The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Ashland sweeps relocated Kraemer


April 28, 2018

Jason Juno/Daily Globe

Hurley's Isaac DeCarlo, left, and Bessemer's Brayden Tomes race to the finish line in the 200-meter dash at Friday's Kraemer Invitational at Ashland. DeCarlo edged Tomes for the win.

ASHLAND, Wis. - While Ironwood's signature track-and-field meet had an Ashland feel, from the location to the team champions, the Red Devils still put their mark on Friday's Jack Kraemer Invitaitonal.

Ironwood's Nick Niemi won the 800 and 1,600 meter runs against some of the best competition he will face this year, leading the boys team to a third-place finish.

The 39th annual Kraemer will go down in history as the first Kraemer to be held outside of Ironwood, thanks to a late snowmelt. In the past, the event has been canceled altogether when winter overstays its welcome, but with Ashland's fantastic new indoor facility, Ironwood was able to host a 10-team meet on a chilly day with flurries falling.

"It's nice, it's warm, it's dry, it's better than being outside," Ironwood coach Ted Sim said.

It's Ironwood's third meet here already.

"It's definitely starting to feel a little more like home," Niemi said. "It doesn't feel like the Kraemer, but it's better than nothing."

Niemi had a banner day for the Devils.

He trailed in both races until the home stretch. He passed Maury Miller to win the 1,600 run by .74 second. He followed that up with a win over twin brother Walker Miller in the 800 run by .22 second.

Both made it to the state meet last year for Ashland.

"It feels pretty good because they've had some really good times the last couple weeks," Niemi said. "They might be the best competition I see all year."

Sim said, "He's had a real good season so far. He's training smart, he's running smart, so it's been real good for him."

Rico Braucher also picked up a first-place finish for Ironwood, clearing 12 feet in the pole vault.

"Our boys had a real good day today," Sim said.

Isaac DeCarlo won three events, the long jump (21-.25) and the 55 and 200 dashes.

The best race came in the 200, where he defeated Bessemer's Brayden Tomes by .12 second in a hard-fought race where both runners grimmaced on their way to the finish line.

"I knew Tomes was my main competition coming in, he's a beast," DeCarlo said. "That was my main goal, just to beat him. I knew he was right next to me the whole time. It's always fun racing against him."

DeCarlo didn't think he was going to beat him.

"It's a pleasure to beat a guy like that," DeCarlo said. "If there was one guy I'd be OK  with losing to, it would be him because he's a nice guy.

Hurley coach Dan Rye said DeCarlo had a great day.

"It was tight, but he's strong enough this year to hold him off," Rye said of the 200.

His long jump mark would get him to state if he can keep it up, Rye said.

The Hurley boys were fifth.

"My guys are continuing to improve, which is a big thing, especially with the conditions we've had this year," Rye said. "I'm really happy we were able to get this meet in today."

Bessemer was fourth, they were shorthanded due to another school activity, otherwise they could have competed for the win. Tomes was first in the 400 dash for Bessemer's only win.

Hurley's Devon Lino won the shot put. Ontonagon's Jaden Weisinger was first in the high jump and the 1,600 relay team won.

The Ontonagon girls had a strong day, finishing third. Fahren Kolpack won the 400 dash and the 1,600 relay team was first.

Hurley was fourth with Ironwood sixth and Mercer seventh. Mercer's Aubrey Schoeneman continued her winning ways in the shot put (38-1).

Ironwood athletic director Gordy Erickson thanked Ashland for the use of its facility and making this year's Kraemer possible.


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