Regional Runners Up – Blue Devils Advance to UP Finals

It was yet another cold, damp, rainy day at the track and on the field, but the Sault High Blue Devils Varsity teams performed well in the MHSAA UP Region 41-1 qualifying meet at Marquette Senior High School on Friday afternoon. The girls, boys, and boys adaptive teams were all runners up to hosts Marquette and the Sault had athletes qualify in nearly every single event. Boys head coach Jim Martin indicated this is the best the team has performed in any Regional meet. The top four athletes in each event will travel to Kingsford in June to compete in the UP State Finals Competition.

In the field events, it was a Lady Blue Devils sweep in the discus throw, with the Sault taking all four qualifying spots. Katie Anderson won the event (93-11), Ava Donmyer took second (92-05), Hannah Maurer took third (88-05), and Annabelle Fazzari came in fourth (81-03). Throwers’ coach Brad Boven was blown away by his athletes’ performances. “Yeah, wow, how exciting it is to be able to do something, to my knowledge that Sault Throwers have never done. (Earning all 4 spots for the discus regional) We have had some incredible throwers over my tenure that have laid the foundation of having great leadership, work ethic and drive to do their best in big situations. This years squad has been continuing in their footsteps. Ava Donmyer has stepped up big this year as the senior leader for our group as she has been a part of state level competition for the past 2 years. Also having 2 more athletes in Anderson and Fazzari as ones who also went to the state meet to compete last year helps a lot. Last of the group Maurer, a newcomer to the throws group this year has been bringing an edge and a solid arm to the ring and she is getting ready to make the next level move to play softball for Davenport.

On the boys side Evan Arbic is someone to look out for. Throwing left handed last year because of surgery he came back this year with a goal to make State. Boy oh boy did his work pay off as he PRd huge in both shot and disc propelling himself into the state meet.

We all want to thank Marquette for hosting the Regional Meet again and hopefully one day we will be able to host Regionals for our fans in the Sault.”

Arbic placed third in boys discus (121-06 – PR) and second in boys shot put (41-3 – PR). Teammate Johnny Osborn placed second in the boys adaptive shot put (15-4 – PR). The girls claimed three of the top four spots in shot as well. Maurer won the event (33-1), Fazzari came in second (32-5) and Anderson took the fourth spot (32-2).

The Sault had three jumpers qualify for States as well. High jumper Talon Thomas-Holm placed third for the boys (5-8), long jumper Maddie McLean placed third for the girls (14-1) and pole vaulter Rayce Rizzo was the boys runner up (11-0).

The running events started with the 4×800 relay. The girls relay team of Cassandra Gallagher, Ella Marchand, Dayna Szabo and Isabella DeWildt came in second (11:05.76) while the boys team of Haydn Jones, Caleb Klier, Logan Haskins and Gabe Litzner came in fourth (10:17.46).

Isaac Niebuhr qualified for the 110m high hurdles with a third place finish (18.78). Three Blue Devil athletes qualified for the 100m dash. Mackenzie Bell placed fourth in the girls race, (13.39), Carter Oshelski won the boys race (11.51) and Osborn placed second in the boys adaptive race (27.24 – PR).

Next was the 4×200, with both the girls and boys winning their events. Bell, Szabo, Taylor Pratt and Bella Smith had a time of 1:54.40, and Alex Jacek, Donnivan Dykraaf, River Perez and Oshelski finished in 1:37.34.

In the 1600m run, Gallagher was runner up for the girls (5:49.04 – SR) and Litzner won the boys event (4:35.42).

Pratt, Bell, DeWildt and Smith placed second in the girls 4×100 (55.25).

Pratt and Szabo qualified in the girls 400m run, taking second (1:06.78) and third (1:07.05). Two also qualified for the boys 400 with Osborn taking second (2:04.14 – Adaptive) and Oshelski taking third (54.40).

In the girls 300m low hurdles Annabelle Fazzari took fourth (54.06 – SR) and Owen Rice took third (46.05) for the boys.

DeWildt won the girls 800m run (2:34.57 – PR) and Haskins qualified for the boys, taking fourth (2:08.73).

In the 200m race, Bell placed fourth for the girls (28.19 – PR), Oshelski won the boys event (23.85) and Osborn was the boys adaptive runner up (55.77 – PR).

Three distance runners qualified for the 3200m run, with Litzner and Cody Aldridge taking first (9:58.36) and second (10:00.63 – PR) for the boys and Gallagher taking third for the girls (12:50.71).

The meet wrapped up with the 4×400 relay, with the Sault girls, DeWildt, Szabo, Ava Mayer and Pratt, taking first (4:32.71).

The Blue Devils are coached by Jim Martin, Scott Menard, Brad Boven, Becky Arbic and Tony McLain. The teams have a few more meets to help them prepare for the Finals. Tuesday they will head to Cheboygan to compete in the Straits Area Conference Championship.

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