Hackett '6' Claim 1st Title Since 1930

By Wes Morgan
Special for MHSAA.com

June 2, 2018

HUDSONVILLE – One day, when a Kalamazoo Hackett Catholic Prep track championship team reunion is in order, it won’t require much effort rounding everyone up.

With only six young men representing the Irish on Saturday at the Lower Peninsula Division 4 Finals at Hudsonville, head coach Simon Cholometes’ squad scored 51 points to win it all — the program’s first championship since 1930, when it was part of predecessor St. Augustine High School before boys began attending the newly-built Hackett High School in 1964.

All six Irish athletes made the all-state team, with junior Heath Baldwin leading the way with a pair of individual titles in the 110-meter hurdles (14.83 seconds) and the long jump (personal best 22 feet, 2½ inches).

After winning the hurdles, Baldwin paced around the infield with very little emotion.

“I kind of tried to come in with a cool and calm mindset,” he said. “I knew what I was capable of in the long jump and knew what I had to do for the 110s to win it. I’m just trying to stay relaxed. I know when I get too tight, good things are not going to happen.

“I came out and didn’t jump the way I wanted to. On my third jump, I really got my hips up and got the height I wanted.”

Sand Creek finished second with 36 points, and Breckenridge rounded out the top three with 33.

Hackett teammate Gus Magnell, a sophomore, was third in the 110 hurdles (15.14), and he ran a leg on the fifth-place 800 relay along with Christian Bartholomew, Eric Smith and Wade Poling. The quartet ran a time of 1:33.89. Bartholomew, Smith, Eric Wenzel and Magnell also placed fifth in the 400 (44.71).

Baldwin then nabbed a fourth-place time of 40.75 in the 300 hurdles, and Magnell secured the final all-state spot in eighth with a time of 41.20.

Magnell credited Cholometes for a drastic improvement in technique and the motivation to put in the extra work, and Baldwin for being, well, Baldwin.

“I would not be anywhere without my coach,” Magnell said. “To have a state champion you’re racing against every race, it really pushes you to keep getting better and better.”

“Those guys have a great relationship and they really feed off each other,” Cholometes added. “It’s very healthy competition with those guys, and they want to see each other do well.”

In the discus, Hackett sophomore Henry Zimmerman recorded a third-place toss of 145-10, and he made it a double all-state day with a sixth-place distance of 46-3 in the shot put.

Cholometes is in just his second year at Hackett after serving as an assistant coach at Sturgis, where he oversaw a sprint group that set several school records. 

“It has been a quick turnaround for us,” Cholometes said of the culture shift for the program. “I did think it was possible. I knew we had to go out and perform to our potential, and we did that. These guys put a lot of work in last summer and this winter leading up to the season. It was all that work coming together today.

“Heath is a pretty big-time performer, and he showed that today. Our sprint relays did well, as did Henry, scoring in both the throws. To win by [15 points] at a state meet, I was really pleased with that. Typically, it is pretty close.”

Sand Creek’s Alec Muck was the only other double winner Saturday as the junior claimed titles in the 100 (10.98) and the 200 (22.02). He ran the same time in the 100 as he did when he won in 2017. Muck also was the reigning champion in the 200 after running a 22.14 last year.

The rest of the meet offered quite a variety for fans that packed the stadium. Fulton captured a title in the 800 relay after Tristan Johnston, Jon Baker, Adam Duflo and Nate Alwood combined for a time of 1:31.15. In the 3,200 relay, Hillsdale Academy’s Nick Rush, John O’Connor, Connor Oakley and Ian Calvert clocked a winning time of 8:14.88. The 400 relay title belonged to Breckenridge’s Lukas Ebright, Caleb Hurt, Hunter Collins and Caden Foster (44.00) and the 1,600 team from Concord comprised of Zeavion Jones, T.J. Kessman, Vincent Giuliano and Bryan Smith produced a first-place time of 3:30.96.

Also topping the podium were Ubly’s Alex Grifka in the 1,600 (4:27.90), Hale’s Patrick Harris in the 400 (50.04), Derek Flory, of Marcellus, in the 300 hurdles (39.49), Deckerville’s Stephen Barker in the 800 (1:56.82) and Wyoming Potter’s House Christian’s Nathan Stout in the 3,200 (9:44.08).

In the field events, Coleman’s Cody Finney won the discus (151-1), Sand Creek’s Cole Hallett cleared a winning height of 13-6 in the pole vault, Carson City-Crystal’s Daniel Smith had the best shot put of the day with a toss of 52-9, and Hillsdale Academy’s Peter Kalthoff was first in the high jump (6-5).

Click for full results.

VIDEO: Alec Muck Runs To Double Wins – Again! 

PHOTOS: (Top) Hackett’s Heath Baldwin and Gus Magnell, second and third from left, respectively, break through for two of top three places in the 110 hurdles. (Middle) Sand Creek’s Alec Muck pushes toward the finish line for one of his sprint championships Saturday. (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:

Division 1

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).

Division 2

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.

Division 3

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.)