JENISON — Despite having a big lead late in Saturday’s Lower Peninsula Division 3 track & field championship meet, Grass Lake coach Anthony Cole wasn’t interested in conceding anything.
“We haven’t won it yet,” he said, smiling.
He didn’t have to worry.
The Warriors won with 68 points, exactly double the number of second-place Benzie Central, to take their first Finals title since winning Class C in 1970. Their most recent top-two finish came when they placed second in Class D in 1997.
They won it this time with plenty of help from senior Brennan Bargesser, whose blonde hair, long on top, was braided twice across the top of his skull to a small bun at the back.
“Aerodynamic,” he said.
Whatever the reason, Bargesser won the 100, 200, and 400 while also running the anchor leg of Grass Lake’s champion 400 relay.
“It’s been really fun having a couple of Bargessers on the team,” Cole said of both Brennan and his sister Lexie, who keyed the Grass Lake girls team’s run to a Division 3 co-championship. “But it’s not just him. It’s been the whole squad all season long. We’ve been peaking all season long. We’ve got senior kids who have bought into everything we’ve sold them. It’s been real fun to watch.”
One of those seniors, Josh Sherwood, picked up points with fifth-place finishes in the 100 and 200 and ran the third leg on the winning 400 relay. Jack Easterday was fifth in the 100 hurdles and sixth in the 300 hurdles. Connor Vieghelan took second in the pole vault, and Trenton Holden was fourth in the discus.
“We’ve had a lot of really good seniors,” Cole said. “It’s really been their show. Every one of our kids all bought in, and it’s been fun to see.”
For Bargesser, Saturday’s meet was the culmination of a season that saw him miss time due to COVID-19 and some injuries.
“This was a dream come true,” he said. “My sister and I have dreamed about this for years, and it was really cool for us as siblings to do this on the same day.”
Bargesser, who will attend Bethel University in the fall, said his teammates were invaluable.
“I love track guys,” he said. “They’re all so nice every time. Doesn’t matter if you win or lose. Everyone is congratulating each other all of the time. It’s really nice to be around.”
As for winning the team championship, “we’ve been talking about it the whole day,” Bargesser said. “Our big goal was to get The Mitten, and we needed everyone to do that.”
The man with the aerodynamic ’do thanked God for his talent and his teammates, but also for the 10-plus mph breezes on the hottest day of the year so far. “The wind was awesome,” he said.
Pewamo-Westphalia, which tied Grass Lake for the girls title, finished third in the boys meet with 30 points.
PHOTOS: (Top) Grass Lake celebrates its Division 3 team track & field championship Saturday. (Middle) Pewamo-Westphalia's Jack Easterday clears a hurdle. (Photos by Tim Robinson.)
David Kozisek ♦ Pickford
Senior ♦ Track & Field
Kozisek was an exchange student from Czech Republic this school year, and when he returns home this week he'll do so having accomplished a rare feat in MHSAA track & field history. On Saturday he became the ninth male athlete to win four individual events at a Finals, taking first in the 110 hurdles (15.40), 300 hurdles (41.39), high jump (6-3) and long jump (20-10) in helping Pickford to the Upper Peninsula Division 2 team championship.
After also playing football and basketball for the Panthers, Kozisek joined the track & field team this spring with plenty of knowledge having competed in that sport over the last six years in his home country. He was incredibly close to leaving an even larger historical imprint last weekend; Kozisek's long jump and high jump both were just one inch off tying UPD2 Finals records, and his 110 time missed that meet record by only six hundredths of a second. He was the first to win four boys events with the combination of two hurdles races and two jumps, and the second four-time individual winner joining Joe Baker, who in 1974 became the first from any school to win four Finals events.
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May 25: Mitchel Luck, Linden lacrosse - Report
May 18: Ahava Le Febre, Holland tennis - Report
May 11: Gracie Maloney, Macomb Dakota softball - Report
May 4: Braxton Brann, Ann Arbor Huron track & field - Report
April 27: Owen Patton, Vestaburg track & field - Report
April 20: Lilly Damm, Millington softball - Report
April 13: Larissa Huffman, Mackinaw City track & field - Report
April 6: Darius Acuff, Detroit Cass Tech basketball - Report
March 23: Regan Finkbeiner, Hemlock basketball - Report
March 16: Alaina Yaney, Grand Ledge gymnastics - Report
March 9: Braeden Davis, Dundee wrestling - Report
March 2: Gabriel Sanchez-Burks, Ann Arbor Pioneer swimming - Report
Feb. 23: Grace Sobczak, Marquette swimming - Report
Feb. 16: Kaitlynn Demers, Gibraltar Carlson competitive cheer - Report
Feb. 9: Indya Davis, West Bloomfield basketball - Report
Feb. 2: Braydon Sorenson, Onekama skiing - Report
Jan. 26: Shayna Hruska, Iron Mountain wrestling - Report
Jan. 19: Kayla Tafanelli, Warren Woods-Tower bowling - Report
Dec. 20: Brenden Paden, Riverview Gabriel Richard hockey - Report
Dec. 16: Tuff Scott, Holton bowling - Report
Dec. 9: Macey Fegan, Standish-Sterling basketball - Report
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Nov. 24: Lily Witte, Dexter diving - Report
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Oct. 20: Owen DeMuth, Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood tennis - Report
Oct. 13: Mia Melendez, Ann Arbor Greenhills golf - Report
Oct. 6: Shawn Foster, Grand Ledge football - Report
Sept. 30: Hannah Smith, Temperance Bedford swimming - Report
Sept. 22: Helen Sachs, Holland West Ottawa cross country - Report
Sept. 15: Nina Horning, Lake Orion volleyball - Report
Sept 8: Arturo Romero, Muskegon Oakridge soccer - Report
Sept. 1: Austin King, Midland Dow tennis - Report
Aug. 25: Olivia Hemmila, Troy Athens golf - Report
PHOTOS courtesy of 2BU Photography.