Track and field: Norway boys win home meet

West Iron County wins girls title

North Dickinson's Brianna Smith holds off Forest Park's Taylor Clark in the 1600-meter run Monday. (Burt Angeli/The Daily News)

NORWAY — This time the Norway boys’ track team was able to keep its championship trophy.

The Knights made that possible by scoring 134 points, enough to win their own invitational for the first time since 2005. They were followed by North Central 107 and North Dickinson 94.

“It has been a long time since we won this meet,” said Norway coach Al Trudeau. “The boys really wanted this one. It’s great to have the trophy back in Norway.”

Norway also appeared to have won Friday’s Stephenson Invitational. A scoring error, however, was discovered and it was then determined North Central edged the Knights 119 1/2-116 1/2 for the title.

In light of that development, Trudeau and North Central coach Cherie Granquist exchanged trophies before Monday’s meet.

“The guys were disappointed when they found out we had to exchange trophies, but mistakes happen,” said Trudeau. “We told them ‘let’s go out and win this one’ and they responded. Everybody ran his best times of the year or they were very close. Our relays ran their fastest times. Our 800 (meter) relay improved a lot, too.”

The West Iron girls were crowned champions for the first time with 128 points, followed by North Dickinson 121 and Stephenson 80.

Norway senior Bryce Broden won high jump at five feet, eight inches and long jump (18-10) and Mitchell Legrave added victories in the 100-meter dash at 11.21 seconds and 200 (24.34). They also helped the Knights win the 400 relay (47.94) and Connor Ortman took the open 400 (54.68).

“Connor did a great job in the 400,” said Trudeau. “Mitchell ran real well in the sprints and Bryce did well in the high jump and long jump. Ethan Micoley did a nice job in the 400 and 1600 relays. He’s a key part to those relays. He has been coming a long way this year.”

Ortman was also part of the 1600 relay which won in 3:54.2.

North Central junior Connor Robinson took the 1600 (5:10.52). Sophomore Griffin Johnson won the 3200 with a season-best 11:05.75, with Robinson runner-up (12:07.84) on this sunny and mild day.

“I usually have somebody a little better running with me, and I pace off them,” said Robinson. “I knew Griffin would have a good race and I kind of hung behind them. I just wanted to make sure we locked up the eight points.”

Johnson says he enjoys running at Norway.

“I like running in this bowl,” he added. “It reduces the wind somewhat. I like running when the temperature is in the mid 50s. It was almost a little too warm for the 3200 relay, but it cooled off nicely for the 3200 run. I try to go out quickly and take the lead in the first lap, then try to stride it out on the straightaways to gain some distance (on opposing runners).”

Granquist says she’s pleased with the progress the Jets have shown.

“We got the right trophy this time,” she added. “We have a nice 1-2 punch in the distances. Griffin has really figured out his rhythm and strides. Some of our seniors have joined the track team and it has really picked up the other kids.”

North Dickinson’s Garrett O’Neil copped the 110 hurdles (15.72), 300s (42.5), helped the winning 800 relay (1:40.21) and placed second in long jump (18-8 1/2).

West Iron sophomore Bryant Schram set a meet record in shot put (45-4 1/2), topping the previous best (44-10) by Craig Paquin of North Central in 1998. Schram also took discus (120-7).

Senior Caleb Jones was Northwood Storm’s leader, winning the 800 (2:03.5) and helping the winning 3200 relay (9:34.77).

“I really want to go to state, but I need to get a 1:59 to have a chance,” said Jones. “We had beautiful weather here today. There was no wind which definitely helps.”

North Dickinson’s girls appeared to be the winner immediately after the meet (121-118) until a scoring error was discovered.

During the meet, it was announced that West Iron’s Rachael Tefft won shot put at 32 feet, two inches. The result sheet listed Forest Park senior Emily Faccin as the winner.

Faccin, however, recently had her appendix removed and wasn’t ready to compete Monday.

Tefft also captured discus at 94-2.

Senior Emmy Kinner paced West Iron with victories in the 100 (12.86), 200 (27.58) and 400 (1:03.24) and a second in long jump (15-5).

“I’ve been practicing on my starts and they seem to be getting better, but they’re still not going as well as I’d like them to,” said Kinner. “I’m a little disappointed in my long jump, but I’ll get better. Overall, I thought we had a pretty good day.”

North Dickinson’s Brianna Smith had a hand in three firsts, taking the 1600 (6:06.84), 3200 (13:40.61) and helping the winning 3200 relay (11:41).

Maia Steinbrecher added a first in the 800 (2:45.66) and helped the Nordics win three relays.

Norway senior Jordan Kraemer, a Bay College basketball recruit, won the 300 hurdles (55.62) and long jump (15-8).