Coldwater Boys Trade Up for 1st Track Title
June 2, 2018
By Dan D’Addona & Tom Markowski
Special for Second Half
ZEELAND — Led by a trio of dominant throwers, the Coldwater boys track & field team had high hopes of winning the Lower Peninsula Division 2 Finals on Saturday.
The team finished runner-up to Zeeland East last year and returned most of its point scorers.
Coldwater turned the tables and surged to the championship this time with 60 points at Zeeland Stadium.
“It means a lot. We got second last year, and we were really happy with that,” Coldwater’s Dylan Targgart said. “But we have never done this in school history. It feels really good.”
Zeeland East was second with 53 points, followed by Harper Woods Chandler Park (37), Tecumseh (33), Chelsea (26), Saginaw (25), Flint Powers Catholic (21), Wyoming Lee (20), Essexville Garber (18) and Romulus (18).
Coldwater powered through the shot put, taking the top three places behind Dylan Targgart (61-2), Zach Gipple (54-0¼) and Cole Targgart (52-6¾).
“The energy is always there when we are in the ring, and that helps us a lot,” Dylan Targgart said. “It’s fun. After each person hits their throw, we build off of each other and off of the energy that the crowd is giving us.”
Zeeland East’s Boone Bonnema was fifth (52-1) in the shot put.
Dylan Targgart won the discus with a throw of 170 feet, 10 inches, holding off East’s Brenden Knoll (170-1).
Coldwater’s Shuaib Aljabaly added a win in the 1,600 in 4:16.56.
“Nobody remembers who finishes second,” Aljabaly said of 2017. “Finishing second last year was a big part of what we did today.”
Aljabaly placed second in the 3,200-meter run last season and said he needed to do more this season to help his team score points. He ran the 1,600 just a few times as a junior and made a concerted effort in this event to compete with the best.
“This year the mile was my best event,” he said. “I felt, in the shorter the race, the more guts you have to have. I wanted more of a challenge this year.”
Aljabaly placed third in the 3,200 and then, oddly, ran in the next and final race, the 1,600 relay and helped Coldwater finish seventh for two more points.
“It was great seeing everyone perform,” Targgart said.
Zeeland East’s Gabe Taylor, Alex Stockdale, Bryce Metzger and Corbin DeJonge won the 800-meter relay (1:29.67). The quartet also won the 400 (43.06).
DeJonge won the 300-meter hurdles in 38.14 for the Chix.
“My Regional time wasn’t very good, and I knew I had to do something different to try to win this, so I tried to bring it out way faster than I normally do, then try to have the crowd drag me through at the end,” DeJonge said. “It is tough because (the state title) as a team is what we were working toward.”
One of the more impressive athletes on this day was Thomas Robinson of Wyoming Lee. This was Lee’s first season competing at the Division 2 meet. Robinson won the 100 and 200 both of the last two seasons in Division 3, improving his times in both each time.
Robinson made it a double three-peat Saturday as he set personal bests in the 100 (10.85) and in the semifinals of the 200 (21.6). His winning time in the 200 was 21.62.
Robinson didn’t compete in track until his sophomore year, the same year he tried out for football. A 6-foot-1, 180-pound receiver, Robinson said he’s more of a fan in that sport than he is in track. Be that as it may, Robinson signed to run track at Michigan State.
“My football coach at the time told me I should go out for track,” he said. “He said it would make me better in football. I don’t like track as much as football. I’m just better at track.
“I felt good running the 200. I am getting better. Just look at my times.”
Like Robinson, Anthony Hudson of Harper Woods Chandler Park competed in football and track. And, like Robinson, Hudson began his high school career rather late. Hudson competed in track in middle school but decided not to compete as a freshman. He ran a couple of races as a sophomore before making a commitment his junior year. Last season he placed sixth in the long jump and was second in the 200. This season he won the 110 hurdles with a time of 14.68. He also placed fourth in the 200.
He held off Zeeland East’s DeJonge (14.69) by a hundredth of a second in the 110 in one of the closest races of the day.
“I didn’t think I’d be that good my freshman year,” he said. “That’s why I didn’t come out.”
Hudson signed to play football at Davenport University and said he might try both sports if he can handle the load. He plans on majoring in sports management in college.
Chances are not many in the crowd expected Jacob Denison of Tecumseh to do well in the 400 run. That’s all right. Denison followed his own expectations.
The junior won the 400 with a time of 49.27, a personal best. Last season he competed in one event, the 1,600 relay. Denison also ran on the 400 and 800 relays this season.
“I’ve been working hard all season for this,” he said. “It’s not much of a surprise to me. It was just a lot of hard work. I knew I had to take it out fast today. I had a good coach who got me out of the block faster, and I had a lot of support from my family. I’m blessed.”
Injuries held Alex Comerford back last season as the junior from Otsego placed 11th in the 3,200. Healed by the time fall rolled around, Comerford placed second at the Cross Country Finals and won the 3,200 on Saturday with a time of 9:07.25.
“It’s something I’ve been working on,” he said. “I haven’t been finishing well, and it was really my cross country season that started things. I got stronger. I grew up.”
In the 3,200-meter relay, Chelsea’s Connor Gilbreath, Jensen Holm, Carson Rabbitt and Tom Oates won in 7:56.48, holding off Zeeland West’s Carson Holwerda, Bryce Arredondo, Lunke Munsey and Matthew Converse (7:59.93).
Parma Western’s Alex Inosencio won the pole vault in 15-8, besting the field by an entire foot. Lake Fenton’s Jaden Zaitshik won the high jump in 6-7, and Saginaw’s Tony Martin won the long jump in 22-7.
Essexville Garber’s Josiah Morse won the 800 (1:55.63), and Lansing Catholic’s Ryan Schroeder, James Fedewa, Jack Fedewa and Ryan Ruiter won the 1,600 relay (3:23.27).
VIDEO: Coldwater's Shuab Aljabaly wins the 1,600.
VIDEO: Oak Park's Donnie James sets a meet record in the 200.
PHOTOS: (Top) Coldwater's Zach Gipple begins to unwind on a discus toss Saturday. (Middle) Chandler Park's Anthony Hudson, middle, stays just ahead of Zeeland East's Corbin DeJonge, left, in the 110 hurdles, which proved to be the closest race of the meet. (Photos by Janina Pollatz. Click for more from RunMichigan.com.)
Preview: UP Boys Finals Loaded with Intriguing Opportunities
By Geoff Kimmerly
MHSAA.com senior editor
June 2, 2023
Saturday’s Upper Peninsula Boys Track & Field Finals can match storylines with any of the other events happening statewide on the busiest day of the school sports season.
The Division 1 meet will pit rivals returning after one point separated them a year ago, while Division 2 will see a pair of 2022 champions looking to win again.
Munising’s Micaiah Peramaki will compete in his last Finals after becoming the latest to win four individual events last spring, and Pickford’s David Kozisek will compete in his first and only Finals with a great possibility of becoming the next four-event champ.
All three divisions will again be contested at Kingsford High School, with preliminaries leading off the day at 9 a.m. local (Central) time. Tickets cost $11 and are available digitally only via GoFan.
MHSAA.tv will live-stream the meets beginning at 9 a.m. (CDT)/10 a.m. (EDT), viewable with subscription.
Following is a glance at team contenders and individuals to watch in all three divisions:
Team forecast: Marquette owns a two-year championship streak, but claimed last season’s title by a mere point ahead of Kingsford. The Flivvers will pose another challenge Saturday with a pair of relay favorites and strong field events hoping to counter Marquette’s distance stars and overall depth. Sault Ste. Marie, boasting excellence in the distance events as well, could factor significantly.
Matthew Colavecchi, Iron Mountain junior: Last season’s 100 and 200 champion in UPD2 will run on a contending 400 relay and had the sixth-fastest UPD1 Regional time in the 100 (11.85).
Will Fairchild, Iron Mountain senior: He finished fifth both in the 110 and 300 hurdles and eighth in long jump in UPD2 last season, but heads into these UPD1 Finals with the top Regional times for his division in both races – 16.05 and 42.48, respectively.
Michael Floriano, Kingsford junior: Last season’s 200 and 400 relay champion and 100 dash runner-up will run on two favored relays this time and also enters with the third-fastest UPD1 Regional times in the 100 (11.56) and 200 (23.94).
Drew Hughes, Gladstone senior: After running a relay at last year’s Finals, he’s set to run two plus enters with the top UPD1 Regional time in the 800 (2:05.23) and fourth-fastest in the 1,600 (4:38.46).
Gabe Litzner, Sault Ste. Marie freshman: The UPD1 cross country champion in the fall enters his first Track Finals with the top UPD1 Regional times in the 1,600 (4:35.42) and 3,200 (9:58.36).
Cole Myllyla, Kingsford senior: He’s another returning relay champ and also won the long jump and was sixth in the high jump last season. He’ll run on two favored relays and had the third-best UPD1 Regional long jump (20-¼).
Carson VanderSchaaf, Marquette senior: He’s a two-time 3,200 champion and also won the 1,600 and as part of the 3,200 relay last spring, and he’ll enter Saturday with the second-fastest UPD1 Regional time in the 1,600 (4:37.21) and third-fastest in the 3,200 (10:02.40).
Colin VanderSchaaf, Marquette senior: He’s also won races the last two Finals, the 800 last year and 1,600 as a sophomore (finishing second to his brother last year), and enters this meet with the second-fastest UPD1 Regional times in the 400 (54.11) and 800 (2:06.68) and third-fastest in the 1,600 (4:37.28).
Team forecast: Ishpeming has four won straight Division 2 titles (not counting canceled 2020), but Pickford – last season’s UPD3 champion – might be the favorite to continue its streak instead. The Panthers have contenders in several events and also will get help with a number of Bark River-Harris hopefuls slotting into possible high places as well. That said, the Hematites do have qualifiers in 16 events and depth to match anyone in the field.
Caden Awbrey, Pickford senior: He won the 300 hurdles in UPD3 and was second in the 110 last season, also running on championship and runner-up relays. He’ll run on two contending relays this weekend and enters with the UPD2 Regionals third-fastest 300 time (43.97) and fourth-fastest in the 110 (17.63).
Wyatt Demers, Manistique junior: He had a busy 2022 Finals with a relay championship, fifth places in the 100 and 400 and a third in the 200. He could top that as part of two contending relays and entering with the fastest UPD2 Regional times in the 100 (11.5) and 200 (23.24).
Tramon Gauthier, Ishpeming junior: He played a major role in last year’s team title with a win in the 110 hurdles, second in the 300 and fourth-place long jump, and this weekend he enters with the second-best UPD2 Regional long jump (19-3), second-fastest 110 (16.41) and 300 hurdles (43.34) times and fourth-fastest in the 100 (11.99).
Hayden Hagen, Pickford junior: After also running on a relay champ last year in UPD3 and finishing fourth in the 3,200 and ninth in the 1,600, he’s lined up for a huge meet entering with the top UPD2 Regional times in the 800 (2:14.15), 1,600 (5:03.16) and 3,200 (11:08.89).
David Kozisek, Pickford senior: He could cap his lone season of high school track with one of the most memorable as he enters with the top UPD2 Regional times in the 110 (15.39) and 300 hurdles (42.37) and top high jump (5-10) and long jump (20-7½) as well.
Owen Lester, St. Ignace junior: The reigning pole vault champion (and seventh-place finisher in the 300 hurdles) posted the top UPD2 Regional pole vault (11-6) by six inches.
Brayden Martin, Ishpeming junior: He had the farthest UPD2 shot put (43-8½) and second-longest discus toss (119-2) at Regionals, after finishing fourth in the shot put at last year’s Finals.
Team forecast: There will be a new champion with Pickford in UPD2, with 2022 runner-up Munising coming off a Regional title after falling just nine points shy of catching the Panthers a year ago. The Mustangs have favorites in several events and contenders in most others. Newberry, fifth in UPD2 last season, also looks capable of making serious noise.
Joe Kelley, Munising junior: He finished fifth in the 300 and sixth in the 110 hurdles last season, but could play a massive part Saturday entering with the fastest UPD3 Regional 300 (44.81) and second-fastest time in the 110 (17.06).
Kalvin Kytta, Chassell sophomore: He finished seventh in both the 1,600 and 3,200 and 10th in the 800 as a freshman and also will be expected to score entering with the fastest UPD3 Regional times in the 1,600 (4:48.91) and 3,200 (10:56.07).
Seth Mills, Paradise Whitefish senior: He could become his school’s first Finals champion in this sport as he enters with the top UPD3 Regional discus throw (149-4) by more than 21 feet – and with that toss nearly 40 better than his fifth-place finish in the event a year ago. He also enters with the sixth-best UPD3 Regional shot put (38-5).
Josiah Peramaki, Munising senior: The reigning pole vault champion also was third in the long jump and fifth in the 200 last season, and he’ll enter this weekend tied with the top UPD3 Regional pole vault (12-0) and also competing on a relay and in the long jump and 100, having posted the third-fastest time (11.73) in the sprint.
Micaiah Peramaki, Munising senior: He became the eighth boys four-time Finals individual champion last year winning the 100, 200, 400 and discus. He could add three more individual titles entering Saturday with UPD3 Regional bests in the 100 (11.24), 200 (23.47) and 400 (53.05) while also running on a contending relay.
Matthew Rahilly, Newberry sophomore: He was fifth in the long jump and ran on two scoring relays in UPD2 as a freshman, and enters this Finals with the best UPD3 Regional long jump (19-9) and tied for the second-best high jump (5-8).
Ian Sundling, Rapid River senior: The reigning long jump champ also finished seventh in high jump last season and will compete in both plus two relays, entering with the third-best UPD3 Regional long jump (19-1).
PHOTO Iron Mountain's Matthew Colavecchi (3) edges Pickford's David Kozisek (2) and Powers North Central's Luke Gorzinski (4) in a 200 heat at the April 17 Superior Dome Invitational. (Photo by Cara Kamps.)