LAKE LINDEN - With a low sky, a fine mist and strong winds, it felt like a cloud had descended upon Warner Athletic Field for the Copper Country Conference track and field meet.
It might have just signified the stratospheric level the Lake Linden-Hubbell program is at these days.
LL-H easily defended its league titles at home Monday, winning the girls' meet by 67 points and taking the boys with nearly triple the points of second-place Ontonagon.
Lake Linden-Hubbell’s Cody Kumpula leans to the tape for the win in the 100-meter dash at the Copper Country Conference track meet Monday at Lake Linden. Trailing him, from right to left, are Tony Soumis of Ontonagon, Ross Michaels of Chassell and LL-H’s Tyler Roose. (DMG photo by Brandon Veale)
Ontonagon’s Lori Wardynski clears the final hurdle ahead of Baraga’s Shannon Fish in the 300-meter hurdles at Monday’s Copper Country Conference track meet in Lake Linden.
"I just give all the kids who came out here a heck of a lot of credit. The weather was just not a conference championship-type day," LL-H girls' coach Gary Guisfredi said.
The LL-H girls had 166, followed by Dollar Bay (99), Ontonagon (80), Baraga (70), Chassell (69) and Jeffers (10).
Depth ruled the day, as the Lakes won all four relays and four of five field events, easily overcoming the fact that Lori Wardynski of Ontonagon (hurdles), Jamie Dompier of Chassell (sprints), and Carli Daavettila of Dollar Bay (distance) held LL-H out of the top spot in any individual running events.
GIRLS: Lake Linden-Hubbell 166, Dollar Bay 99, Ontonagon 80, Baraga 70, Chassell 69, Jeffers 10
3,200-meter relay: 1. LAKE LINDEN-HUBBELL (Carli Ongie, Brooke Corrigan, Morgan Gast, Clara Knight), 11:29.66; 2. DOLLAR BAY
100-meter hurdles: 1. Lori Wardynski, ONT, 17.80; 2. Shannon Fish, BAR; 3. Kaitlyn Hietala, CHS; 4. Sam Ozanich, DB; 5. Ongie, LLH.
100-meter dash: 1. Jamie Dompier, CHS, 12.38; 2. Wardynski, ONT; 3. Abby Sutherland, LLH; 4. Rachel Holzberger, LLH; 5. Paige Blake, ONT.
800-meter relay: 1. LAKE LINDEN-HUBBELL (Erin Gast, Jana Hendrickson, Brittni Kisul, Sutherland), 2:02.48; 2. BARAGA; 3. ONTONAGON; 4. DOLLAR BAY.
1,600-meter run: 1. Carli Daavettila, DB, 6:18.25; 2. Knight, LLH; 3. Lindsey Johnson, JEF; 4. Julia Daavettila, DB; 5. Cami Daavettila, DB.
400-meter relay: 1. LAKE LINDEN-HUBBELL (Holzberger, Sutherland, Erin Gast, Sarah Audette), 58.14.
400-meter dash: 1. Dompier, CHS, 1:03.99; 2. Molly Domitrovich, ONT; 3. Annaleese Rasanen, BAR; 4. Shitaye Sam, CHS; 5. Xena Cortez, DB.
300-meter hurdles: 1. Wardynski, ONT, 51.71; 2. Fish, BAR; 3. Corrigan, LLH; 4. Kayla Goodell, LLH.
800-meter run: 1. Tawna Ryynanen, CHS, 2:43.10; 2. Ongie, LLH; 3. Knight, LLH; 4. Taylor Busser, DB; 5. Cortez, DB.
200-meter run: 1. Dompier, CHS, 26.66; 2. Blake, ONT; 3. Fish, BAR; 4. Sutherland, LLH; 5. Hannah Tuomi, CHS.
3,200-meter run: 1. Carli Daavettila, DB, 13:48.08; 2. Julia Pietila, CHS; 3. Cami Daavettila, DB; 4. Busser, DB; 5. Amanda Mattila, JEF.
1,600-meter relay: 1. LAKE LINDEN-HUBBELL (Knight, Kisul, Hendrickson, Corrigan), 4:52.21; 2. ONTONAGON; 3. DOLLAR BAY.
Discus - 1. Kisul, LLH, 100-7 ; 2. Vivica Nelson, DB; 3. Beth Sundblad, LLH; 4. Shayla Mayo, BAR; 5. Johnson, JEF.
Shot put - 1. Taylor Shepeard, LLH, 27-6; 2. Megan Kangas, DB; 3. Mayo, BAR; 4. Nelson, DB; 5. Bobbi Ross, ONT.
High jump - 1. Shannon Fish, BAR, 4-10; 2. Audette, LLH; 3. Kisul, LLH; 4. Kelli Massie, BAR; 5. Andrea Von Markle, LLH.
Pole vault - 1. Audette, LLH, 8-6; 2. Corrigan, LLH; 3. Hietala, CHS; 4. Stephanie Harry, LLH; 5. Sonja Welch, BAR.
Long jump - 1. Audette, LLH, 13-10; 2. Ozanich, DB; 3. Wardynski, ONT; 4. Blake, ONT; 5. J. Daavettila, DB.
BOYS: Lake Linden-Hubbell 227, Ontonagon 79, Dollar Bay 66, Chassell 54, Baraga 38, Jeffers 6.
3,200-meter relay - 1. LAKE LINDEN-HUBBELL (Kyle Keranen, Brett Kauppinen, Marcel Mongeau, Alex Knight), 9:49.99
110-meter hurdles - 1. James Marietta, LLH, 18.90; 2. Aaron Dean, ONT.
100-meter dash - 1. Cody Kumpula, LLH, 11.83; 2. Tony Soumis, ONT; 3. Tyler Roose, LLH; 4. Ross Michaels, CHS; 5. Beau Dupuis, LLH.
800-meter relay - 1. LAKE LINDEN-HUBBELL (Dupuis, Konrad Klein, Roose, Kumpula), 1:54.98.
1,600-meter run - 1. Brett Houle, DB, 5:22.24; 2. Tom Autio, DB; 3. Harley Lindemann, BAR; 4. Kauppinen, LLH; 5. Brandon Derosior, JEF.
400-meter relay - 1. LAKE LINDEN-HUBBELL (Dupuis, Klein, Roose, Trent Ambuehl), 49.05; 2. CHASSELL; 3. ONTONAGON; 4. BARAGA.
400-meter dash - 1. Aaron Kaikko, ONT, 57.24; 2. Matthew Sarazin, LLH; 3. Zach Cherubini, CHS; 4. Thomas Plante, LLH; 5. Tom Dunstan, DB.
300-meter hurdles - 1. Marietta, LLH, 51.63; 2. Arthur Lyons, LLH; 3. Lucas Dean, ONT; 4. Lance Kangas, DB.
800-meter run - 1. Knight, LLH, 2:20.92; 2. Keranen, LLH; 3. A. Dean, ONT; 4. Derosior, JEF; 5. Lindemann, BAR.
200-meter dash - 1. Soumis, ONT, 24.47; 2. Taylor Lindemann, BAR; 3. Kumpula, LLH; 4. Klein, LLH; 5. Devyn Aho, CHS.
3,200-meter run - 1. Houle, DB, 11:33.58; 2. Autio, DB; 3. Damon Boyd, DB; 4. Nathan Miron, BAR.
1,600-meter relay - 1. LAKE LINDEN-HUBBELL (Alex Brandt, Keranen, Sarazin, Knight), 4:15.03; 2. ONTONAGON; 3. BARAGA.
Discus - 1. Charles Heckel, LLH, 126-2 ; 2. Ryan Knoll, LLH; 3. Kyle Stromer, CHS; 4. Austin Serotzke, LLH; 5. Austin Peterson, LLH.
Shot put - 1. Brady Guilbault, ONT, 38-7; 2. Heckel, LLH; 3. Mikey Marcol, DB; 4. Brandt, LLH; 5. Serotzke, LLH.
High jump - 1. Mongeau, LLH, 5-6; T2. Cherubini, CHS and Kaikko, ONT; 4. Keranen, LLH; 5. Kyle DesRochers, BAR.
Pole vault - 1. Michaels, CHS, 11-0; 2. Marietta, LLH; 3. Ambuehl, LLH; 4. Dupuis, LLH; 5. Nate Tervo, DB.
Long jump - 1. Klein, LLH, 17-11; 2. Kumpula, LLH; 3. Kyle Stromer, CHS; 4. Michaels, CHS; 5. Ambuehl, LLH.
Sarah Audette claimed a double in pole vault (8-foot-6) and long jump (13-10), while Brittni Kisul (100-7 in discus) and Taylor Shepeard (27-6 in shot put) cleaned up the throwing events.
Those short bursts of strength and agility were challenging, but long runs into the teeth of the wind were especially daunting. Daavettila led a remarkably deep DB distance contingent in both genders.
"It's brutal. The wind's blowing right at you," the freshman said.
Daavettila held off LL-H's Clara Knight to win the 1,600 in 6:18, then was not seriously challenged in taking the 3,200 in 13:48. Two Bay teammates finished in the top five alongside her in both races.
"I've got to try and push myself to stay with the girls ahead of me and I can get a pretty good spot," she said of U.P. Finals June 1 in Kingsford.
There may be no girls who can stay with Dompier. The senior loosed a staggering display of speed particularly noteworthy on a wet asphalt track: She won the 100 in 12.38, which would be merely a record in all U.P. divisions had it happened at the Finals, which are run on a faster rubberized surface in Kingsford. Later, she ran a 1:03.99 to win the 400 by nearly five seconds and finished with a 26.66 to win the 200 by more than 2 seconds.
Wardynski finished a distant second to Dompier in the 100 (in 13.84), but won both duels with Baraga's Shannon Fish in the hurdle events, finishing the 100 in 17.80 and the 300 in 51.71.
LL-H hurdler James Marietta was one of only two double winners in the boys' half of the meet. LL-H took all four relays and six individual events en route to amassing 227 points. Ontonagon was second with 79, followed by Dollar Bay (66), Chassell (54), Baraga (38) and Jeffers (six).
And to think how much better the Lakes might be at this point in the season if there had been much of a season beforehand.
"I wish we'd had a couple more meets," LL-H boys' coach Mike Greene said. "I have some guys who are just getting into much better shape. I wish we had a couple more meets before the Finals."
Cody Kumpula ran an 11.83 to win a fairly tight 100 but pulled up injured with about 20 meters left in the 200 as Ontonagon's Tony Soumis took that race in 24.47.
The Glads also snagged wins from Aaron Kaikko in the 400 and Brady Guilbault in the shot put.
Dollar Bay's distance stable was strong here too, as Brett Houle ran without peer to victories in the 1,600 (5:22) and 3,200 (11:33).
"The backstretch is really windy. It's hard to push yourself through that, especially when there's lots of wind," Houle said.
Teammate Tom Autio was runner-up in both races, though LL-H took the 800 (Alex Knight) and the 3,200 relay.
"All in all, I think we did as good as I thought we'd do," Greene said.
Afterward, coaches voted on their annual awards, with Dompier and Houle being named overall most valuable performers in both genders.
Top distance runner awards went to Alex Knight of LL-H and Daavettila of DB. Marietta and Soumis shared top male sprinter's honors, with Wardynski taking top female sprinter. Ross Michaels of Chassell and Audette were named most valuable jumpers, with the Lakes' Chuck Heckel and Kisul the top throwers.
Greene, Guisfredi and Dollar Bay's Steve Dunstan were named coaches of the year.