Alpena’s Winter, Bullis win championships at D-1 finals

Courtesy Photo Alpena High juniors Eli Winter, left, and Gabe Bullis won state championships at the Division 1 finals on Saturday in East Kentwood. Winter won a title in the discus and Bullis paced the field in the pole vault. The two wins marked the first time since 1997 that Alpena has won an individual title at the finals.

EAST KENTWOOD — For the first time since 1997, Alpena High School has a state track champion.

Eli Winter broke his own school discus record to win a state title and Gabe Bullis paced the field in the pole vault to give the Wildcats a pair of state champions during the Division 1 finals Saturday at East Kentwood High School.

Winter was hoping to hit 180 feet in the discus at the finals and did so, leading the field with a throw of 180 feet, 1 inch. This marks the fourth time this season Winter has broken the school discus record. He added an all-state finish in the shot put too, finishing seventh with a toss of 51 feet, 6 § inches.

Bullis, who took third last year with a vault of 15 feet, cleared 15 feet, 3 inches this time around, beating his closest competitors by three feet.

The state championships earned by Winter and Bullis are the first earned by Alpena athletes at the finals since Melissa Brousseau won the second of her back-to-back shot put titles in 1997.

Led by Winter and Bullis, the Alpena boys finished third as a team and had all-state placers in five events. Alpena finished with 31 points, trailing only East Kentwood (63.5) and Ann Arbor Pioneer (43). Alpena’s athletes also overcame some weather delays to turn in solid performances.

“It was awesome. We were crunching numbers going in and thought we could finish anywhere from second to fifth. Third is awesome,” Alpena coach Collin Riffert said. “We had a lot of great performances.”

Aden Smith finished second in the 3,200 run (9:11.29) for Alpena and his brother Josh took eighth in the 1,600 run (4:17.89). Faith Weide earned all-state honors as well after finishing sixth in the shot put (40-7 3/4).

All-state honors are given to the top eight athletes/teams in each event.

Alpena’s other finishers included: Drew Seabase in the 800 run (15th, 1:59.28); the boys 3,200 relay team of the Smith brothers, Seabase and Jadon Duncan (10th, 7:56.60); Arthur Paad in the discus (15th, 137-11); Josiah Matuzak in the pole vault (18th, 13-0); Maddy Boyd in the 3,200 run (9th, 10:50.79); Karli Myers in the pole vault (20th, 9-3) and Haydn Goebel in the 110 hurdles (24th in prelims, 20.93).

At the Division 4 finals in Hudsonville, Alcona’s Lily Bilbey earned all-state honors in the 100 dash (12.62) and 200 dash (26.06) after finishing runner-up in both events.

Alcona’s John Sharboneau earned all-state honors in the discus after finishing seventh (132-9) and Rogers City’s Luke Augsburger earned all-state in the high jump (7th, 6-1).

Other local finishers included: Fairview’s Jaedyn Winton in the 800 run (11th, 2:37.66); Rogers City’s Morgan Baller in the 1,600 run (18th, 6:01.12) and 3,200 run (18th, 13:09.51); Posen’s Elizabeth Romel in the 100 hurdles (22nd in prelims, 18.79) and 300 hurdles (19th, 54.07); Mio’s Sophia Cross in the 100 hurdles (24th in prelims, 18.90); Rogers City’s Cheyenne Bober in the 300 hurdles (20th, 54.63); Alcona’s girls 400 relay team of Bilbey, Carlie Forsythe, Caroline Forsythe and Karen Sharboneau (16th, 53.83); Rogers City’s girls 800 relay team of Bober, Catherine Belusar, Erika Chojnacki and Samantha Williams (21st, 1:58.52); Rogers City’s girls 1,600 relay team of Williams, Bober, Baller and Belusar (22nd, 4:44.60); Rogers City’s girls 3,200 relay team of Baller, Belusar, Williams and Nina Hansen (11:20.37); Rogers City’s Christina Andrews in the long jump (17th, 13-11 3/4) and Hillman’s Angelina Hunt in the long jump (20th, 12-9); Hillman’s Gunner Mellingen in the 100 dash (21st in prelims, 11.67), 200 dash (11th in prelims, 23.48) and long jump (12th, 19-11 3/4); Alcona’s Hunter Clark in the discus (18th, 117-6); Posen’s Gabe Jakubcin in the shot put (20th, 39-5 3/4); Sharboneau in the shot put (22nd, 36-6 1/2); Onaway’s Jager Mix in the 800 run (21st, 2:10.57); Alcona’s boys 1,600 relay team of Damion Stewart, Cody Leeseberg, Brett Nelson, Elliot Dubuque (16th, 3:42.37) and Onaway’s boys 3,200 relay team of Mix, Brendan Fenstermaker, Teddy Peters and Sam Tennant (24th, 9:22.32).

BASEBALL

Wildcats fall to TC Central

TRAVERSE CITY — Frustrating was one word to describe the Alpena baseball teams district semifinal loss to Traverse City Central on Saturday at Central High School.

After a strong regular season that included a Big North Conference championship, the senior-laden Wildcats endured a let down at the worst possible time as Alpena had its season ended much sooner than they expected as the Wildcats were shut out, falling to the rival Trojans 1-0 in a Division 1 district semifinal contest.

After swinging the bats well all season, the Alpena bats went ice cold Saturday as the Wildcats were held to just one hit and held in check by Trojan southpaw Marty McDonald.

McDonal only struck out four, but he was in cruise control much of the game as he allowed just four Alpena baserunners and no-hit Alpena until Kyle VanDusen singles with one out in the top of the sixth inning.

Central scored the only run of the game in the home half of the sixth when Matt Corrado led off with a single and came around to score on a two out double off the bat of Dominic Palamara which proved to be the game-winning run as Alpena was set down in order on three ground balls in the seventh as the Wildcats had their season end earlier in disappointment.

Bruz Copping was the tough luck loser for Alpena as he pitched all six innings, allowed four hits, one earned run and struck out six Trojan batters.

Central ended up falling to TC West in the district championship game.

SOFTBALL

Alpena softball wins district title

TRAVERSE CITY —

Courtesy Photo

The Alpena softball team celebrates after winning a district championship on Saturday in Traverse City. Back, L to R: Rachel McDonald, Alli Derocher, Sydney Chojnacki, Lilly Lewis. Middle: Emma Fraser, Jade Schultz, Maddy Sadler, Aubree Sheldon, Nikita Cordes, Riley Alexander. Front: Dayna Labell, Meghan Roznowski, Allie Funk, Corine Donajkowski, Abbie Funk, Kali Spomer.