BARAGA - As it has all season, the depth of the Lake Linden-Hubbell boys' and girls' track squads proved too much for their conference opponents to overcome.
And as they have all season, sprinters Jamie Dompier (Chassell) and Dylan Kirkley (Ontonagon) blew the rest of the competition away.
The Lakes captured the Copper Country Conference title with 234 points for the boys team and 158 on the girls side. Ontonagon finished as the runner up on the boys side with a 106 total, followed by Chassell (80), Dollar Bay (55) and Baraga (32 1/2). Baraga took second for the girls with 129 points, with Ontonagon (90 1/2), Dollar Bay (55), Chassell (52) and Jeffers (22) finishing it up.
Baraga’s Shannon Fish (left) and Lake Linden-Hubbell’s Mindy Fontaine go neck-and-neck down the stretch of the 300-meter hurdles Monday in Baraga for the Copper Country Conference meet. Fish pulled ahead in the end, winning with a 51.47 time. Fish also won the 100-meter hurdles and high jump events. (DMG photo by Michael Bleach)
The Lake Linden-Hubbell girls won just two total events Monday - the 3,200-meter relay and the 400-meter relay - but they totaled 42 scoring places to boost them to the conference victory.
In coach Gary Guisfredi's mind, thirds and fourths add up to No. 1.
"We are just really pleased; we said coming in that we were going to need to pick up a lot of thirds, fourths, fifths and sixes," Guisfredi said. "And I think our kids came through and we did that. We picked up big places in a lot of the field events (15 total) and those are big points for us. Just a lot of kids came through for us today.
BOYS: Lake Linden-Hubbell 234, Ontonagon 106, Chassell 80, Dollar Bay 55, Baraga 32 1/2, Jeffers 0
3200-meter relay - 1. LAKE LINDEN-HUBBELL (Donald Maynard, Matthew Witta, Alexander Knight, Kyle Keranen) 9:08.02; 2. Ontonagon; 3. Dollar Bay; 4. Baraga.
110-meter high hurdles - 1. Christopher Sarazin, LL-H, 17.63; Casey Hainault, LL-H; 3. Charles Heckel, LL-H; 4. James Marietta, LL-H; 5. Richard Wardynski, ONT.
100-meter - 1. Dylan Kirkley, ONT, 11.34; 2. Ross Michaels, CHS; 3. Brett Beauchamp, LL-H; 4. Tony Soumis, ONT; 5. Beau Dupuis.
800-meter relay - 1. LAKE LINDEN-HUBBELL (Beau, Dupuis, Konrad Klein, Cody Kumpula, Joshua Tuovila); 2. Ontonagon; 3. Chassell; 4. Baraga; 5. Dollar Bay.
1600-meter - 1. Jared Jarvi, CHS, 4:54.21; 2. Brett Houle, DB; 3. Alexander Knight, LL-H; 4. Tom Autio, DB; 5. Mitchel Kumpula, LL-H.
400-meter relay - 1. LAKE LINDEN-HUBBELL (Beau Dupuis, Konrad Klein, Cody Kumpula, Brett Beauchamp); 2. Baraga; 3. Ontonagon; 4. Chassell; 5. Dollar Bay.
400-meter dash - 1. Dylan Kirkley, ONT, 53.68; 2. Tyler Roberts, ONT; 3. Ross Michaels, CHS; 4. Matthew Sarazin, LL-H; 5. Luke Monette, LL-H.
300-meter hurdles - 1. Garrett Warren, CHS, 49.25; 2. Christopher Sarazin, LL-H; 3. Casey Hainault, LL-H; 4. Charles Heckel, LL-H.
800-meter run - 1. Kyle Keranen, LL-H, 2:13.96; 2. Alexander Knight, LL-H; 3. Troy Preiss, ONT; 4. Marcel Mongeau, LL-H; 5. Tom Autio, DB.
200-meter - 1. Dylan Kirkley, ONT, 23.30; 2. Cody Kumpula, LL-H; 3. Tony Soumis, ONT; 4. Tyler Roose, LL-H; 5. Brett Beauchamp, LL-H.
3200-meter - 1. Jared Jarvi, CHS, 10:44.39; 2. Brett Houle, DB; 3. Carl Kangas, DB; 4. Damon Boyd, DB.
1,600-meter relay - 1. ONTONAGON (Tony Soumis, Troy Preiss, Tyler Roberts, Zach Bailey) 3:56.88; 2. Lake Linden-Hubbell; 3. Baraga.
High jump - 1. Dylan Kirkley, ONT, 6-0; 2. Garrett Warren, CHS; 3. Kyle Keranen, LL-H; 4. Zachary Cherubini, CHS; 5. William Ross-Geroux, BAR.
Pole vault - 1. Ross Michaels, CHS, 12-3; 2. James Marietta, LL-H; 3. Taylor Ambuehl, LL-H; 4. Edward Ling, BAR; 5. Beau Dupuis, LL-H.
Shot put - 1. Lee Heckel, LL-H, 39-8 1/2; 2. Jake Westphal, DB; 3. Charles Heckel, LL-H; 4. Mike Marcol, DB; 5. Richard Alexander, BAR.
Discus - 1. Charles Heckel, LL-H, 108-9; 2. Lee Heckel, LL-H; 3. Ryan Knoll, LL-H; 4. Dan Domitrovich, ONT; 5. Kyle Stromer, CHS.
Long Jump - 1. Cody Kumpula, LL-H, 17-6 1/2; 2. Trent Ambuehl, LL-H; 3. Konrad Klein, LL-H; 4. Kyle Karttunen, ONT; 5. William Ross-Geroux, BAR.
GIRLS: Lake Linden-Hubbell 158, Baraga 129, Ontonagon 90 1/2; Dollar Bay 55, Chassell 52, Jeffers 22.
3,200-meter relay - 1. LAKE LINDEN-HUBBELL (Mindy Fontaine, Brittni Kisul, Alex Hand, Clara Knight) 11:09.68; 2. Dollar Bay; 3. Ontonagon.
100-meter hurdles - 1. Shannon Fish, BAR, 17.12; 2. Mindy Fontaine, LL-H; 3. Sam Ozanich, DB; 4. Kaitlyn Hietala, CHS; 5. Kayla Goodell, LL-H.3
100-meter dash - 1. Jamie Dompier, CHS, 12.64; 2. Olivia Soumis, ONT; 3. Sarah Audette, LL-H; 4. Marissa Audette, LL-H; 5. Sam Ozanich, DB.
800-meter relay - 1. ONTONAGON (Molly Domitrovich, Brooke Turin, Bobbi Ross, Olivia Soumis) 1:59.47; 2. Baraga; 3. Lake Linden-Hubbell; 4. Jeffers; 5. Dollar Bay.
1600-meter run - 1. Rachel Sutherland, BAR, 5:59.65; 2. Lucia Nye, DB; 3. Clara Knight, LL-H; 4. Julia Pietila, CHS; 5. Kirsten Daavettila, CHS.
400-meter relay - 1. LAKE LINDEN-HUBBELL (Marissa Audette, Jamie Middleton, Sarah Audette, Erin Gast) 56.71; 2. Baraga; 3. Ontonagon; 4. Jeffers; 5. Dollar Bay.
400-meter dash - 1. Jamie Dompier, CHS, 1:01.14; 2. Molly Domitrovich, ONT; 3. Brooke Corrigan, LL-H; 4. Morgan Gast, LL-H; 5. Alex Hand, LL-H.
300-meter hurdles - 1. Shannon Fish, BAR, 51.47; 2. Mindy Fontaine, LL-H; 3, Rachel Sutherland, BAR; 4. Xena Cortez, DB; 5. Kayla Goodell, LL-H.
800-meter run - 1. Jenna Heikkinen, BAR, 2:40.12; 2. Clara Knight, LL-H; 3. Audrey Tarbutton, ONT; 4. Lucia Nye, DB; 5. Julia Daavettila, DB.
200-meter run - 1. Jamie Dompier, CHS, 26.26; 2. Olivia Soumis, ONT; 3. Shannon Fish, BAR; 4. Haley Makela, JEF; 5. Marissa Audette, LL-H.
3,200-meter run - 1. Meeghan Randell, JEF, 12:24.27; 2. Julia Pietila, CHS; 3. Lucia Nye, DB; 4. Clara Knight, LL-H; 5. Julia Daavettila, DB.
1,600-meter relay - 1. ONTONAGON (Molly Domitrovich, Brooke Turin, Audrey Tarbutton, Bobbi Ross) 4:38.69; 2. Baraga; 3. Lake Linden-Hubbell.
High jump - 1. Shannon Fish, BAR, 4-10; 2. Rachel Sutherland, BAR; 3. Sarah Audette, LL-H; 4. Brittni Kisul, LL-H.
Pole vault - 1. Jennifer Stewart, ONT, 8-0; 2. Sarah Audette, LL-H; 3. Sonja Welch, BAR; 4. Brooke Corrigan, LL-H; 5. Kaitlyn Hietala, ONT.
Shot put - 1. Hunter Maki, BAR, 31-3 1/2; 2. Bobbi Ross, ONT; 3. Shayla Mayo, BAR; 4. Taylor Shepeard, LL-H; 5. Kendall Sarazin, LL-H.
Discus - Hunter Maki, BAR, 101-3; 2. Beth Sundblad, LL-H; 3. Brittni Kisul, LL-H; 4. Corey Pietila, BAR; 5. Ashley Beauchamp, LL-H.
Long jump - 1. Olivia Soumis, ONT, 14-10; 2. Sarah Audette, LL-H; 3. Sam Ozanich, DB; 4. Brooke Corrigan, LL-H; 5. Ayla Laroe, CHS.
"There are a lot of good athletes from other schools, and we have some good athletes too, but the depth is the big thing."
Not only did Dompier dominate Monday's competition - winning the 100, 200 and 400 sprints - she beat all past competition as well, setting conference meet records in all three events she participated in with the 12.64, 26.26 and 1:01.14 times.
For the 200 and 400, Dompier also broke her own school records.
"I'm pretty pumped," Dompier said. "I feel great right now. I'm 100 percent healthy right now and just really excited to get to go to U.P. Finals for the first time since I went in 8th grade. There is nothing like it."
Perhaps no event shows off the Lakes' depth more than the 400 for the girls.
Only five total competitors entered the notoriously tough race, and as three of them bore LL-H singlets, the Lakes were guaranteed at least 12 points no matter how they finished. Second-place Baraga did not have any entrants in the 400.
There was more of the same in the discus - won by Baraga's Hunter Maki with a 101-3 toss - where four LL-H girls placed.
"We have that track tradition going for us," Guisfredi said. "I told the kids the other day, 'some of your parents have been on these conference winning teams. We have a chance to do something that your parents have done, your aunts and uncles, maybe an older sister.' Might as well go for it."
This is LL-H's 33rd girls' conference championship since 1974 and 26th boys' title in the same span.
Top individual performers for the Baraga girls included Shannon Fish - who won the 100 hurdles, 300 hurdles and high jump - Maki, who won the shot put along with discus, Jenna Heikkinen in the 800 and Rachel Sutherland in the 1,600. Meeghan Randell of Jeffers won the 3,200 by over a minute with a 12:24.27 time.
On the boys' side, the Lakes day was highlighted by three relay wins and seven of nine total places in the hurdle races, including the first four in the 110 high hurdles (won by Chris Sarazin).
Along with the hurdle races, the Lakes placed at least three in the 100, 1,600, 800, 200, pole vault, shot put, discus and long jump. The only event they did not score in was the 3,200.
"Our depth is really hard to overcome," LL-H boys coach Mike Greene said. "We are placing three or four in a lot of events, we have done really well in the field events. There are some good individual athletes here, but we have a strong team."
Dylan Kirkley would lead the way in the strong individual category.
The Ontonagon senior won the 100 (11.34), 200 (23.30), 400 (53.68) and high jump (6-0) all with room to spare.
His 200 race set a new meet record.
"You can't say enough about him, what a guy," Greene said. "Four first places? What a great kid for Ontonagon. I wish him luck going on to the finals."
The day ended on a high note as Chassell's Ross Michaels won the pole vault with a 12-3 clearance, his personal best.
It was especially impressive as he couldn't attempt to clear that height in practice even if he wanted to.
"The standards at our school don't even go that high, I'm not kidding," Michaels said. "I guess I'll have to get some two-by-fours to boost them up."
At the end of the meet, the all-conference teams were selected by coach's vote. Dompier and Kirkley received the girls and boys MVP awards. Olivia Soumis (sprinter), Lucia Nye (distance), Shannon Fish (jumper) and Hunter Maki (thrower) were also honored for the girls. Cody Kumpula (sprinter), Jared Jarvi (distance), Ross Michaels (jumper) and Lee Heckel (thrower) rounded out the boys lists. Guisfredi and Greene were named girls' and boys' coaches of the year.