The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Midgets win first regional title since 2005


Jason Juno/Daily Globe

Hurley celebrates upon learning they won the WIAA Division 3 track-and-field regional meet Monday at Flambeau school in Tony, Wis. From left are coach Dan Rye, Carson Thewis and Jake Saari.

TONY, Wis. - No one came close to the Hurley boys, who won their first WIAA Division 3 regional track-and-field meet since 2005 Monday.

The Indianhead Conference dominated the day with Hurley first with 155 points, South Shore/Washburn second with 118 and Drummond third at 102. Phillips was the first team from another conference (fourth place, 100 points).

The top four finishers in each event qualified for Thursday's sectional at Colfax where the top four advance to the state meet.

Storms that forced a regional 90 miles to the west to be postponed missed the Tony area long enough to complete the meet. It rained at times early in the meet, but it was just a warm day with threatening radar the rest of the day.

No one really threatened the Midgets Monday.

"Fantastic, it feels really good," Hurley coach Dan Rye said. "We haven't won one since 2005. For me, it's been a goal and I couldn't ask for a better effort out of my guys. Fantastic. We're still getting some personal bests.

"We stayed with things we normally do, our hurdles, field events. I'm happy for our 4 by 100 relay team (which won)."

It was Hurley's second victory lap in a week; they also won last week's Indianhead Conference meet at Ironwood.

"It's a huge accomplishment," said senior Jake Saari, who advanced in the discus (second) and shot put (fourth). "Mr. Rye told us we could do something here after conference. It was just great when we knew we won."

Mercer's Sydney Thompson continued her charge to a hopeful state berth with easy wins in the shot put and discus. Teammate Caitlin Hiller won both hurdle events. Mercer's Tyler Bianga beat his personal best by two feet and took second in the shot put. Christina Grams was second in the high jump.

Thompson finished at 42 feet, 4.5 inches in the shot put and 130-4 in the discus. Those marks would translate well in Thursday's sectional. The strong wind came in from the left, knocking the discus down Monday.

"The 42 should beat everybody; the discus, 130, that should be a little bit closer," Mercer coach Bob Schenk said. "You always hope she's going to catch one really big one, but she was consistent."

The discus was most consistent with no throws under 120 feet, while Thompson got one really good throw in the shot.

"Today, I got a good series and that's what he's been looking for from me," Thompson said. "Definitely my goal at sectionals is to get more good series, so they're all right around the same. I would like to keep the discus in the 130s and shot in the 42s.

"My goal, obviously is to get sectional champion, but also to get a really good seed if I go to state."

Hiller hadn't been winning the 100 hurdle races as she's been battling shin splints, but she has been consistent in the 300.

"I got lots of rest and I was just going for it," she said. "I just felt good when I ran it. It was the first time the whole season it felt like a good run."

Schenk said Hiller has a chance to go to state in either hurdle race and Sarah Kirchoff has an outside chance in the discus; she was second Monday.

"Hopefully we'll be able to get one more state qualifier besides Sydney," he said. "I think it's pretty obvious she's going to make it; one more kid, I'd be so happy."

Hiller needs to make the finals first Thursday.

"Once you get in the finals, anything can happen," he said. "If she could get to finals, she has a great shot to get to state, in either one.

"I'm really pleased with C.J. to win two events. She's been struggling in practice. I'd be thrilled for her as a junior (to make state)."

Hurley's Luke Marczak was a double winner, taking the high jump and 300 hurdles. The Midgets' Kris Bluse won the 110 hurdles. Hurley's 400 relay team, made up of the football team's projected backfield - Isaac DeCarlo, Devin Czerneski, Tim Buerger and Bluse - easily took first place in 46.73 seconds

"It was a fast time," Rye said. "We had smooth, smooth handoffs. I'm happy with that. They have a goal in mind, it's just between them four and myself, but they have a goal in mind and I think come fall, you'll see why."

DeCarlo won the 100 dash in 11.87 seconds, by far his personal best.

"The heat helps me big time," he said. "In the heat, I run better and I broke 12, so that's a big accomplishment."

Rye isn't sure who has a good shot at advancing to the state meet in La Crosse.

"From here on out, it gets tough. We're going to see some great competition. Anything can happen from here on out. You look at the times and stuff, it's all going to be pretty close. We're going to go back making sure (today) at practice we're working on technique on our handoffs and trying to perfect some things. Our goal has always been to get as many guys as far as we could and I've got a busload with me Thursday."

Aiyana Nickel had the Midgettes' only first-place finish, in the 100 dash. The Midgettes took third as a team with Mercer fifth and South Shore/Washburn winning the regional.

Rye noticed the large Hurley crowd that made the trip.


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