MANTON — That actually looked "normal."
As the COVID-19 pandemic shows signs of relenting, high school sports are reaping the benefits.
Manton held its annual track and field invitational Saturday with 14 teams — and very few facemasks — involved after the MHSAA removed the order to wear a face covering late Friday night.
"It was a great day for track and field," Manton girls coach Jeff Harding said. "It felt like the good ol’ days with 14 schools in attendance. It was great to be able to send our seniors out on their last meet with something that felt ‘normal.’"
Pine River had the best day as both its boys' and girls' teams took first.
The Bucks totaled 115.5 points on the girls' side while Manton was second at 101, Grand Traverse Academy third at 95.5, Marion fourth at 90, Evart fifth at 49, Buckley seventh at 42.5, Forest Area ninth at 39 and Northern Michigan Christian 14th at 2.
Pine River scored one individual first place as Kendra Montague won the 200-meter dash in 27.39 seconds. She also ran a leg of the winning 1600 relay (4:21.82) with Lynnesia Belvin, Sydney Edstrom and Ellie Rigling.
Belvin took second in the 100 dash in 13.16 seconds and second in the 200 dash in 27.48 seconds while Lorean Yeomans was second in the discus at 93-feet, 3-inches.
Manton's Molly Harding won the 3200 in 12:46.52 and was second in both the 800 and 1600, as well. Madison Morris took second in the 400 dash.
"The kids competed really well with 13 personal-best performances," Harding said. "Special recognition to sophomore Hadley Saylor (800). It seems like every race this season, she is busting out a new personal best. I don't even know if she knows how fast she can go yet.
"And also to senior Jessie Cochran for her performance in the shot put and discus, earning her first Manton Ranger Invite medal."
Marion's Harley Bear won the shot put at 34-4 and the discus at 98-5 while Elizabeth Fouch was second in the pole vault at 7-6.
Evart's Henry took second in the high jump at 4-8 and Mackenzi VanBuren second in the long jump at 15-5.
Buckley's Aiden Harrand won the 800 in 2:27.80 and the 1600 in 5:27.77 while Forest Area's Meagan Lange won the 400 dash in 1:04.39 and Emily Norkowski the 100 hurdles in 16.62 seconds.
Pine River won the boys' title with 92 points while Manistee Catholic was second at 86.5, Buckley third at 84, Marion sixth at 66, Manton seventh at 58.5, Evart eighth at 46.5 and NMC 12th at 16.
Pine River's Logan Churchill won the 3200 in 9:59.79 and was second in the 1600 in 4:28.14 while also running a leg of the winning 3200 relay (9:53.30).
Javen Wanstead took second in the discus at 100-10 and Kyle Root was second in the 110 hurdles in 18.05 seconds. The Bucks also took second in the 800 co-ed relay in 1:45.94.
Buckley's Gavin Allen won the 300 hurdles in 41.96 seconds and ran a leg of the winning 1600 relay (3:44.36) with Cooper Rath, Jackson Kulawiak and Kyle Deshasier. Kyle Kaczanowski also won the long jump at 19-11.
"We had a very good day," Buckley coach Ken Wicker said. "There were a lot of good teams there and I thought we competed well."
Marion's McCoy Williams won the shot put at 43-0 and Braden Prielipp won the high jump at 6-0, just missing on a school-record attempt at 6-6. The Eagles also won the Throwers' 400 relay in 55.91 seconds.
"It was really great to see our 4x100 thrower relay win the event," Marion coach Jason Keeler said. "They were stoked. They were really proud that each member of that really also placed in their respective throw event.
"McCoy and Harley both won the shot put; Nicolette Maddox took third in the discus and fifth in the shot; and James Alberts placed eighth in the disc."
Manton took second in the 3200 relay in 10:25.67 and second in the 1600 relay in 3:45.82. Noah Morrow took third in the 1600 in 4:33.79 and third in the 3200 in 10:05.64 while Andrew Phillips took third in the long jump at 19-0.
Evart won the 800 co-ed relay and was econd in the 400 relay in 46.73 seconds. Cannan Morgan took second in the high jump at 5-10 while NMC's Isaac Bowden took second in the pole vault at 11-0.
Cadillac 5th at invite
GAYLORD — Cadillac shot a team score of 335 to finish fifth in the Gaylord Invitational Saturday at the Gaylord Golf Club.
Traverse City West won the event with a 310 while Traverse City Central was second at 313 and Cheboygan third at 327.
"We are improving each and every day now," Cadillac coach Brandon Bailey said. "A lot of short game practice is starting to pay off.
"Ben (Drabik) led the way with a 79 and tied for ninth. This was a milestone for Ben as he shot his best competitive round. Now, we have our sights set on the next jump in scores as a team as we are few weeks from regionals. It's all about confidence and peaking at the right time as a team. When the players stick to the game plan that we have for them, we have shown a 13-shot improvement in the last few weeks."
In addition to Drabik's 79, Harry Chipman shot an 80, MacKale McGuire 82 and Jacques Lamonde a 94.
Jacob Lamonde led Cadillac's JV with an 89 while Ethan Schwack shot 105, Davin Brown 112 and Cole Mortensen 113.
Cadillac competes at the Traverse City Country Club today.