Alpena runs away with it
By ERIC BENAC
News Sports Writer
The Alpena High track teams’ second home meet of the season on Wednesday was a lot warmer and sunnier than its last home meet, where temperatures dropped below 40 degrees.
As a result, both the boys and girls teams were able to come away with convincing wins against Gaylord and Ogemaw Heights. The Alpena girls had 95 points, Gaylord had 51 and Ogemaw had 29.
The Alpena boys had an astonishing 113 points while Gaylord had 38 and Ogemaw picked up 13.
“It helps (the warm weather), and after those kids endured that snow, cold and wind they’ve earned a little warmth,” Alpena boys track coach Bob Bennett said.
The Wildcat boys picked up 12 first-place finishes out of 17 events. Josh Bell picked up first place in the 110 hurdles (17.14) as well as the 300 hurdles (42.90). Ashton Dever picked up first place finishes in 100 dash (12.10) and the long jump with a distance of 19-10 and a second place finish in the 200 dash (24.20).
Alpena swept the long jump event with Aaron Keyes picking up second (19- 4) while Brandon Cordes picked up third (19-1). Keyes also picked up second in the 300 hurdles (43.78) while Cordes picked up third (44.19) and also picked up third in the 100 hurdles (17.41).
The boys also swept the 3,200 run with Ethan Crowell coming out a commanding winner (10.26) while Jacob Benson came in second (10:59) and Tellis Donajkowski came in third (11:13).
“We have a very balanced group of boys this year and they were firing on all cylinders today,” Bennett said.
Other top finishers for Alpena included: a first place finish in the 3,200 relay (8:45) by a team consisting of Benson, Crowell, Jacobs and Martin.as well as a third place finish by the second team (9:37). J.D. Niergarth won first place in high jump (5-6). Eli Martin won first in the 1,600 run (4:55) while Benson picked up second (4:57).
Drew Shields was able to pick up a win in the 400 dash (52.82) while Clay Jacobs picked up a first in the 800 run (2:10). Dustin Swider picked up first in shot put (43-4) while Zach Barrett picked up second (41’3″) and Jordan Ferguson picked up third (39-8). Barrett also picked up a second place finish in discus (112-8).
Evan Frank won pole vault with a convincing 12-0 jump while Dylan Goike picked up third (11-6).
Finally, Alpena picked up second place in the 1,600 relay (3:39) with a team of Dever, Brett LeTourneau, Drew Shields and Kaleb Smith as well as a first place in the 400 relay (45.59) a team which included Keyes, LeTourneau, Smith and Elliot Zarins.
The Alpena girls also had a convincing win with several girls picking up multiple top finishes in an all-around excellent team effort.
Emily Duncan was especially effective for Alpena, picking up first place wins in the 100 dash (13:59) the long jump (16-1) the 400 dash (1:02) and in the 200 dash (27.95).
Christina Kollien also had a solid day with a win in the 100 hurdles (15.99) and the 300 hurdles (49.17). Elaine Lowe picked up commanding wins in the long distance runs, winning the 1,600 run (5:43) and the 3,200 run (12:09).
Other first place finishers for Alpena included Kelsey Lewis in the 800 run (2:28). Alpena was also able to pick up a first place finish in the 1,600 relay (4:28) with a team of Leah Centala, Genschaw, Talbot and Nisse Wilke.
Second place finishers included Sarah Swider in the high jump (4-11) and Christine Burke in the 1,600 run (6:25). Taylor Genschaw was able to pick up a second place finish in the long jump (15-4) while Swider finished a sweep of the event with a third place finish (15-3).
The 3,200 relay team picked up a second place finish (11:19) with a team of Christine Burke, Brooke Burrone, Amanda Dort and Mikaela Oliver. The 400 relay team of Taylor Genschaw, Victoria Guzman, Kristie McNeil and Jenna Talbot also picked up a second place finish (56.09). Stephanie McNeil earned a second place finish in shot put (27-4) while Emily Ferguson picked up second in discuss (112-18) and third place in shot put (27-2).Victoria Guzman was able to get second in pole vault (7-6) while Jenna Talbot got third (7-0). Racheal McDonald came in second in the 3,200 run (12:39).
Third place finishers for Alpena included Talbot on the 100 hurdles (18.25). Renae Vrendenburg picked up a third place finish in the 300 hurdles (56.85) and Leah Centala picked up third in the 800 dash (2:46). Amanda Dort picked up third in the 3,200 (13:24) giving the girls a sweep of the event.
“The girls did awesome and a lot of the kids stepped up today. As a team, a lot of kids stepped up like Renae Vrendenburg in the one mile relay, she really impressed me. But everybody did what they were supposed to and I couldn’t be happier,” Alpena girls coach Collin Riffert said.
Alpena’s next meet is on Friday in Bay City at the Bay City invitational.