Calumet boys jump WestPAC

STAMBAUGH – Brendan Jacques had a solid day by any standard during Wednesday’s WestPAC track meet.

The Calumet High School senior swept the hurdle races and added a pair of second-place finishes, helping the Copper Kings retain the boys’ title with 116 1/4 points.

They were followed by Houghton (106 1/4), West Iron County (81), Hancock (30 3/4) and L’Anse (13 3/4).

The West Iron girls were crowned league champions for the first time in well more than a decade with 111 points, followed by Houghton and Calumet 90, Hancock 50 and L’Anse 9.

Jacques, who plans to play hockey at Northern Michigan University, captured the 110-meter hurdles in 16.31 seconds and 300s (43.03), was runner-up in long jump at 17 feet, 10 inches and helped the third-place 800 relay and this cloudy and chilly day at Nelson Field.

“Brendan had a real good day,” said Calumet coach Mark Bonenfant. “Not only is he valuable as an athlete. He’s valuable as a leader. He gets the team together and conducts some of the workouts, which really says something about his character.”

The Copper Kings captured the top three places in the hurdle races, with Paul Torola runner-up (16.37) and Chad Sturos third (16.64) in the 110s.

In the 300s, Sturos placed second (43.13), followed by Torola (44.71).

“Our hurdlers ran very well,” said Bonenfant. “In fact, our whole team did well. This is a very fun team to coach. The kids have always conducted themselves well, which also says a lot of about them. I think this gives us a little momentum for the U.P. (Division 1) Finals. I’m very proud of their effort.”

Calumet’s Tyler Roland won high jump (5-8), edging teammate Daniel Olson on a tie-breaker and Eric Lasanen copped pole vault (11-0).

Houghton’s Noah Budd had a hand in four firsts, taking the 100 (11.7), 200 (24.05) and anchoring the winning sprint relays.

Sophomore Jacob Colling added victories in the 1600 (5:05) and a rainy 3200 (11:28.11).

Collling was running fifth midway through the 1600 and moved into fourth heading into the final lap.

“I wish I could say that was part of my strategy,” said Colling, who missed the first half of this season due to a lower body injury.

“I felt kind of rough in the first three laps, but stayed in contact (with the leaders). I felt better in the 3200. I wanted to get out in front right away and establish a rhythm. Overall, I followed a little more conservative approach in the first mile.”

The Gremlins, who placed four in the 3200 and two in the 1600, also gained firsts from Alex Helman in the 400 (55.06) and their 3200 relay.

“The guys we had here did well,” said Houghton coach Dan Junttila. “We were missing our top long jumper (Ryan Laberge) and discus thrower (Ben Collaer), so we knew it was going to be tight. It also hurt us when Hancock’s top hurdler (Jacob Jarvis) didn’t come (due to prior commitments). Although, that’s not to take anything from Calumet. Our strength in the distances couldn’t match what they did in the hurdles. Hats off to them.”

Hancock’s Grant Holmstrom earned a solid victory in the 800 (2:11.55), more than five seconds ahead of the field.

The West Iron girls took four firsts and used their depth to secure their victory.

“We had two girls out with injuries,” said West Iron coach Kristi Berutti. “They knew they had to pull together and they did, which shows the depth of our team. This has been a tough meet for us over the years. The Copper Country teams are always tough.”

Calumet sophomore Chelsea Jacques recovered from a false start in the 100 in plenty of time to anchor the winning 800 relay and win the 400 (1:02.44) and 200 (26.72).

“I’m a little disappointed in what happened in the 100,” she said. “Anchoring the 800 relay enabled me to vent my anger from the 100. I had a little better start in the 200 and this is the only time I run the 400 all year. I usually run in the 400 relay and sometimes the 1600 relay.”

Teammate Leah Kiilunen took the 1600 (5:57.66), 3200 (13:07.72) and placed third in the 800 (2:49.36).

Also taking first for the Copper Kings were Caitlin Klobuchar in long jump (13-9 1/2) and Morgan Peters in pole vault (7-6).

Houghton’s leader was Elisa Jurmu, who won high jump (4-10) and discus (101-7), with Ashley Laux dominating the 800 (2:36.32).

Hancock grabbed the top two spots in the 100 hurdles, with Mary Jarvis winning in 16.78 and Julie Heinonen clocked at 17.22.