By JOHN VRANCIC Escanaba Daily Press

HARRIS — The weight events helped tilt the scales in Rapid River’s favor here Tuesday as it captured the Skyline Central Conference boys’ track and field championship with 122 points.

Rapid River was followed by defending champ Norway 119 and Stephenson 81 on a partly cloudy and seasonably cool day.

The Rockets, led by senior Gunner Larson, grabbed four places apiece in the shot put and discus. Larson won the shot put at 40 feet, 9 1/2 inches and discus with a season-best toss of 146-10 3/4. Junior Tyler Sundling added a first in the 400-meter dash in 53.82 seconds.

“Those were big points, although we were steady through the meet,” said Rockets’ coach Steve Ostrenga. “We’re trying to get healthy. We’re not quite at full strength yet, but this is about as healthy as we’ve been, which is an improvement from the (Division 3) regionals.”

Stephenson senior Montell Glover won the 200 meter dash (22.84) and junior Trae Larson took second in the 100 (12.10) and third in the 200 (24.16). Senior Evan Kakuk took second in the 800 (2:13.94), freshman Buckley Corey took third in the 3,200 with a new personal record (11:34.12) and took fourth in the 1,600 with another personal record (5:20.47). Junior Gage Larson was third both in the 300 hurdles (46.48) and 110 hurdles (18.62). 

The Eagles 800 relay team of Trae Larson, Teagan Johnson, Noah Williams and Kaden Rivard took second with a time of 1:38.87, .50 seconds behind Norway while the 1600 relay team of Larson, Kakuk, Johnson and Glover took first (3:41.84). The 3200 relay team of Trent Cappaert, Corey, Kakuk and Brian Kuntze also took second (9:27.75).

The North Dickinson girls retained their title with 100 1/3 points, followed by Bark River-Harris 83 1/3, Mid Peninsula 75, Rapid River 74 and Stephenson 73.

“I can’t say enough about our kids,” said Nordics’ coach Mike Roell. “They really work hard and compete. This is a tough track meet. It’s really an honor to win a meet of this caliber. I think we have some momentum going into the U.P. Finals.”

Nordics’ junior Masyn Alexa won the 400 (1:01.88) and anchored the winning 1600 relay (4:36.32).

Mid Pen won the 400 relay (53.72) and 800 relay in a school-record 1:52.94.

“We weren’t expecting to do that today,” said sophomore Daisy Englund, who helped both relays. “This is the first time we ran against Bark River-Harris this year and we thought it’d be close. I’m a little surprised we won by that much (3.7 seconds in the 800). We had a perfect day for it. The weather was good.”

Superior Central junior Danika Walters prevailed in a pair of tight races. She was clocked at 2:32.9, just .6 second ahead of Englund.

In the 1600, Walters ran a personal-best 5:31.78 and Mid Pen freshman Landry Koski was runner-up in a school-record 5:31.99.

“Daisy and Landry did a great job today for sure,” said Walters. “Landry was right there in the 1600. Both were good races.”

Koski captured the 3200 (13:05.66) and took third in the 800 (2:36.22).

“I’m really glad I have somebody to run with,” she said. “I tried to stay with Danika in the 1600 because I knew she’d be my biggest competition. She’s real strong. She trains all summer and I’m going to train all summer to try to get in better shape. I need to have more of a kick in the end.”

BR-H senior Hailee Demers won the 100 (13.28) and 300 hurdles in a personal-best 48.8. Classmate Ashleigh White ran a personal-best 1:03.84 while placing third in the 400 and junior Gracie Peterson copped shot put with a career-best toss of 33-9.

“We had so many personal-bests today,” said BR-H coach Katina Demers. “We had a great day and we’re moving forward. Our handoffs were a little off in the sprint relays, although Mid Pen ran phenomenal times. I’m very proud of our performance. The girls gave 100 percent. As a coach, that’s all you can ask for.”

Rapid River senior Emily Thibault was a double-winner, taking the 100 hurdles (18.27) and high jump (4-10), and Stephenson senior Amanda Starzynski copped the 200 (27.43) and long jump (14-3) and took second in the 100 (13.34). Stephenson senior Karlee Kuntze took second in the high jump (4-8). Sophomore Kylee Kuntze was thrid in the 1600 (6:08.32) and second in the 3200 (13:22.04) and Lilly Grinsteiner took fourth in the 100 hurdles (19.25). 

Stephenson’s Ally Schultz, Starzynski, Jasmine Gibellini and Grinsteiner took second in the 1600 relay (4:44.09) and the team of Schultz, Paige Cappaert, Allie Cappaert and Kylee Kuntze came in fourth in the 3200 relay (12:26.73). 

The Rapid River boys won the 3200 relay in 9:17.07 and were runners-up in the 1600 relay at a season-best 3:42.74.

“We’re happy with the season-best time,” said Ostrenga. “We’re starting to come together. I think our distance runners are starting to bring down their times. Matt Snay ran a personal-best in the 3200 (11:58.64) and our pole vault went well. The meet went reasonably well. I saw the effort and we’re pumped about that. The girls did well, too. It was a great day for the Rockets.”

Norway senior Mitch Legrave copped the 100 (11.65), helped the winning 400 relay (47.11) and was runner-up in the 200 (22.98) by .14 second to Glover and second in long jump (18-1/2). Senior David Loomis captured pole vault (11-6).

“We ran the 400 about a second better than we normally do and one of our better times in the 800 relay (1:38.87),” said Norway coach Al Trudeau. “In pole vault, we took first and Adam Loomis tied for second. We did well there. Rapid River was just a little too strong for us in the weight events.”

Forest Park sophomore Mason Rintala copped the 800 (2:12.86) and 1600 (4:51.2) and placed second in the 3200 (11:18.68).

Norway freshman Adam Cavagnetto took the 3200 (10:55.58) and was runner-up in the 1600 (4:52.3).

Forest Park senior Dawson Bongi took the 110 hurdles (17.15) and 300s (44.64) and Big Bay de Noc senior Alex LaLonde won long jump (18-2).