Dunn Ends with Memorable Finishes
By Tom Markowski
Special for Second Half
June 1, 2019
JENISON – The Dunns are done.
Brad Dunn is the last of nine children, four of them boys, to go through Saugatuck High School – and he more than held his own on the last day of competition.
His father, Bill Dunn, is the football coach and athletic director at the school, and it’s been a successful ride for him and his family. Will and Nick are the two oldest boys, but it was Blake Dunn who caught the attention of fans statewide. Blake led Saugatuck to the MHSAA Division 7 Football Final before the team lost to Pewamo-Westphalia, 21-0. He set just about all the school records in football and is in the top 10 of a number of MHSAA all-time record lists including points scored in a season (323, good for third place), career points (827, good for second) and career touchdowns (113, food for fourth).
Brad is no slouch. His 43 touchdowns this past season places him in a tie for 10th and is one better than his brother had in 2016.
On Saturday at the Lower Peninsula Division 3 Track & Field Finals at Jenison High School, Brad Dunn placed first in two individual events to end his career on a high note.
He took first in the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 14.63 seconds and then later first in the 300 with a time of 40.06.
“It’s crazy being the youngest,” he said. “I usually got blamed for everything. (My older brothers) set the example for me. They told me what to do and what not to do.”
Blake is playing baseball at Western Michigan University and Brad, who played four sports in high school including also basketball and baseball, will attend Grand Rapids Community College and plans on being a pitcher for the baseball team. He’s a lefthander who possesses an 83-mph fastball and three other pitches.
“You know, I’ll miss all the sports I played,” Brad said. “I’ll miss the community. I looked up to Blake when I was growing up. He was awesome.”
Disappointment turns into a positive
Giovanni Weeks of Kent City thought he had won the 100 dash but was edged at the finish line by Aiden Harrison of New Lothrop. Harrison won with a time of 11.07 to 11.09 for Weeks.
No matter. Weeks placed first in the long jump (21 feet, 5¼ inches) and then won the 200 dash (21.93).
All of this took place as the Grand Rapids area was inundated with thunderstorm after thunderstorm. There were three weather delays during the meet with the shortest, taking place in the middle of the meet, lasting just 30 minutes but featuring dime-sized hail.
“It was pretty hectic,” Weeks said. “I had my jump just near the prelims of the 100 and I really just had one good jump. I didn’t have to think about it, and that probably helped. Winning was a thought but it just depends on the day. You can’t plan on this thunder and stuff.”
Jeremy Kloss of Harbor Springs trailed Ransom Allen of Ithaca nearly the entire 1,600 run. Allen took the lead from the start and looked unbeatable until the last 100 meters.
“(Allen) ran an awesome race,” Kloss said. “He took the race by the horns.
“I felt he was tiring a little with 300 to go. That momentum came to me in the last 110. I just went back to the drills, lifting my legs up. It was amazing. To have the lead all that way is crazy.”
Kloss nosed in front with about 50 meters left and won by four hundredths of a second. His time was 4:15.59. Allen was second at 4:15.63.
Kloss was runner-up last year, sixth in Division 4 as a freshman and won the title in Division 4 as a sophomore.
Allen gained some payback by taking first in the 3,200 run with a time of 9:19.70.
Ready after the delay
Sal Tranchida of Marine City showed patience throughout the day. With the rain causing a wet surface as he approached the bar in the high jump, he just waited for his opportunity.
“It was weird,” he said. “I was jumping 5-9, 6-1, then the long delay happened. Then after the (second) delay the track was better and I got to 6-3 and higher. I saw the other guys jumping 6-5 and it got me going.”
Tranchida won the high jump with a leap of 6 feet, 7 inches, two inches higher than second-place Sam Spaulding of Berrien Springs.
“I told my coach before the meet,” Tranchida said. “I knew I was ranked high, and I was going to try to win it.”
His jump also was a personal best.
In one of the more closely-contested Finals, Ithaca won the team title with 45 points, one more than runners-up Pewamo-Westphalia and Saugatuck. Harbor Springs placed fourth with 43 points and New Lothrop and Kent City each had 33 to finish in a tie for fifth.
Ithaca did not score any points in the meet’s final event, the 1,600 relay. Harbor Springs won that event to garner the 10 points and make a final move up the standings. Pewamo-Westphalia placed third in the 1,600 relay and missed an opportunity to win the team competition. Had the Pirates placed second, they would have earned eight points and won the title by one over Ithaca.
In addition to Allen’s fine finishes in the two distance races, Ithaca received valuable points in the field events. Alex VanDeWeghe won the shot put at 59 feet, 7 inches, and placed fifth in the discus. Ithaca’s Baylee Chaffin placed second in the discus with a throw of 161 feet, 1 inch.
Detroit Edison senior Brian Taylor and Morley Stanwood junior Aiden McLaughlin earned championships in the 400 and 800, respectively. Harrison also anchored New Lothrop's winning 400 relay.
Warren Michigan Collegiate won the 800 relay, and Harbor Springs took the 1,600 and 3,200 relays with Kloss leading off the former and anchoring the latter.
Constantine junior Wyatt Alwine won the pole vault, and Pewamo-Westphalia junior Nathan Spitzley claimed the discus title.
PHOTOS: (Top) Saugatuck's Brad Dunn stretches across the finish line in winning the 110 hurdles Saturday at Jenison. (Middle) Ransom Allen scored big points to help Ithaca to the team title. (Photos by Annette Tipton. Click to see 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.)