2017-06-08 / Sports

Lady Saints Capture First at U.P. Track and Field Finals at Kingsford

By Stephen King


Victoria Portice (left) and Taylor Opolka finished first and second in their heat, respectively, at 53.00 and 53.93 and ended up second and third overall in the 300m hurdles. Victoria Portice (left) and Taylor Opolka finished first and second in their heat, respectively, at 53.00 and 53.93 and ended up second and third overall in the 300m hurdles. St. Ignace won the Division 2 girls track and field championship by taking the 1,600-meter relay, the last race of the day, in 4:23:12 to top second-place Munising 110- 102 in the Saturday, June 3, Upper Peninsula Finals at Kingsford.

Competing in the annual UP championship meet, which drew 50 teams and more than 750 athletes, the Lady Saints prevailed with 10 points in what had been a strong event for them season-long. The 1,600-meter relay team is comprised of Allison Smith, Libby Becker, Callie Kammers, and Emily Coveyou, but their coach complimented all of her athletes.

“I am so proud of this team, Saints coach Trudy Olsen said. “We have worked all season long for this. Every girl on this team has contributed.”


Drew Marshall of the Saints took sixth in the U.P. Finals with a throw of 103’ 6”. Drew Marshall of the Saints took sixth in the U.P. Finals with a throw of 103’ 6”. Asked how she felt about the three years since the Lady Saints have won a title, Mrs. Olsen said she didn’t want to talk about past teams. “I want to talk about this team,” she said. “They are the girls that did this today. They are the girls that are the U.P. champions and I am so very proud of them.”

In the boys Division 2 portion of the meet, Newberry won with 130.5 points. Lake Linden-Hubbell captured the Division 3 girls portion of the competition and the Rapid River Rockets won the Division 3 boys part of the meet. Marquette’s boys and girls won the Division 1 championships.

In the intense competition for the Division 2 girls championship, Munising’s 1,600-meter relay team took third, good enough to bring the team total to 102 points for second place. Ishpeming was third with 91 points, Newberry fourth with 56. West Iron County was fifth with 49, Manistique eighth with 22 points, and Rudyard 11th with six points.


St. Ignace junior Linnie Gustafson tied the Division 2 record, and beat her own school record with a high jump of 5’4” during the U.P. Track Finals Saturday, June 3, in Kingsford. The St. Ignace girls went on to win the team championship, as well. (Photograph by Emily Fullerton) St. Ignace junior Linnie Gustafson tied the Division 2 record, and beat her own school record with a high jump of 5’4” during the U.P. Track Finals Saturday, June 3, in Kingsford. The St. Ignace girls went on to win the team championship, as well. (Photograph by Emily Fullerton) In Division 3, there was a tight race for second between Pickford and Cederville. This, too, came down to the last event, as it has at least two other times this season, and Pickford finished second in the 1,600-meter relay to finish with a second-place team total of 58 points. Its team of Jade Ledy, Bailee Stec, Taylor Opolka, and Kayla Rambo, helped their team with eight points.

Cedarville’s team of Caroline Freel, Lily Freel, Nadijah Nye, and Kylie Hill ended up in sixth place for one point and a team total that was just 2/3-point behind Pickford in what was the closest team competition of the day.


Pickford freshman Nick Edington (pictured) took a first in the high jump, clearing 6’2”. His brother, Derrick, a senior, took third, clearing 5’10”. Pickford freshman Nick Edington (pictured) took a first in the high jump, clearing 6’2”. His brother, Derrick, a senior, took third, clearing 5’10”. For other Division 3 Teams, Bark River-Harris was fourth with 44 Points and Rock-Mid Peninsula finished fifth with 41 points. Among EUP teams, Engadine was eighth with 27 points, Detour ninth with 23, and Brimley 14th with eight points.

Newberry tallied 30.5 points, easily outpacing second-place Ishpeming’s 102 points in boys Division 2. Next were Stephenson, with 58, and Ironwood, with 49. Rounding out the top five was Rudyard, with 41. St. Ignace finished eighth, with 30.5 points, Munising tenth, with 17 points, and Manistique 13th with one point.

“Today has to be one of my best moments in coaching,” Indians Coach Gene Schroll said. “We had guys in every event and we pointed in every event. In a competition like this, it’s an amazing accomplishment.

This was truly a team win. Every guy on this team contributed, but I do have to mention one guy in particular. That is John Paramski; he took three individual firsts and a first as part of a relay team. That is an incredible accomplishment.

“I am so proud of this team,” he said. “When we started this season, our goal was to take a first here, at the Finals, and we did it. I have no problem setting a high goal if you think you can get there and this team did that. They set this as a goal, worked hard at it all year long, and did it.”

In Division 3, the Rockets of Rapid River edged Bessemer, 108- 104. Third were the Panthers of Pickford, with 74 points. North Dickinson was fourth, with 37, and the Cedarville Trojans finished fifth with 34.

Among other EUP teams, Engadine was ninth, with 19.5 points, and Brimley, just behind them in tenth place with 19 points.

For the Division 1 girls, Marquette tallied 118 points for first and area rival Negaunee scored 91. Kingsford, to the delight of hometown fans, finished third with 70 points, Sault Ste. Marie was fourth, with 58, and Escanaba fifth, with 53 points.

For Division 1 Boys, the Marquette Redmen amassed 128 points, beating Iron Mountain’s team, which finished at 76.5. Houghton had 73, Kingsford 61. The Miners of Negaunee finished fifth, with 59, and Sault Ste. Marie was sixth, with 42.

Overall, all of the Athletes that competed in Kingsford on this day were all champions. They were the best in the U.P. and gave their best efforts in all events. Because of this, the U.P. Finals in Track and Field remains one of the best annual events in the world of High School sports in the U.P.

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