Hawthorne throws Bulldogs forward

KINGSFORD – Gage Hawthorne helped throw Hancock into a new era in track and field Saturday at U.P. Finals.

The freshman had the spin to win the Division 2 discus, added a second-place finish in shot put and scored 18 of Hancock’s 52 points, the Bulldogs’ best total since 2002.

“I felt good about it and it’s nice being a freshman beating all the seniors and stuff,” Hawthorne said.

Double winner (100, 300 hurdles) and West Point appointee Kenner Brouillire led Manistique to the victory with 102 points, just ahead of runner-up Ishpeming’s 96. The Emeralds, who last won the U.P. title in 1960, picked up the win in the 1,600-meter relay needing at least a second-place finish to beat the Hematites outright.

Hancock finished fifth overall.

Kicking off the day at Flivver Field, Hawthorne was the favorite going into the discus cage. He said he expected to be in the 125-to-127-foot range and he delivered with a winning toss of 125 feet, 4 inches.

In the shot, Hawthorne appeared less pleased with

his technique and went into the last three throws in second place.

He improved his distance to 43 feet, 1 inches in the finals and made first-round leader Chasz Jonet of West Iron County beat him. The Wykon junior did at 43-10 .

Hawthorne has three years to refine his already-solid technique and build strength, and handled the championship stage like a seasoned vet.

“I just blocked everybody out and did as I normally would at any other meet,” he said.

The Bulldogs picked up two more points in the throws, as Sean Manderfield (discus) and Sean Patchin (shot) both finished in sixth.

Grant Holmstrom capped off a senior year spent in two states with one great race Saturday.

Holmstrom moved back to the U.P. from Wyoming at mid-year but still made his mark athletically. The top seed going into the 800-meter run, he established an unmatchable pace and kept it up long enough to roll into the finish in a winning time of 2 minutes, 7.45 seconds.

Though Holmstrom built up a sizable lead in the first lap, he still had to push to hold off the closing Nate Meyer of Ishpeming.

“Near the end, the last 50 meters I’d say, you could feel that burn. It was all anaerobic, it was no oxygen, no more,” Holmstrom said.

Meyer was a few steps behind in 2:08.06.

Hancock junior Jacob Jarvis made a strong showing in a tough hurdles field, finishing third in both events behind Westwood’s Vincente Carlson (110) and Manistique’s Brouillire (300), who demolished the U.P. Finals record by more than 1 seconds in the event.

The Bulldogs also got an unexpected showing from freshman Jack Fenton in the pole vault, who went well beyond his personal best to finish in a tie for fourth at 11-0.