By Steve Vedder
Special for Second Half
HUDSONVILLE – The Kalamazoo Hackett boys track & field team overcame small numbers Saturday to repeat as champion at the Lower Peninsula Division 4 Finals at Baldwin Middle School.
Despite having just nine athletes competing, Hackett finished with 64 points to 46 for runner-up Southfield Christian. A year ago, Hackett had six athletes on its Finals roster and finished with 51 points, 15 more than second-place Sand Lake.
Irish junior Gus Magnell said the team's goal is to simply outwork opponents.
"When nine guys put in all the time we do, you get close," he said. "Our core is very close. We just have it in our minds that we're going to work. It's played out well for us."
Leading the Irish was senior Heath Baldwin, who won the 110 hurdles (14.84), 300 hurdles (40.13) and high jump (6-6) while taking third in the long jump. Baldwin, who said he would never give up competing in four events, finished with 36 points.
"I just want to put the team in the best position," he said. "It keeps me going. It's something I've always done. I like to prove I'm the best athlete out there."
Breckenridge's Brennan Waslusky won the discus (161.08) and shot (54-2.75).
Waslusky said his motivation came from being one of seven Breckenridge football players on the track team. Breckenridge lost in the Division 8 Final in that sport last fall.
"It was in the back of my mind," he said of a track title taking the place of the fall’s runner-up finish. "It was like we just wanted to do (one) better for the school. We came up short in football, and we wanted to show people we were the real deal."
Hillsdale Academy had a pair of champs Saturday in Jacob Krutsch in the pole vault and Ian Calvert in the 800.
Other winners were Carson Voss of Dansville in the long jump, Jakobe Derrick of Flint Beecher in the 100, Zach Wright of Potterville in the 1,600, Dubem Amene of Southfield Christian in the 400, Concord's Vincent Giuliano in the 200 and Coleman Clark of Carson City-Crystal in the 3,200.
PHOTO: Kalamazoo Hackett’s Heath Baldwin, left, and Gus Magnell, far right, finish first and second, respectively, in the 110 hurdles at the Lower Peninsula Division 4 Finals on Saturday. (Click to see more from RunMichigan.com.)
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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June 1: Helena McLellan, Northville soccer - Report
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
Dec. 2: Treyton Siegert, Gladwin football - Report
Nov. 24: Lily Witte, Dexter diving - Report
Nov. 17: Navea Gauthier, Shelby volleyball - Report
Nov. 10: Derek Huisman, Holland Christian soccer - Report
Nov. 3: Thomas Westphal, New Baltimore Anchor Bay cross country - Report
Oct. 27: Justin Wickey, Colon football - Report
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.