By CHRIS DOBROWOLSKI
News Sports Editor
Even mixing and matching its lineup didn't slow down the Alpena girls track team on Tuesday against Petoskey.
Alpena’s Dylan MacNeill, left, trails a pair of Petoskey runners in the 200-meter dash. MacNeill finished third in the event in a time of 24.39.
Alpena’s Samara Donajkowski keeps pace with two Petoskey competitors in the girls 3,200. Donajkowski won with a time of 11:59.
The Wildcats used different athletes in different events, and they didn't even have standout sprinter and jumper Julie Townsend for the 200 dash, yet they were able to take an 84-80 win over the Northmen at Thunder Bay Junior High.
The outcome wasn't as good for the Alpena boys, who were edged 84-79.
"I was very happy with a lot of the performances," said Alpena head coach Jack Gebauer. "it was a close meet, but it was a dual meet so we ran a lot of different people in different events."
Once again, Townsend stood at the top of Alpena's performers. The senior won the long jump (15-8 1/2), the 100 (13.22) and was on the winning 400-meter relay (54.73).
"She had to leave to go to a banquet so she didn't even run in the 200," said Gebauer. "Otherwise she would've won the 200. I can't say enough about what she did."
Other big performances for Alpena came when Samara Donajkowski broke the 12-minute mark in the 3,200. Her time of 11:59 was more than 20 seconds better than anyone. Racheal Smith added a personal best throw of 99-6, which won the discus and Kaitlin Thomas has a personal best time of 2:38 in the 800, which was good for third. Taylor Stepanski won the 800 with a 2:29, pulling ahead right at the end for a come-from-behind win.
"She's run it before, but it was nice to see her come from behind as a freshman," said Gebauer.
Alpena's boys team had a good showing in the field events, but was had trouble against the Northmen in most of the running events.
"We just lack depth in the middle distances and distances," said Alpena boys coach Bob Bennett. "In the 200 they got us there, in the 400 they got us there. The field events went how I expected."
Morgan Stenz (12-0), Garrett Mead (11-0) and Blake Olsen (10-0) took the top three spots in the pole vault, while Alpena's throwers also stood out. Jordan Isaacs won the shot put (45-10) and was second in the discus (109-6), while Craig LaMarre took the discus (136-2) and was third in the shot (43-1 1/2). Garrett Kneeshaw won the high jump (5-10) and Alpena's long jumpers came in second and third - Tyler Samp had an 18-8 1/2 leap and Jay Parks went 17-6 1/4.
Alpena's best showing on the track came in the 100 where Spencer Losinski (12.11), Samp (12.12), Derek Badder (12.18) and Jeremy Reeves (12.28) placed first through fourth.
Other winners for the Wildcats included Dylan MacNeill, first in the 110 hurdles (16.21), and the 800 relay team (1:40.46).