by Dylan Savela, Manistee News Advocate, 4-5-12
ONEKAMA — There were several signs Wednesday night that it’s still early in the track and field season.
Time can still be shed, handoffs could use some work, and the sun can do a bit better job at keeping everyone warm.
Even the final score suffered an early-season shakeup after Onekama hosted Manistee in both teams’ outdoor opener.
The Chippewa boys topped the Portagers 78-56, while the girls’ score was close enough for one post-meet correction to change the outcome. Originally, Onekama looked to be the victor of a 68-65 margin. However, after Manistee coaches Sam Joseph and Craig Fuller caught a placing error on the bus rid home, it appears the Chippewas edged the Portagers 67-66. Onekama girls coach Bonnie Brown could not be reached for conformation of the change.
Regardless, both schools were pleased with where they’re at at this early stage of the season.
“Onekama’s a regional champion team, so we knew they had a lot of depth,” Joseph said, citing that the Chippewas are still without standout distance runner Kelly Schubert due to injury. “We had to do some finagling without Kelly. Onekama’s a deep team, so to be close to them is good for us.
“But both (the boys and girls) teams walk away from today knowing they’ve got a lot of hard work ahead of them,” he added. “We need to be more organized, more disciplined and ready to dedicate ourselves to this team to be successful.”
Manistee freshman Annie Fuller won each of her four events handily to lead the way for the Chippewas, placing first in the 400-, 800-, 1,600- and 3,200-meter runs.
Onekama senior Jaylee Brown paced the Portagers with two of the team’s seven first-place finishes, as she won the pole vault (8-foot-9) and the 100-meter hurdles (18.45).
“I’m happy for the girls,” Bonnie Brown said as the meet was wrapping up. “We’re just on a roll.”