KINGSFORD – The Pickford boys moved up a division after winning last year’s Upper Peninsula Division 3 Track & Field Finals title. And it didn't faze them a bit.
They dominated the field Saturday, finishing with 151 team points. Manistique was second with 90, Ishpeming third with 87 and St. Ignace fourth with 73.
In the process, Pickford ended the Hematites' four-year run on top of Division 2.
The Panthers won nine of the 17 events. Hayden Hagen won all of the distance events and David Kozisek won both of the hurdle races along with the high jump and long jump to become just the ninth male athlete to win four individual events at an MHSAA Finals. Brayden Altoft took home a first in the shot put as did the 400 relay team (Cole Warner, Kendrick Brace, Altoft and Owen McConkey).
One of the more exciting finishes of the day came in the 200-meter dash when Bark River-Harris’ Kavin Fredrick dove for the win ahead of Manistique’s Wyatt Demers.
Demers was Fredrick’s biggest concern. Why? He’s really fast, and he usually beats him in the 200.
Fredrick led until about 50 meters to go, and he could see Demers’ arms coming up.
“So I thought to myself, ‘Well, I mean I’ve got to dive if I want this,’” he said.
And so he did.
“I took a big dive and I won by a hundredth of a second,” Fredrick said. “I’m a little cut up, but totally worth it if you ask me.”
No, he hadn’t tried that before.
“It’s my first time ever diving and it worked, so I’d recommend it,” Fredrick said. “It feels great. I went in thinking it would be a tough race against a couple people that I was up against. And I actually did it, so that’s a good feeling.”
Demers picked up a Finals title in the 100 dash.
The Broncos also the 800 relay (Justin Bergquist, Fredrick, Cristian Spear and Vincent Martin). Manistique won two relays, the 1,600 (Grant Mason, Dillon Hayes, Carter Miller and Demers) and the 3,200 (Mason, Brenden Mead, Ben Gilroy and Austin Hinkson).
The Emeralds’ Mason was first in the 400.
In the field events, Ishpeming’s Brayden Martin won the discus and St. Ignace’s Owen Lester repeated in the pole vault.
PHOTOS (Top) Pickford’s David Kozisek crosses the finish line first in the 300 hurdles Saturday. (Middle) Bark River-Harris’ Kavin Frederick and Manistique’s Wyatt Demers race for the finish line, with Frederick crossing first by one hundredth of a second. (Below) Runners begin the 1,600, including eventual winner Hayden Hagen (1) of Pickford and runner-up Alex Korpela (4) of Ironwood. (Photos by Cara Kamps/RunMichigan.com.)