'Field & Track' Earns Falcons' Latest Title
By Paul Costanzo
Special for MHSAA.com
June 2, 2018
EAST KENTWOOD – Dave Emeott is making some changes to his East Kentwood boys track & field team this summer.
After the Falcons’ field events put on a dominant display Saturday to lead the team to a second straight Lower Peninsula Division 1 championship, Emeott feels it’s time for a new name.
“Officially now, for at least one year, we’re going to be East Kentwood Field & Track from now on,” Emeott said. “Everything changes, the Twitter page, the Facebook page, T-shirts will be made. The field events guys took a lot of pride, and it was fun because those were the first events of the morning. We came out of the morning with 40 points, or whatever they ended up scoring.”
East Kentwood finished with 61 points, well ahead of second-place Ann Arbor Pioneer, which had 39. Saline and Grand Blanc tied for third with 37 points, while Rockford was fifth with 35.
Logan Brown (shot put), Trevor Stephenson (pole vault) and Job Mayhue (110-meter hurdles) won individual titles for the Falcons, who have won seven of the last 10 team championships in the division. By the time Mayhue won the hurdles, the third running final of the day, his team already had 46 points, which would prove enough to clinch the title.
“When you look at where we won, it wasn’t just that we were overwhelmingly more talented than everybody; where the points were scored was in the technical events – shot put, long jump, pole vault – those three events alone we scored with seven guys in those events,” Emeott said. “Then the hurdles and the relays, that was really our day. It’s cool to do it in a different way.”
Stephenson’s pole vault title came after a head-to-head battle with Saline’s Eric Harris that featured multiple MHSAA Finals records. Stephenson won with a height of 16 feet, 9½ inches, a new all-division meet record. Harris took second at 16-6½, which also broke the previous record.
“I was surprised that I cleared that,” Stephenson said. “I was coming in thinking 16 feet might be the winning height, then Eric Harris from Saline just kept pushing the bar up and I just kept going with him. Eventually it got to 16-9½, and I just didn’t feel like it was there, and I got over and it was an amazing feeling.”
Mayhue won the hurdles with a time of 13.99 seconds, while Brown won the shot put with a throw of 57-1½.
Rockford’s Cole Johnson pulled off an impressive double in the 800 and 1,600, winning both with strong finishes. In the 800, he ran past a tight pack in the final 50 meters to win in 1:53.11, edging out Ann Arbor Pioneer’s Netunji Paige who finished in 1:53.41.
In the 1,600, Johnson took an early lead, then had to surge over the final lap to overtake a strong field and win in 4:08.47, less than two tenths of a second ahead of Pioneer’s Nick Foster who was second in 4:08.64.
“My race plan in the beginning (of the 1,600) was to try and push the pace to try and beat our school record held by Dathan Ritzenhein, a 4:05.9,” Johnson said. “The first lap, I knew I was going to go out fast, and I just tried to keep pushing it the second and third lap, but I fell off a little bit. Then the race plan was just kind of holding form a little bit that last lap to try and get the win. I found a lot of energy from all the people supporting me and all the fans; it is packed here today. Winning the mile in Michigan is very prestigious, so that’s kind of what kept me going as I got passed on that last lap.”
Oak Park’s Donnie James pulled off a double of his own, and was four hundredths of a second away from pulling off a triple. James ran 47.14 to hold off a strong field in the 400 meters, and 21.2 to squeak out a win in the 200. He finished second in the 100 with a time of 10.7, just edged by Eric Labonte of Traverse City West, who won in 10.66 seconds.
In the 400, James won from an outside lane, holding off charges from Saginaw Heritage’s Marcus Montgomery (47.65) and Ypsilanti Lincoln’s Matthew Moorer (47.79), who were chasing him from the inside.
“I had that mentality that I know I had to run at full speed because I had Matthew Moorer and Montgomery (behind me),” James said. “It was a lot of competition during that time, so I had to get my head geeked because I knew I had to run this to get first place for our team. My coach said catch the dude off the turn and to just run it like you did indoors.”
Lansing Waverly’s Keshaun Harris won the 300 hurdles in 37.81 seconds. Pioneer’s Foster won the 3,200 in 9:07.93. Grand Blanc’s Aidan Martini won the discus with a throw of 167-2. Traverse City Central’s Cassidy Henshaw won the high jump with a height of 6-9. West Bloomfield’s AJ Abbott won the long jump with a distance of 23-7¼.
Ann Arbor Pioneer (Foster, Paige, Aldo Pando-Girard and John Florence) won the 3,200 relay in 7:45.64. Detroit Martin Luther King (Jaeveyon Morton, Dylan Brown, Dequan Finn and Jalen McGaughy) won the 800 relay in 1:26.74. Farmington Hills Harrison (Moet Andrews, Alfred Hollie, Joe Stevens and Ben Williams) won the 400 relay out of the second heat with a time of 42.39. Grand Blanc (Austin Rippee, Victor Zarour, Jo Coleman and Jeronn Body) won the 1,600 relay in 3:20.48.
PHOTOS: (Top) East Kentwood’s Job Mayhue, middle, hurdles to the lead on the way to winning the 110 race. (Middle) Oak Park’s Donnie James, right, holds off Ypsilanti Lincoln’s Matthew Moorer in the 200. (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.)