HANCOCK - Postponed twice in this abbreviated track season, the Copper Country Invite finally found a home Tuesday, nestling in on a 70 degree day at Hancock and giving local teams one last competition to prepare for U.P. Finals this Saturday.
While the meet placement was accidental, the coaches and athletes alike found the timing spot on as they prepare for Finals.
Houghton topped Calumet on the girls side with a 152-122 1/2 total - with Hancock placing third with 74, Ontonagon fourth at 71 and Dollar Bay fifth with 61 points - but it was a meet all school's could be happy with as it built towards the ultimate goal Saturday.
Hancock’s Alex Dewald runs for the finish line in the 200 meters at the Copper Country Invite at Hancock High School. Also pictured are Calumet’s Doug Loven and Houghton’s Thomas Schmidt. (DMG photo by Michael Bleach)
On the boys side Houghton edged Calumet 154-147. Lake Linden-Hubbell placed third with 107 points, followed by Hancock (63) and Dollar Bay (35).
"It's interesting, because this is when our biggest workout of the week would be," Lake Linden-Hubbell girls' coach Gary Guisfredi said. "So instead of a workout, we are having competition, which is better. The kids would never run this fast in practice, it's just human nature."
The timing was so helpful, Guisfredi and Houghton coach Dan Junttila kicked around the idea of purposefully setting up a meet next year in the same slot.
Boys Team scores - Houghton 154, Calumet 147, Lake Linden-Hubbell 107, Hancock 63, Dollar Bay 35, Ontonagon 6.
3200 relay 1, Calumet (Cade Torola, Troy Kangas, Mitchell Delong, Maxx Fredrickson), 9:28; 2, Houghton; 3, Dollar Bay.
110 hurdles - 1, Jacob Jarvis, HAN, 15.41; 2, Paul Torola, CAL; 3, Trevor Ongie, LL-H.
100 - 1, Thomas Schmidt, HOU, 12.07; 2, Tyler Roose, LLH; 3, Justin Jurva, HOU.
800 relay - 1, Lake Linden-Hubbell (Konrad Klein, Luke Monette, Trent Ambuehl, Tyler Roose), 1:39; 2, Houghton; 3, Calumet.
1600 - 1, Tom Autio, DB, 5:08; 2, Mitchell Delong, CAL; 3, Brett Kauppinen, LLH.
400 relay - 1, Calumet (Chad Sturos, Paul Torola, Matt Prouty, Doug Loven), 48.09; 2, Lake Linden; 3, Houghton.
400 - 1, Tristan Foltz, HOU, 55.79; 2, Maxx Fredrickson, CAL; 3, Thomas Plante, LLH.
300 hurdles - 1, Jacob Jarvis, HAN, 40.91; 2, Owen Sturos, CAL; 3, Paul Torola, CAL.
800 - 1, Raymond Brice, HOU, 2:15; 2, Ri Chen, HOU; 3, Cade Torola, CAL.
200 - 1, Doug Loven, CAL, 24.25; 2, Alex Dewald, HAN; 3, Luke Monette, LLH.
3200 - 1, David Golus, CAL, 11:58; 2, Jacob Belmas, HOU; 3, Colin Jackson, HOU.
1600 relay - 1, Calumet (Maxx Fredrickson, Cade Torola, Nate Kangas, Mitchell Delong), 3:59; 2, Houghton; 3, Lake Linden.
Discus - 1, Gage Hawthorne, HAN, 139-10; 2, Ben Collaer, HOU; 3, Charles Heckel, LLH.
High jump - 1, Sam Kariniemi, CAL, 5-6; 2, Kurtis Keranen, CAL; 3, Tristan Foltz, HOU.
Long jump - 1, Trevor Ongie, LLH, 18-10; 2, Thomas Schmidt, HOU; 3, Konrad Klein, LLH.
Pole vault - 1, Eric Lasanen, CAL, 11-6; 2, Blake Dupuis, LLH; 3, Joe Dobbs, HOU.
Shot put - 1, Gage Hawthorne, HAN, 48-4; 2, Brad Ohtonen, HOU; 3, Adrian Saterstad, HAN.
Girls Team scores - Houghton 152, Calumet 122 1/2, Hancock 74, Ontonagon 71, Dollar Bay 64, Lake Linden-Hubbell 33 1/2, Baraga 2.
3200 relay - 1, Calumet (Katie Djerf, Corey Miller, Gwendolyn Grabig, Leah Kiilunen), 10:57; 2, Houghton; 3, Dollar Bay.
100 hurdles - 1, Julie Heinonen, HAN, 17.16; 2, Lori Wardynski, ONT; 3, Cara Monette, HOU.
100 - 1, Chelsea Jacques, CAL, 12.94; 2, Lori Wardynski, ONT; 3, Paige Blake, ONT.
800 relay - 1, Houghton (Lauren Jackson, Cara Monette, Kelsie Richards, Elisa Jurmu), 1:56; 2, Calumet; 3, Hancock.
1600 - 1, Cami Daavettila, DB, 5:59; 2, Leah Kiilunen, CAL, 6:01; 3, Carly Bulleit, HOU.
400 relay - 1, Calumet (Lexie Rowe, Caitlin Klobuchar, Annie Tervo, Chelsea Jacques), 51.19; 2, Houghton; 3, Lake Linden.
400 - 1, Michelle Laux, HOU, 1:06; 2, Clara Knight, LLH; 3, Kelsie Richards, HOU.
300 hurdles - 1, Lori Wardynski, ONT, 49.50; 2, Ellie Lucier, HAN; 3, Taylor Pertile, HAN.
800 - 1, Corey Miller, CAL, 2:39; 2, Sloane Zenner, HOU; 3, Taylor Busser, DB.
200 - 1, Chelsea Jacques, CAL, 27.78; 2, Ellie Lucier, HAN; 3, Paige Blake, ONT.
3200 - 1, Leah Kiilunen, CAL, 13:03; 2, Abigail Tembreull, HAN; 3, Cami Daavettila, DB.
1600 relay - 1, Houghton (Michelle Laux, Sloanne Zenner, Kelsie Richards, Elisa Jurmu), 4:32; 2, Ontonagon; 3, Dollar Bay.
Discus - 1, Annika Wheeler, HOU, 97-7; 2, Oliva Rouleau, HAN; 3, Elisa Jurmu, HOU.
High jump - 1, Elisa Jurmu, HOU, 5-2; 2, Hailey Wickstrom, CAL; 3, Cara Monette, HOU.
Long jump - 1, Paige Blake, ONT, 15-4; 2, Caitlin Klobuchar, CAL; 3, Lexie Rowe, CAL.
Pole vault - 1, Jennifer Stewart, ONT, 7-6; 2, Nicole St. Martin, HOU, 7-6; 3, Annie Tervo, CAL.
Shot put - 1, Annika Wheeler, HOU, 33-1; 2, Olivia Rouleau, HAN; 3, Sam Richards, DB.
"We were just talking - not doing anything official - but the timing does seem to work out," Guisfredi said. "The kids seem to like it, it works with our workout schedule. It's something to look at."
Houghton athlete Elisa Jurmu - who will be competing in four events Saturday - said it was an excellent opportunity to start fine-tuning technique that can shave valuable time off in a crowded, quality field.
The senior Gremlin won the high jump (5-2 clearance) and 800 and 1600 relays Tuesday while placing third in a strong discus field.
Jurmu said any chance to practice her steps for the high jump or get more comfortable in the circle for discus was fine by her.
"This is a really good time to have a meet," Jurmu said. "You can pretty much just work on your events how you need and then taper down to prepare for the U.P's. It's good timing."
For Calumet coach Steve Parks, the twice rescheduled meet was a blessing in disguise, with his sprint-relay team dropping the baton during the 800.
They recovered to win the 400 relay, but a slow exchange gave him and the defending U.P. champs something to work on heading into Saturday.
Sprinter Chelsea Jacques starred for the Kings, winning the 100 (12.94) by more than a second over Ontonagon's Lori Wardynski, edging Hancock's Ellie Lucier in the 200 and anchoring the winning 400 relay team.
"Better to mess up here than Saturday, that's what I told them," Parks said. "If we can get three good handoffs than I like our chances at Finals."
Even the weather, such a scourge during the shortened-regular season, provided a boost Tuesday.
The 70-plus degree heat is likely what Kingsford will bring for Finals, and Guisfredi noted the Lakes were hydrating differently.
"We just aren't used to running in 70 degree temperatures," Guisfredi said. "We haven't done that this year. That part was good too, the acclimation to the temperatures we are probably going to see Saturday."
Houghton's Annika Wheeler won both throwing events and Gremlin Michelle Laux took the 400.
Julie Heinonen and Wardynski took their last battle of the season to the wire in the 100 hurdles with Heinonen edging the Ontonagon sprinter by two one-hundreths of a second. Wardynski won the 300 hurdles and the pair will race in different divisions Saturday.
On the boys side, Jacob Jarvis swept the hurdle events for Hancock, and the Bulldogs' Gage Hawthorne swept the throwing events.
Calumet won the 3200, 400 and 1600 relays.
"It was a productive meet," Guisfredi said. "I'm glad we got it in."