Cooper Leads Munsing to Dominant Win

By John Vrancic
Special for

June 1, 2014

KINGSFORD — Prior to Saturday, 18 years had passed since the Munising boys last hoisted a trophy at the Upper Peninsula Track and Field Finals.

The Mustangs, who were competing in Class C at that time, earned their first Division 3 title on Saturday with 107½ points. They were followed by defending champ Felch North Dickinson with 68 and Rapid River at 60.

Munising junior Andy Cooper won high jump at 6 feet, the 110-meter hurdles in a school-record 16.11 seconds and the 300 (40.77) and 200 dash (23.89).

Four days earlier, Cooper captured high jump with a school-record leap of 6-5 in the Bark River-Harris Invitational.

“Andy had a great day,” said Munising coach Matt Mattson. “Two school records and four U.P. championships makes for a pretty good year.”

Sophomore Brett Hannah, who had a hip problem at BR-H, retained his 3,200 title (10:49.97), captured the 1,600 (4:41.62) and was runner-up in the 800 (2:08.7) on this sunny and hot day.

“I had a PR (personal record) in the 1,600,” said Hannah. “I’m pretty happy with that and had my best time in the 800. The 800 is a rough race, but I qualify in that. I can’t just scratch from it. The two-mile didn’t go as well. I think the heat may have drained me a little. The wind helped a little. It felt good on the home stretch.”

Junior Austin Kelto placed third in the 100 (11.9) and long jump at 18 feet, 7 inches, and Alex Hill added a third in high jump (5-10).

“We made Brett take two days off this week. It’s pretty hard to get him to do that,” Mattson said. “The cold weather earlier this season made it pretty tough to compete, but our kids handled it well. I think our boys and girls are going to be pretty good next year.”

North Dickinson senior Tim Hruska retained his 100 title (11.83) and was runner-up in the 110 hurdles on a lean (16.12) and second in the 300 (42.93).

“I like the warmer weather,” said Hruska. “The 100 went real well. I had a real good start, and the 110 hurdles were real close. He (Cooper) was good. This is the first time I ran against him. It was fun.”

Big Bay de Noc senior Cole Potvin repeated as 400 champion in a school-record 51.17 seconds and was runner-up to Cooper on a lean in the 200 (23.91).

“This is my last race of high school,” said Potvin. “You can’t save it. I knew I was going to go out harder than I normally do because there’s nothing to save it for. It’s hard to maintain the pace for the 400. You wait till you see your time because you don’t know if you ran the pace you wanted or not.” 

Rapid River senior Jake Pearson, who suffered a hamstring injury at BR-H, swept the throwing events. He threw 46-10 in shot put and 130-10 in discus, and classmate Hayden Hardwich was runner-up in shot (45-11).

Sophomore teammate Dan Blair added a first in the 800 in a personal-best 2:05.71 and was runner-up in the 1,600 (4:46.08) and fifth in the 3,200 (11:27.68), and helped the Rockets place fifth in he 3,200 relay. 

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PHOTO: Munising's Andy Cooper (right) edges Felch North Dickinson's Tim Hruska in the 110 hurdles at the U.P. Division 3 Final on Saturday at Kingsford. (Click to see more from

With 2nd Place in Final Race, Newberry Clinches 1st in Final Team Standings

By John Vrancic
Special for

June 2, 2024

KINGSFORD — The race for the Upper Peninsula Division 3 boys track & field championship came right down to the wire Saturday as Newberry edged St. Ignace 96-92 for top honors.

Third-place team finisher Lake Linden-Hubbell won the day’s final race, the 1,600-meter relay, in 3 minutes, 41.94 seconds, and Newberry hung on to edge St. Ignace by two steps for second place and its first title in eight years.

Newberry, which was runner-up to Munising last year, was clocked at 3:43.07 in the 1,600 relay on this sunny and mild late afternoon. The Saints finished nine hundredths of a second later.

“We knew we had to beat St. Ignace to win,” Newberry senior Kennedy Depew said after finishing the anchor leg. “This was my last race ever. I knew I had to give it my all. That’s also why I knew I had to scratch from the open 400. I would have been in four events. I think scratching from the 400 helped me save some energy. We weren’t satisfied with runner-up last year, which makes this year’s championship all the more satisfying.”

Classmate Gabe Luck provided Newberry with its lone individual first with a heave of 44 feet, 1¾ inches in shot put.

“We had a lot of injuries this year,” Newberry coach Drew Schultz said. “For all the obstacles we had, we wouldn’t have it any other way, having two of the best athletes decide it in the last race. I’m extremely proud of our guys. To win it that way is just insane. I’m proud of all our eastern-end kids.”

Chassell's Kalvin Kytta and Cedarville/DeTour's Ethan Snyder lead the pack of 1,600 runners. Depew also was runner-up in the 100-meter dash in 11.63 seconds.

Senior Jon Ingalls, who ran the last leg for the Saints, won the 110 hurdles (16.39) and 300s (42.89) and helped them place second in the 400 relay (45.94).

“Both hurdles were decent,” Ingalls said. “Those weren’t my best times, but it feels good to grind out a few more wins.”

Senior Owen Lester also provided the Saints with a victory in pole vault (12-6).

LL-H got firsts from senior Gabe Popko in discus at 153 feet, 4¼ inches, and classmate Matt Jokela in the 400 (51.09). Jokela also took third in the 100 (11.65).

“Real good hydration and confidence are keys,” Jokela said. “I think having confidence helps a little. I usually don’t go too hard out of the blocks. Then, I usually try to go as hard as I can in the last 200.”

Chassell junior Kalvin Kytta claimed three firsts, taking the 800 in a personal-best 2:03.62, 1,600 (4:39.58) and 3,200 (10:27.32).

“Three wins, I’m pretty happy with that,” he said. “The 800 went real well. Overall, I’m very happy with my performance today.”

Fourth-place Bessemer set UPD3 Finals records in the 400 relay (45.3) and 800 (1:34.64). Powers North Central previously set the record in the 400 (45.34) two years ago and Rock Mid Peninsula had held the 800 record since 2001 when it ran a 1:35.1.

“We shaved two seconds off in the 800 relay which feels good, and our handoffs in the 400 were good all year,” Bessemer senior Landon Peterson said. “Our school record in the 400 is 44.98, which is something we’ve done three times this year. Running on a rubber track gives you a much better grip, which helped us a lot today.”

Bessemer senior Tom Trudgeon became a four-event winner, also taking the 100 (11.46) and 200 (23.85).

Crystal Falls Forest Park freshman Vic Guiliani won high jump (6-0), and sophomore Michael Rexford went 19-9 in long jump, providing Escanaba Holy Name with its first U.P. Finals title since the school reopened in 2021.

Click for full results.

PHOTOS (Top) Newberry runners celebrate taking second place in the 1,600 relay, allowing them to finish ahead of St. Ignace for the team title in Upper Peninsula Division 3. (Middle) Chassell's Kalvin Kytta and Cedarville/DeTour's Ethan Snyder lead the pack of 1,600 runners. (Click for more from Cara Kamps/