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Cardinals sweep PMC, first of two meets for some athletes

WAKEFIELD - The Wakefield-Marenisco girls track and field team put on a strong performance and out-distanced the Bessemer Speedgirls 102-78 in the final Porcupine Mountain Conference track meet at Cardinal Field in Wakefield.

Along with the boy's W-M's victory, the double win will stand the test of time, because the Porcupine Mountain Conference, which has been the longest continuous running conference in Michigan since 1955 or '56, will be dis-banded next year.

Cardinal coach Lauren Korpi thought it was pretty cool to win both divisions of the final PMC Conference Meets.

"Yeah, it's pretty special," Korpi said. "Give the kids credit and I'm very happy with them. They stepped up and filled spots that needed to be filled, because we sent four kids to Hurley for the Indianhead Conference Meet. It shows shows the kids care about their team because they were willing to change some events. Our two main goals were to qualify as many as we could for the U.P. Finals and win the PMC."

Bessemer coach Mark Mazzon said that with many of the 15 athletes that qualified for the U.P. Finals, many ran one or two events in Wakefield and some ran none. Some wanted to save their energy for the Indianhead Conference Meet since a first place finish guaranteed a first-team selection to the all-conference team.

Bessemer's excellent distance runner, Zack Mazurek, admitted he wanted to be fresh and ready-to-go in his final battle with Ironwood's Jared Joki.

"With the meets on the same day, we couldn't max out our top athletes," Mazzon said. "We were spread out to thin. Credit our younger kids. They were doing things they hadn't done before."

It was a different sort of track meet, but it had its advantages. Tracksters who hadn't had a chance to compete very much got their chances and came close to victory. It brought a new excitement to the meet.

The Cardinals showed their strength on the girl's side by winning 10 of 17 events.

They all dominated all four relays (400 meter relay, 800 relay, 1600 relay and 3200 relay). Included in the relays were Maria Berquist, Evelyn Hokans, Ebanie Delich, Hannah Plemons, Martina Anderson, Kassidee and Hallee Yon, Lauren Grace and Elizabeth Makela.

W-M's freshman Hannah Plemons has burst on the track scene this year and she sprinted to a first place finish in the 100 (13.91) and 200 meter dashes (29.28), while anchoring her 400 and 800 relay.

"I've been sprinting since I was in junior high," Plemons said. "I ran for the high school team in eighth grade. But I'm definitely a lot better this year. I'm about four seconds faster in the 200 this year than last year."

Melissa Wanink took a pair of firsts in the 800 (3:05.47) and 3200 runs (15:26.43).

Ebanie Delich picked up another win in the tough 400 race ( 1:06.30) and Lauren Grace used her basketball skills to clear 4-5 in the high jump.

Bessemer gained 78 points and once again Valerie Rowe was a 5-9 tornado on the track. She brought home the gold in the 300 low hurdles and set a new PMC record. Her time was 49.81 compared to the old 49.92 PMC record set by Brooke Hine of Bessemer in 1991.

Then she went over to the pole vault and jumped 9-6 which broke her schools and the PMC mark. Former PMC record holders were Rowe at 8-0 last year, Wakefield's Lindsay Anonich (2001) and Bessemer's Emily Bushie (2008).

"I was trying to beat the PMC record in the 300 hurdles, but the wind was awful and I didn't think I did it," Rowe said. "It's nice to win two here and I'm hoping to win three more at the Indianhead. At least no one will ever break these PMC records."

Lily Wieringa took the 1600 in 6:15.5.

Watersmeet was third with 26 points, mostly through a first place finish by Frannie Zelinski in the 100 hurdles (19.00) and a pair of second place finishes in the 300 hurdles and long jump.

Ewen-Trout Creek's Emily Driesenga was the top point-getter with a first in the long jump (13-2).


On the boys side, the W-M boys edged out Bessemer 109.5 to 101.0 to win the last PMC track meet on Thursday at Cardinal Field.

The Cardinals got wins from Kevin Lane in the high jump (5-10), a tie for first in the pole vault from Isaiah Sturkol and Jordan Cox (11-0), a Caleb Greenough win in the 100 dash (12.0) and sprinted to victory in three of the four relays. Only Bessemer with Brayden Tomes, Lance Berwald, Tim Buerger and Zack Mazurek brought home the gold in the 3200 relay (10:42.94).

Sam Dean ran a good 1600 to win in 4:50.94.

"I ran by myself most of the time," Dean said. "My time was not as fast as I wanted, but it was a little windy. I was hoping Mazurek would run. Hopefully I'm peaking for the U.P. Finals."

Bessemer was tough in the field events with Hunter Reed coming away with a pair of wins in the shot put (39-5) and the discus (98-8). Tim Rowe's first place long jump win was 16-11 and Tim Buerger looked like a good future distance runner as he won the 3200 run by 45 seconds. (11:44.09).

Michael McGrath picked up a pair of firsts for Watersmeet with a double win in the hurdles. He used good technique to run 17.75 in the 100 hurdles and 45.66 in the 300s.

"Two firsts is good," McGrath said. "45.56 was not bad for a win. I think I can peak by the U.P Finals."