Onekama sweeps both regional track championships; Manistee, Brethren, MCC all sending athletes to state finals

Manistee's Anselmo Sarabia (3) makes a turn in the 800-meter run at the Division 3 regional track meet at Benzie Central on Saturday. Sarabia won the event with a time of 2:01.12. (Robert Myers/Pioneer Sports Network)

Manistee’s Anselmo Sarabia (3) makes a turn in the 800-meter run at the Division 3 regional track meet at Benzie Central on Saturday. Sarabia won the event with a time of 2:01.12. (Robert Myers/Pioneer Sports Network)

EAST JORDAN — Manistee County schools fared well at their regional track meets on Saturday, with Onekama winning both the boys and girls regional championships and Manistee, Manistee Catholic Central and Brethren all qualifying athletes for the state championship meets on June 2.

Onekama’s boys won their Division 4 regional title with 130.5 team points, winning five events at the meet and placing second in three more, edging out Maple City Glen Lake by 3.5 points to bring home the hardware.

The Portager girls ran away with the top spot in their regional meet with 114 points, 32 points clear of the field.

Onekama coach Nathan Bradford said that the Portagers came a long way in a short time, with the late winter weather keeping the teams indoors longer than normal.

“We knew we had some talent coming back, but the way the spring went, it took a few extra weeks for the kids to get going,” Bradford said. “I knew once they got going we’d have a good chance to compete for the title. Both teams showed up and did a great job, I couldn’t ask for anything better.”

Onekama won both boys’ throwing events, with Dane Mertes taking the discus with a throw of 112’4.5″ and Zach Belinsky won the shot put with a throw of 43’7.75″.

The Portagers’ 3200-meter relay team of Kaiden Hejl, Lane Lee, Gary McBride and Jeremiah Torrey won that event with a time of 8:45.85, and Hejl, McBride, Torrey and Aaron Powers won the 1600-meter relay in 3:34.48.

Torrey also won an individual regional championship in the 400-meter dash in 52.98.

Onekama’s 400-meter relay team of Powers, Hunter Bentley, Blake Soper and Jacob Mauntler qualified as runners-up in the 400-meter relay, posting a time of 46.92, Hejl qualified for the state meet individually in the 800-meter run, placing second with a time of 2:08.57 and Mauntler qualified as an individual by finishing second in the 100-meter dash in 11.95.

Brethren’s Logan Tighe will return to the state finals in the high jump after winning the regional title with a leap of 5’11”.

Manistee Catholic’s Mason Callesen qualified for the state finals in the 110-meter hurdles by finishing second at the regional with a time of 17.41.

On the girls side, Emily Belinsky took home first-place points for Onekama in two events, the 100-meter hurdles, which she won with a time of 16.99. Colleen McCarthy took second in that event in 18.15.

Belinsky earned another regional championship as part of the Portagers’ winning 400-meter relay team. Belinsky, Mariah McLouth, Yuki Babinec and Emilee MacPherson won that event with a time of 53.56.

Belinsky also qualified in the 300-meter hurdles with a second-best time of 51.52.

McCarthy also qualified for the state finals in the high jump, placing second in that event by clearing 4’8″.

Onekama’s 3200-meter relay team of Vanessa Wahl, Faith Corey, Elizabeth Domres and Elizabeth Belinsky qualified in that event with a second-place time of 10:45.11, and the Portagers’ 1600-meter relay team of Domres, McCarthy, Babinec and Elizabeth Belinsky finished third but will go to the state finals after their time of 4:24.21 bested the qualifying standard in that event.

Bradford has set no specific goals for his teams at the state finals.

Manistee High School will send 10 athletes to the state finals, and brought home three individual regional championships from their Division 3 regional meet at Benzie Central.

Anselmo Sarabia won the regional title in the 800-meter run, posting a time of 2:01.12, and also helped the Chippewas’ 3200-meter relay qualify for the state finals in that event.

Sarabia, Jacob Gustad, Bradlee Popkowski and Elliott Kamaloski finished fourth in the 3200 relay with a time of 8:24.15 that beat the state qualifying time by five seconds.

Manistee coach Eric Thuemmel said that the 3200 relay is flirting with the school record, set last year.

“That was a 16-second improvement over what the same four guys ran on Monday at the conference championships,” Thuemmel said. “I figured we had another 10 seconds, I didn’t think we had another 16 seconds.”

Campbell Kolk won the regional championship in the high jump, clearing 5’10” in the early-morning rain.

On the girls side, Tegan Wayward brought home the regional title in the shot put with a throw of 35’1″. A nagging shoulder injury hampered her performance in the discos, where she placed fourth.

Manistee’s girls 800-meter relay qualified for the state finals, with Lily Lester, Erin Dorn, Kaya Long and Taylor Williams finishing as regional runners-up with a time of 1:53.67.

“On the girls side, I was hoping to send a few more girls to the state finals in a few more events, but that’s not always how it works out,” Manistee coach Hilary Edmondson said. “I know Tegan was pretty bummed not to make it in the discus, but she used that frustration and determination to come back and fight and dominate the shot put.”

The Division 3 state championship meet will be held at Comstock Park High School near Grand Rapids and the Division 4 state meet will take place at Hudsonville High School, also near Grand Rapids, both on June 2.

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Posted by Scott Yoshonis

Scott is the sports editor of the Manistee News Advocate. You can reach him at (231) 398-3112 or syoshonis@pioneergroup.com.

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