HOUGHTON - It is the last hurrah for Chassell's Jamie Dompier, and don't blink, because the Panther sprinter has been running faster than ever this season.
The defending U.P. Division 3 champ in the 100 and 200, the Michigan Tech-bound racer once again enters U.P. Finals today as a heavy favorite. Dompier secured the No. 1 seed in the 100 and 200, as well as the top spot in the 400 with a dominant showing at Regionals.
In fact, her qualifying time of 12.45 seconds in the 100 would be good for a U.P. record in all three divisions. Her 26.21 flash in the 200 would break the 26.36 record Dompier set last year in Kingsford.
Daily Mining Gazette/Brandon Veale
Chassell’s Jamie Dompier sprints for the finish line during the 200-meter dash in the May 20 Copper Country Conference track meet in Lake Linden. Dompier is seeded No. 1 in the 100-, 200- and 400-meter run for today’s Division 3 U.P. finals.
So what can she do for an encore?
"Just run my hardest and enjoy my last three high school events," Dompier said. "I would love to run as fast as I did in the 100 at the Copper Country Conference meet, where I ran a 12.38. I just want to shed a lot of time off my (personal) best."
If the weather holds up, Dompier has put herself in position for possibly the best sprinting performance - regardless of division - in U.P. history. She has already overcome the 12.5 second 100 mark several times this year, owns the U.P. record in the 200 and could win the 400 for the first time in her career.
Of course, Dompier isn't thinking about any of that quite yet.
"I don't think about it like that," Dompier said. "I just aim to run my best times, and whatever happens with that happens. I don't think about being the best in the U.P., just about how I can make myself better."
With her graduation ceremony finished Tuesday, Dompier has enjoyed four days with little to do but prepare for Finals.
She prefers a mix of physical sprint work and mental visualization to ready herself for the final race of her high school career.
Finding that confident edge has been a big key to her success, she says.
"It is a lot of mentality stuff. Just Being confident with what I can do," Dompier said. "I just want to say in my head 'this is my race, I am just going to go hard and give it all I can.' I don't think about the people around me, I don't hear the crowd. I just do what I can do."
After Dompier, Shannon Fish (Baraga) and Lori Wardynski (Ontonagon) represent the best chance on the girls Division 3 side for a top finish. Fish qualified third in the high jump - and will be seeking the school record of 5-2 - and third in the 100 hurdles. Wardynski ranks third in the 300 hurdles, but both will have the challenge of overcoming defending champion Aspen Hood from Engadine.
For the boys, Lake Linden-Hubbell's James Marietta comes in as the lone top seed, clearing 12-0 in the pole vault. The Lakes also boast a strong 800 relay team that finished just one tenth of a second behind the top ranked Bessemer squad.
Marietta will be seeking a three inch bump on his Regional height, which would put him at 12-3. Last year's winner cleared 12-6.
"I broke some personal records for myself this season, and I am really looking forward to Finals," Marietta said. "I'm hoping to get 12-3 Saturday. A nice warm day with no wind would help a lot."