Flivvers drive off with boys’ crown

NEGAUNEE – Kingsford proved what a deep team it has by sweeping all four relays en route to the championship at a high school boys regional track meet on Thursday.

The Flivvers scored 80 points at the MHSAA Upper Peninsula Division 1 meet on a day best represented by shaking a snow globe and watching the big flakes float down.

“Our kids were tough and competed and did well,” KHS coach Doug Roberts said. “They paid attention to the details to make sure they got through their events.”

The host Miners were runners-up with 56 points, while Houghton finished third with 27, Calumet had 14 and Gwinn 10.

The top four finishers in each individual and relay event qualify for the finals to be held in Kingsford on Saturday, May 31.

The victorious Flivvers won just four individual events to six for the Miners. But sweeping all four relays with just one close call, and getting multiple scorers in four of the nine other events, was a formula for Kingsford’s success.

Not to mention when the Flivvers effectively doubled up on their 1-2-3-4 sweep in the 800-meter run.

Well before the domination by seniors Jake Allen and Lucas Jennings and juniors Taylor Wickman and Austin Stanchina, the quartet ran and hid in the meet’s first race, the 3,200 relay. Kingsford clocked 9:01.10, nearly 23 seconds ahead of runner-up Houghton.

Allen also took the 400 and ran with his team’s winning 1,600 relay to become the day’s lone four-time winner among all boys and girls.

“The big thing was I had to make sure to stay loose when it’s cold like this,” Allen said on a toasty school bus before the 1,600 relay. “I don’t think it could be a whole lot better than this.”

Houghton’s Jacob Colling won the 1,600 and 3,200 while fellow junior Thomas Schmitt took the long jump.

The Gremlins will have 10 entries in the Finals.

Calumet’s top performer was senior Paul Torola, second and third in the hurdles. Those placing finishes were two of eight Calumet recorded on the day.