Good start for all involved at MTU’s Keweenaw Classic

HOUGHTON — Wednesday’s weather conditions may have been less than perfect in the Copper Country, but that did not stop many of the area’s student-athletes from opening their track season indoors.

The Houghton girls collected five firsts in the Michigan Tech Keweenaw Classic Invitational, including one on senior Anabel Needham’s leap of 14 feet, 10 inches in long jump.

Freshman Maria Velat added a first in the 1600-meter run in six minutes, four seconds and the Gremlins grabbed the top three places in shot put. Chassell senior Jenna Pietila was runner-up (6:05) and sophomore teammate Gwen Kangas took third (6:08) in the 1600.

Sophomore Lily Williston uncorked a toss of 29-1 3/4 in shot, followed by seniors Deanna Maki (28-11 1/4) and Lissa Svoke (27-4 1/2).

“Our team did real well,” said senior Mikayla Sague, who helped the Gremlins open with a victory in the 3200 relay (11:08.1). “It felt amazing to win the first race of the day. Our team is real close. It was fun to run with these girls again. We have a lot of people on our team and we were able to have two relays in a lot of events.

“It was pretty important to get this meet in. It’s a great way to start the season. We appreciate Michigan Tech putting this meet on for us.”

The Gremlins also captured the 1600 relay (4:44).

Lake Linden-Hubbell won the 800 relay (2:02.1) and junior Jamie Henderson copped high jump (5-2), two inches higher than Ontonagon’s Nicole Lukkari.

“That’s a pretty good start for Jamie,” said Lakes’ coach Gary Guisfredi. “We had a lot of firsts and seconds and took a few other places here and there. We just wanted to come out this meet healthy. We can deal with tired and sore muscles. We just don’t want any pulls or tears.”

Westwood junior Katelyn Anttila won pole vault with a school-record jump of 8-7, with LL-H junior Megan Corrigan runner-up (8-1).

“Our coach (Dan Carlson) pushes us pretty hard,” said Anttila. “I’ve already cleared that height in practice, but this is the first time I’ve done it in a meet. I was really pumped today. There are a lot of girls who are really good. It depends on who has the best day. It always feels great to win. It’s important to get a good start to the season. This also lets me know what I need to work on.”

Stephenson senior Amanda Starzynski become a double-winner, taking the 60-meter dash (8.06) and 200 (28.58).

“This track has a different texture,” said Starzynski, who ran a 7.98 in the 100 preliminaries. “We can’t use spikes which I think slowed my starts a little, although this is a good starting point. Everybody has different levels where they’re at. This was my first time doing preliminaries, and I was less than .1 second off in the finals.

“This is an earlier start than we’re used to. We usually start at Menominee or in the (Superior Dome). We’re glad to get this in for an extra practice.”

Senior Madeleine Peramaki represented Munising by winning the 400 (1:07.13) and 800 (2:37) and taking second in the 200 (29.6).

In boys’ pole vault, Westwood placed three with junior Rocco Carlson winning at 12-6.

“I’ve been vaulting forever,” said Carlson, a state qualifier in wrestling at 160 pounds. “My dad (Dan) has been coaching pole vault since I was a little kid and I’ve been around it forever. Wrestling and pole vault go hand-in-hand. It’s all about the strength and agility you get from wrestling. I tried for the school record (13-4) and got a little close, although I’ve been a little closer in practice. I’m happy with my jumps today. I think this could set the tone for the rest of the season.”

Coach Carlson was pleased with the showing by the Patriots’ vaulters.

“They’re very dedicated,” he said. “They’re the first ones to come to practice and the last ones to leave every night. We’re glad to get this in. We’re going to need the indoor meets this year.”

The Patriots took first in four running events and Houghton had firsts in two running events and shot put.

“We have 50-plus kids out and we’re trying to get a lot of kids in different events,” said Houghton coach Dan Juntilla. “We’ll tweak things a little before the Dome meet (April 23 in Marquette). We had a lot of kids gone on Spring Break, although we took first and second in the 3200 relay which is good. We thought more schools would be here, but we’re glad to have Stephenson and Westwood here. It looks like Westwood is going to have a strong team this year. This is a good starting point for us. We’re going to have to do more with our depth this year.”

Houghton junior Joe Wood won the 1600 (5:05), followed by Ontonagon’s Noah Lukkari (5:10) and Houghton sophomore Brandon Peterson (5:11).

“It felt pretty good today,” said Wood. “I’m very pleased with my time. I hope to improve and get under five minutes. I just wanted to make sure I kept up my pace today. I ski during the winter, so I had plenty of cross training. I think this helps set the tone for the season. It was important to get this in and get into the season. This gives me a better idea where I’m at.”

LL-H juniors Caleb and Cole Gregorie placed 1-2 in long jump at 19-1 and 18-5, respectively. Cole was runner-up in the 60 hurdles (9.37) and 400 (58.0), with Caleb third in 60 hurdles (9.6).

Lukkari dominated the 800 (2:15), nine seconds ahead of the field. Westwood junior took the 400 (57.35) and Stephenson senior Montell Glover took the 200 (24.9).


3200 relay — 1, Houghton A, 9:42.1; 2, Houghton B; 3, Dollar Bay A.

60 hurdles — 1, Boase, W, 9.34; 2, Cole Gregorie, LL-H; 3, Caleb Gregorie, LL-H.

60 dash — 1, Beckman, W, 7.23; 2, Crouch, LL-H; 3, Anderson, W.

400 — 1, Pohlman, W, 57.35; 2, Caleb Gregorie, LL-H; 3, Donnely, Hou.

1600 — 1, Wood, Hou, 5:05; 2, Lukkari, Ont; 3, Peterson, Hou.

800 relay –1, Westwood A, 1:44.03; 2, Stephenson A; 3, DollarBay A.

800 — 1, Lukkari, Ont, 2:15; 2, Kakuk, S; 3, LaVigne, LL-H.

200 — 1, Glover, S, 24.09; 2, Beckman, W; 3, Ashburn, Hou.

1600 relay — NA

High jump — NA

Long jump — 1, Caleb Gregorie, LL-H, 19-1; 2, Cole Gregorie, LL-H.

Pole vault — 1, Carlson, W, 12-6; 2, 2, LeMire, W; 3, Mariuzzo, W and Erva, Hou (tie).

Shot put — NA


3200 relay — 1, Houghton A,11:08.1; 2, Chassell A; 3, Ontonagon.

60 hurdles — 1, Smith, W, 10.4; 2, S. Anderson, LL-H; 3, Cyrus, Hou.

60 dash — 1, Starzynski, S, 8.06; 2, Perala, LL-H; 3, Sipe, L’A.

400 — 1, Peramaki, Mun, 1:07.13; 2, Trewhella, Hou; 3, Williams, W.

1600 — 1, Velat, Hou, 6:04; 2, Pietila, Chas; 3, Kangas, Chas.

800 relay — 1, Lake Linden-Hubbell A, 2:02.1; 2, Stephenson A; 3, Ontonagon B.

800 — 1, Peramaki, Mun, 2:37; 2, Wilmer, LL-H; 3, Seagren, Hou.

200 — 1, Starzynski, S, 28.58; 2, Peramaki, Mun; 3, Perala, LL-H.

1600 relay — 1, Houghton A, 4:44; 2, Lake Linden-Hubbell A; 3, Ontonagon A.

High jump — 1, J. Anderson, LL-H, 5-2; 2, Lukkari, Ont; 3, Kuntze, S.

Long jump — 1, Nedham, Hou, 14-10; 2, Starzynski, S; 3, Wilmer, LL-H.

Pole vault — 1, Anttila, W, 8-7 (school record); 2, Corrigan, LL-H; 3, Baker, Hou.

Shot put — 1, Williston, Hou, 29-1 3/4; 2, Maki, Hou; 3, Svoke, Hou.