Portagers Girls place 2nd in regional
Onekama to be well represented in state finals
Posted by Dave Yarnell, Manistee News Advocate
BRETHREN — Though a few points shy of what they would have liked, the Portagers were far from timid in attaining what they ultimately came to do on Saturday.
The Onekama girls fell short of a second straight regional crown as a team, but certainly won’t be short on representatives at the Division 4 state finals on June 2 in Jenison.
During the weekend’s regional, the Portagers produced three regional crowns and will take a total of 11 athletes to compete in 12 events at the next level.
“We wanted to win the regional, but our goal was to take as many girls to the state finals as we could,” Onekama girls coach Bonnie Brown said. “We’re taking all four relays and a lot of individuals. I couldn’t ask for more out of my girls.
“They’ve been such a great group to work with, and to be going to state now with them, I’m happy.”
Onekama placed second overall Saturday with 110 points as Traverse City St. Francis won the regional with 125. The hosting Bobcats placed 12th of 15 teams with 15 total points.
“We worked as hard as we could, and knew the biggest competition would be St. Francis,” said Onekama senior Jaylee Brown, who won her second straight regional title in pole vault, and also qualified to state in both hurdle events and as part of the 1,600-meter relay. “We did all we could. We competed with them in every event, but obviously it’s not going to go our way all the time.
“I’m feeling great,” she added, citing a back injury that has nagged her through a decorated prep career with the Portagers. “Just with everything that has happened (with the injury), I didn’t know at the beginning of the year whether I’d be getting back into hurdles or what. So, I’m just really happy with what we did today. We’ve got a lot of girls going to state.”
Brown vaulted 9-6 Saturday to earn her fourth straight trip to the finals in that event, and will look to be a four-time All-State vaulter when she competes next. Brown took fourth in the 100-meter hurdles to qualify with a time of 17.16, second in the 300-meter hurdles in 50.43 and fourth with teammates Taylor Anderson, Alycia Peterson and Danielle Ward in the 1,600-meter relay in the qualifying time of 4:24.88.