Blue Devils Compete with the Best of the Best; Rizzo Breaks School Record

It was a sunny and hot Tuesday evening in Gaylord, and the Sault High Blue Devils sent a select roster of athletes to compete in the Northern Michigan Meet of Champions. Seventeen schools were invited to this meet, with all four divisions represented. Specific requirements were set for each event, with athletes qualifying based on their seed times in the running events, and height and distance requirements for the field events. This event is touted as an “all star” meet to showcase some of the finest track and field talent in Northern Michigan. 

The Blue Devils finished in third place overall, and had a number of champions at the meet. Junior Rayce Rizzo had a goal all season long to break the school record (12’10) in pole vault. Rizzo met his goal, jumping 12’11.5 to win the boys event. Tarynn Pratt won the girls 400m run (1:04.53 – PR), and Carter Oshelski won the boys 200m dash (22.98). The boys 4×200 relay team of Alex Jacek, Donnivan Dykraaf, Isaac Niebuhr and Oshelski also won their event, with their best time this season (1:36.03). 

Annabelle Fazzari placed fifth in the girls 100m high hurdles (17.69) while teammates Niebuhr and Owen Rice placed tenth (18.94) and thirteenth (19.33) in the boys 110m high hurdles. Mackenzie Bell placed third in the girls 100m dash (13.87) and Jacek finished sixth (12.12) for the boys. The girls 4×200 relay team of Bell, Dayna Szabo, Pratt and Bella Smith finished fourth, with a time of 1:55.64. In the girls 1600m run, Cassandra Gallagher placed fifth (5:54.08). In the 4×100 relay, the girls team of Pratt, Bell, Isabella DeWildt, and Smith placed third (54.69) and the boys team of Jacek, Dykraaf, Niebuhr and Oshelski came in fourth (48.06). In the girls 400m run, Szabo came in fourth (1:05.52) and Ava Mayer came in tenth (1:08.88). Caleb Klier finished in seventh place (56.13 – PR) for the boys. In the girls 300m low hurdles, Fazzari came in fifth (54.43), and in the boys event, Rice took eighth (45.27) and Niebuhr came in thirteenth (47.53 – PR). All four competitors in the 800m run finished in the top five. For the girls, DeWildt was runner up (2:33.32 – PR), Abigail Walther was fourth (2:38.73) and Ella Marchand was fifth (2:45.79). For the boys, Logan Haskins came in third (2:08.02). Bell came in ninth in the girls 200m dash (29.42). The girls 4×400 relay team of DeWildt, Szabo, Mayer and Pratt came in third (4:35.06). 

For the field events, Katie Anderson placed third in the girls discus (96’), while teammates Fazzari and Ava Donmyer placed sixth (87’09.5) and eighth (81’06). Evan Arbic placed fourth for the boys, and had a PR (122’03). In the shot put, the same four throwers did well, with Fazzari coming in as runner up and a PR (34’10.5), Donmyer taking fifth (31’04.5), and Anderson sixth (30’11.5). Evan Arbic placed sixth for the boys, with another PR (41’07). Maddie McLean finished eleventh in the long jump (12’09). 

In other recent competitions, on Saturday Gabe Litzner broke his own school record in the 3200m run at the “Under the Lights” Invitational in Grand Rapids, with a time of 9:34. He finished in fifth place, and was the only freshman in the top fifteen in an elite field of runners from the entire state of Michigan.

The teams will wrap up their season this Saturday at Kingsford, in the UP State Finals meet. The Sault has a number of qualifying competitors representing their school, and it’s sure to be some great competition. 

Photo credit: Ursula Walther 

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