Kingsford High School.

“Because their regional was so snowy, on paper, (the Flivvers) were behind us for the finals,” MSHS head coach Kyle Detmers said. “But they have a great, great team.

“We still had a great day. We peaked today after a tough spring for training (due to poor weather).”

Kingsford, winning five events, ran away with the title with 127 points. Marquette came in second with 82 and Negaunee placed third with 81.

“I’m very happy,” Negaunee coach Kevin Bell said. “We knew it would be between us and Marquette for second.

“You can look back and think about getting another point here or there, but it was a good meet. I’m proud of our effort.”

Menominee came in fourth with 61 points, followed by Sault Ste. Marie (47), Gladstone (39), Houghton (31), Escanaba (25), Calumet (20) and Gwinn (14).

MSHS won only one event – the 3,200-meter relay to start the meet. Troy Sergey, Brady Aboussleman, Andrew Banitt and Cole Rieboldt comprised the unit.

“But we went 2-3 in the 1,600 run (with Lance Rambo and Rieboldt) and second in the 1,600 relay (with Shane Duquette, Larry Burnette III, Brett Place and Jimmy St. Cyr),” Detmers noted.

The Redmen also went second (Banitt), fourth (Aboussleman) and sixth (Sergey) in the 800 run.

The Miners, meanwhile, were led by two individual wins apiece from Jason Bell and Kevin O’Keefe. Bell took the 110 (15.95) and 300 (41.72) hurdles; O’Keefe the 100 (11.38) and 200 (22.60) dashes.

“I got a good start (in the 100),” said Jason Bell – the coach’s son. “I stayed low on all the hurdles and I don’t think about the competition.

“I was a little nervous beforehand, but I know most of the guys who competed (with me) and I felt pretty confident.”

In the 300 hurdles, Bell said he had “good speed” to carry him through.

“One hurdle in the corner, I was a little high,” Bell said. “But then I got back in stride.”

O’Keefe said he enjoyed the mid-80s temperatures and the steady breeze throughout the meet.

“It keeps your legs warm,” he said. “I knew I had to get a good start (in the 100) and I had no clue who was near me. I just focus on the finish line.”

In the 200, however, he said he saw Kingsford runner Cole Tengesdahl near him going into the turn.

“I knew I had to kick it in gear,” O’Keefe said. “The wind bothered me some. I hits you like a brick wall, but I just had to fight through it.”

Negaunee’s Zane Radloff posted the Miners’ other win – a 6-foot effort in the high jump.

“We have 12 seniors,” coach Bell noted. “It’s going to be hard to replace them.”

Gwinn’s top finish was a third in the 1,600 relay (3:41.20) by Olai Ronnestad, Ringo McPherson, Jesse McGovern and Kyler Skinner.