Add another girls Division 2 regional team title to the trophy collection at West Iron. The Wykons won the title at Nelson Field on May 16.
IRON RIVER—In a season filled with powerful performances, the West Iron County girls track team wound up and threw a haymaker at its Division 2 regional rivals May 16 at Nelson Field.
Leaving one opposing coach wondering if he’d ever seen a more lopsided regional result, the Wykons walloped the other five squads competing on the chilly, overcast mid-May evening to capture their sixth consecutive regional championship.
West Iron won 15 of the 17 events, including a clean sweep of the track events, to roll up 97 points, with runner-up Ishpeming left in the dust with 29 points. Westwood (28), Hancock (16), Ironwood (11) and L’Anse (5) rounded out the scoring.
The Wykon boys wound up fourth with 25 points. Ishpeming captured the boys crown with 57 points, while Hancock took second with 33 and L’Anse finished third with 27. Ironwood (23) and Westwood (22) closed out the scoring.
The top four finishers in each event move on to the Division 2 U.P. Finals on May 31 at Kingsford. Fourteen Wykon girls qualified for the finals, while 10 West Iron boys advanced.
The girls’ competition was nearly over before it started. With an array of talent across the board, the Wykons dominated almost every event. Senior Cassilyn Pellizzer, junior Tori Harris-Hoogenboom and freshman Emmy Kinner brought home four wins each for coach Kristi Berutti’s squad.
“We have just gotten better as the season has gone on,” Berutti said. “These girls are so focused, and they work hard.”
Asked what that means specifically, Berutti said, “When your legs are tired and you want to sit down and cry, you get up and do more. And our team captains push the girls harder and harder. If (someone’s) dogging it, they get behind them and say, ‘Let’s go.’”
Pellizzer enters the final days of her prep career in impressive form. She swept both the 100 and 300 hurdles and added an individual victory in the high jump and a relay win with Kinner, Elizabeth Pellizzer and Brianna Lambert in the 1600 relay.
“I was happy with the 100 hurdles,” Cassie Pellizzer said. “My time is usually in the 17s, but I cut it down to 16.88. That’s the one I was really excited about.”
There was plenty to be upbeat about for other Wykon performers, as well. Harris-Hoogenboom fought through her distaste for cold weather, swept the distance events and combined with Lambert, Madeline Waara and Alyssa Possanza to best the field in the 3200 relay.
After another four-mile effort in her various events, Harris-Hoogenboom, who estimates she runs between 20 and 30 miles per week, said, “I’m exhausted. It’s really tough actually. But there’s something about it that I like and the (3200) is my favorite.”
Harris-Hoogenboom’s strategy in her races Friday was to hold back and stay in the top two or three. In the last lap and with plenty left in reserve, the diminutive junior pulled away to comfortable victories.
“She always performs good,” Berutti said. “For someone so little, she has a lot in the tank.”
The newcomer on the block is Kinner, a rookie sprinter. Despite the increased pressure of her first regional meet, Kinner responded with victories in the 100, the 200 and the 400.
“It was kind of nerve wracking, but it was also fun,” Kinner said. “You’re always nervous because you don’t know what kind of day you’re going to have or if other people are going to have a better day than you.”
Megan Miatech easily won the shot put, throwing nearly three feet farther than her closest competitor and setting a new personal best mark of 36 feet, 5.25 inches. She also took second in the discus to move on in both events.
Sydnie Mazurek also chipped in with a victory in the long jump and also contributed a third in the high jump.
The 400 relay team of Casey Harrington, Ally Jo Polich, Elizabeth Pellizzer and Carli Johnson produced a victory, as did the 800 relay group of Harrington, Sarah Penkivech, Lambert and Johnson.
Other individual qualifiers for the U.P. Finals were Johnson (second in the 200 and fourth in the 100), Harrington (second in the 100), Polich (third in the 100 hurdles), Lambert (second in the 400), Elizabeth Pellizzer (fourth in the 400) and Alexis Golfis (thirds in the 300 hurdles and long jump).
3200 relay: 1. WIC (Madeline Waara, Alyssa Possanza, Brianna Lambert, Tori Harris-Hoogenboom), 10:57.08. 800 relay: 1. WIC (Casey Harrington, Sarah Penkivech, Lambert, Carli Johnson), 1:57.48. 400 relay: 1. WIC (Harrington, Ally Jo Polich, Elizabeth Pellizzer, Johnson), 55.19. 1600 relay: 1. WIC (E.Pellizzer, Lambert, Emmy Kinner, Cassilyn Pellizzer), 4:24.57.
100 high hurdles: 1. C. Pellizzer, 16.88; 3. Polich. 17:54. 100: 1. Kinner, 13.50; 2. Harrington, 13.76; 4. Johnson, 13.86. 1600: 1. Harris-Hoogenboom, 5:48.64. 400: 1. Kinner, 1:03.09; 2. Lambert, 1:05.92; 4. E.Pellizzer, 1:07.87. 300 low hurdles: 1. C. Pellizzer, 49.22; 3. Alexis Golfis, 52.45. 800: 1. Harris-Hoogenboom, 2:38.68. 200: 1. Kinner, 27.54; 2. Johnson, 28.15. 3200: 1. Harris-Hoogenboom, 12:46.63.
Shot put: 1. Megan Miatech, 36-5.25. Discus: 2. Miatech, 87-3. Long jump: 1. Sydnie Mazurek, 14-4; 3. Golfis, 13-8.5. High jump: 1. C.Pellizzer, 4-10; 3. Mazurek, 4-6.
In the boys competition, WIC started the day with a triumph in the 3200 relay for its lone first place finish. Tylor Capadagli, Joe Pisoni, Tommy Keski-Kastari and Colton Pangrazzi won the distance relay by nearly 20 seconds over Westwood.
“We were in the lead after the first heat, and that gave us some confidence,” Capadagli said, “And so we went out and did it.”
“They’ve come a long way since Day 1,” Wykon boys coach Joby Sullivan said. “I think they ran a 10.10 in one of the first meets, and now they’re down almost a minute from that time. They’ve soaked up running, and they’ve got a lot of heart.”
Capadagli also advanced with third-place finishes in the 1600 and the 300 hurdles. Pangrazzi moved on with thirds in the 400 and the 800. Keski-Kastari will advance with a
fourth in the 800.
Other than the winning 3200 relay effort, the top finishers for West Iron were Ryan Rogers and Andrew Peterson. Rogers took runner-up in both the 400 and the long jump (and also finished fourth in the 100). Peterson finished second in the discus.
The 400 relay team of Phil King, Jake Polich, Nik Thoney and Brandon Olsen qualified with a fourth-place result.
Despite an early-season coaching change, Sullivan said his team has hung together along the way.
“Anytime there’s change it’s (hard), but the attitude’s been good. They go out there and compete, and so I can’t ask for anymore than what they’ve given.”
Ishpeming won the team title with 57 points, followed by Hancock (33), L’Anse (27) and the Wykons (25).
3200 relay: 1. WIC (Tylor Capadagli, Joe Pisoni, Tommy Keski-Kastari, Colton Pangrazzi), 9:31.0. 400 relay: 4. WIC (Phil King, Jake Polich, Nik Thoney, Brandon Olson), 48.56.
100: 4. Ryan Rogers, 11.69. 1600: 3. Capadagli, 5:12.45. 400: 2. Rogers, 55.25; 3. Pangrazzi, 55.52. 300 low hurdles: 3. Capadagli, 44.64. 800: 3. Pangrazzi, 2:15.35; 4. Keski-Kastari, 2:19.98.
Discus: 2. Andrew Peterson, 118-2. Long jump: 2. Rogers, 17-11.
• On May 13, the Wykons took part in the Kingsford Invitational.
The Wykon girls rolled up 206 team points to win going away. Kingsford (108) was second, and Northwoods Storm (58) was third.
Cassi Pellizzer won both hurdles races and high jump to be a triple winner. Harris-Hoogenboom and Miatech both won twice. Other event winners were Kinner and Golfis.
3200 relay: 2. WIC, 11:01.27. 400 relay: 3. WIC, 54.65. 400 relay: 3. WIC, 54.65. 1600 relay: 1. WIC, 4:22.75.
110 high hurdles: 1. C.Pellizzer, 17.15; 3. Golfis, 17.50. 100: 2. Kinner, 13.50; 3. Johnson, 13.82. 1600: 1. Harris-Hoogenboom, 5:51.40; 3. Waara, 6:30.81. 400: 1. Kinner, 1:03.00. 300 low hurdles: 1. C.Pellizzer, 50.58; 2. Golfis, 52.53. 800: 1. Harris-Hoogenboom, 2:37.82; 4. Waara. 200: 2. Kinner, 28.25; 3. Johnson, 28.91. 3200: 2. Harris-Hoogenboom, 13:17.
Shot put: 1. Miatech, 35-4.75; 3. Nolingberg, 30-11. High jump: 1. C.Pellizzer, 4-10; 5. Mazurek. Discus: 1. Miatech, 94-1.75. Pole vault: 4. Anderson. Long jump: 1. Golfis, 14-10; 4. Mazurek.
The Wykon boys took fourth at Kingsford with 52 points. The host school dominated with 209 points, followed by North Dickinson (91) and Northwoods Storm (78).
West Iron’s best finishes were a pair of second places, from Chasz Jonet in shot put and the 3200 relay team.
3200 relay: 2. WIC, 9:16.62. 800 relay: 3. WIC, 1:40.44. 400 relay: 3. WIC, 48.37. 1600 relay: 3. WIC, 3:50.45.
100: 6. Nik Thoney. 1600: 5. Capadagli; 6. Keski-Kastari. 400: 4. Pangrazzi. 300 low hurdles: 4. Capadagli. 800: 4. Keski-Kastari, 5. Pangrazzi.
Shot put: 2. Chasz Jonet, 42-1.25.
• The big event this week is the West Pac Conference finals, which West Iron will host on Wednesday, May 21. The JV track meet at Norway is next Tuesday, May 27.