By John Vrancic
The Engadine Eagles weren’t in title contention, but still made little bit of noise in a Division 3 regional track meet here Thursday.
Rapid River’s girls won their first regional in 11 years with 64 points. They were followed by Mid Peninsula 39, Munising 27, Engadine 22, Superior Central 12 1/2, Republic-Michigamme 6 1/2 and Big Bay de Noc 4.
The Eagles were led by sophomore Leah French, who successfully landed a high jump at four feet, six inches. She also helped the second-place 3200-meter relay qualify for the Upper Peninsula Finals in 12 minutes, 41.24 seconds and placed fourth in the 3200m run (14:44.22) on this partly cloudy, warm and breezy afternoon.
“I wanted to keep going higher, but the wind kept blowing down the bar,” French said. “It’s exciting to win here because last year we didn’t have that opportunity. I’m really looking forward to the Finals. It was a little windy today. Otherwise, we had good (weather) conditions.”
Engadine’s Tessa Paquin was runner-up in the 300m hurdles (1:02.23), followed by teammate Skyler White (1:04.38).
Camille Crandall qualified for the Finals by placing third in long jump (13-6) and White took fourth the 100 hurdles (20.56)
Also taking fourth for the Eagles were Allison Loebach in the 800m (2:55.21), Tessa Paquin in high jump (4-4) and Bryce Zdebski in discus (68-7).
The Rapid River boys also won with 64 points, followed by Munising 52, Superior Central 22 1/2, Republic 21, Engadine 17, Big Bay 1 1/2 and Mid Pen 0.
Engadine sophomore Conrad Spieles won the 300m hurdles (48.27) and 3200m run (11:50.64).
Rapid River junior Jaiden McCarty was runner-up in the 3200m run (12:13.08).
“The wind was challenging coming into the finish, but I gained a lot of confidence,” said Spieles. “I had a good start and I’ve been working on my jumping form which helps lower my time and boost my confidence.
“In the 3200, I felt pretty confident after looking at the (entry) sheet. He (McCarty) passed me for a little while, but I knew I had to keep my composure. I told myself ‘if you do that, you’re going to win.’”
Drew French captured shot put (38-10) and teammate Nicholas Nance was fourth in shot (37-0) and disc (104-9) for the Eagles, who were at Pickford for Tuesday’s Eastern U.P. Conference meet.
The top four individual finishers and top two relays in the regional qualified for the U.P. Finals at Kingsford June 5.