Hillsdale Begins March Toward Big June

By Doug Donnelly
Special for MHSAA.com

April 3, 2018

HILLSDALE – The MHSAA Track & Field Finals are still a couple months, a few thunderstorms and maybe even some snow showers away.

But, there’s once again one thing you can most likely count on – the Hillsdale Hornets boys track & field team will be well represented June 2 at Comstock Park High School.

In Clay Schiman’s first season coaching the Hornets track team in 2013, Hillsdale scored three points at the Lower Peninsula Division 3 Finals meet. In 2014, Hillsdale made the big jump to a fourth-place finish. In each of the three seasons since, Hillsdale has finished second. In each of the past two seasons, they finished five points out of first place; Chesaning won the championship in 2017 and Sanford Meridian in 2016.

Schiman says it’s much too early to tell if the Hornets will have the depth and points to finish that high again. But, no one is counting Hillsdale out.

“It takes so many points in so many different areas to win that state meet,” Schiman said. “We haven’t set our team goals yet. We try and get a few meets under our belt first, then take a realistic look. I’d say we have a chance to score some points and have a few all-state athletes.”

That translates into a team to watch come June.

“Our kids value hard work, whether that is in the weight room or the classroom or learning technique,” Schiman said. “The kids know if they are going to be an athlete here, they are going to work.”

Hillsdale had eight seniors qualify for the boys meet last year, either in an individual event or relay. They have 33 out for track this season, which is slightly down from the last couple of seasons but enough to give the Hornets some depth and options when it comes to dual meets, Lenawee County Athletic Association events and invitationals.

“For a Division 3 school, we have a lot of options for kids,” he said. “It’s just about getting them out and motivating them. We don’t focus on winning every meet or invitational. It’s all about progressions and improving from one meet to the next or one year to the next.”

A good example of how an athlete can improve from one year to the next is what Rees Nemeth did last year for the Hornets. The pole vaulter went from 11-foot-6 as a junior to winning the LPD3 championship last year.

“Track is unique in that way,” Schiman said. “You never know who else is out there or who is going to take that leap from one year to the next.”

At the top of this year’s list of Hornets is junior Spencer Eves, the Division 3 high jump champion last year. He has a good track pedigree. His older brother was an all-state distance runner who now races in college. Spencer went 6-7 last year at the Finals.

“He was on the MITCA team, representing Michigan in the high jump,” Schiman said. “For a Division 3 athlete, that is really impressive. We are excited about his prospects and potential this year.”

Sam Nash was on the Division 3 championship 1,600 relay team in 2016 and will be in multiple events this year, including the 400.

“In his first event of this season he was right where he left off in June,” Schiman said. “That doesn’t happen very often. It was a great start to the season.”

Hurdlers Noah LoPresto and Colby Nash have a ton of potential and Ryan Reiniche is one of those athletes that Schiman expects to make great strides. Reiniche is a discus thrower.

“He finished (last) season really strong,” the Hillsdale coach said.

Hillsdale began this spring like it has for the last several years – at the Charger Preview, hosted annually by Hillsdale College. Hillsdale High uses that meet as a barometer for the season. The school is on spring break next week, meaning the athletes will have a week of working out on their own before returning to action the first full week in April.

“It’s great for us,” he said. “It sets the tone for the whole year. Twenty teams were there competing, so you know, in every event, you are going to get some good competition. It’s good for all of the kids who go to that meet.”

Hillsdale made some strides, Schiman said. Now, its up to the athletes to keep working, improve each week and be prepared for the big stage come June, whether it’s raining, windy or 85 degrees and sunshine.

 “We believe in our program and what we are doing,” Schiman said.

Doug Donnelly has served as a sports and news reporter and city editor over 25 years, writing for the Daily Chief-Union in Upper Sandusky, Ohio from 1992-1995, the Monroe Evening News from 1995-2012 and the Adrian Daily Telegram since 2013. He's also written a book on high school basketball in Monroe County and compiles record books for various schools in southeast Michigan. E-mail him at [email protected] with story ideas for Jackson, Washtenaw, Hillsdale, Lenawee and Monroe counties.

PHOTO: Hillsdale's Spencer Eves competes in the high jump last season. 

Peramaki Adds to Past Finals Fame by Leading Munising to Team Title

By Jason Juno
Special for MHSAA.com

June 4, 2023

KINGSFORD – Munising’s Micaiah Peramaki couldn’t really top last year’s Upper Peninsula Division 3 Finals. He became the eighth male all-time to win four events at an MHSAA track & field championship meet.

“I proved myself last year, so it’s a little more of a fun meet this year,” Peramaki said. “But it’s still important for me just to do good.”

And he was excellent again.

He led the Mustangs to the team title with individual wins in the 100, 200 and 400. He was also a part of the winning 1,600 relay team.

Bessemer's Vinnie Triggiano is able to hold off Lake Linden-Hubbell's Matthew Jokela and Newberry's Kennedy Depew to win the 400 relay.“The 100, I was right next to my brother, Josiah; he ended up getting third. That was really fun actually. We both did really good in that,” Peramaki said. “The 400, I had Aa’Keem (Jackson) from Newberry to watch out for. He pushed it hard in the corner over here, I was prepared for it and I just ran hard from there.”

Josiah Peramaki repeated with a win in the pole vault. Other members of the 1,600 relay were Kane Nebel, Zack Lindquist and Josiah Peramaki.

Munising won the team title with 103.5 points. Newberry was second with 81, Bessemer third with 52 and Rapid River fourth with 44.

Bessemer won the 400 relay (Tommy Trudgeon, Landon Peterson, Daniel Lis and Vinnie Triggiano). Bessemer also finished fifth in the 800 relay – despite being seeded first – and Trudgeon said he had to make a comeback in the 400 relay, which also was seeded first. 

He was behind after a shaky handoff, though. But the 100 meters is probably his best race anyway. He finished runner-up to Peramaki, one-tenth of a second behind him.

“I guess I just had to close like a train,” he said of his leg of the relay. “It feels great, glad to win.”

Chassell's Kalvin Kytta, left, and Dollar Bay's Amos Norland run together until the end of the 3,200.Newberry won the 800 relay (Marco Juarez, Jackson, Matthew Rahilly and Kennedy Depew) and Dollar Bay the 3,200 relay (Joshua Gaunt, Josh Luukkonen, Caleb Kentala and Amos Norland).

Crystal Falls Forest Park’s Samuel McKissack won the 110 hurdles, and Newberry’s Chris Hopson was champion in the 300 hurdles. 

In the distance races, Dollar Bay’s Norland won the 800, Forest Park’s Gaven Rintala the 1,600 and Chassell’s Kalvin Kytta the 3,200.

The latter race with Norland was so close – Kytta won by seven hundredths of a second – that Kytta wasn’t sure if he was in fact champion or not.

“I got passed by the leader. I tried to stick on him through the rest of the race,” he said. “He got a little gap on me the last 100 meters. I just felt that juice. I think I passed him.”

It turns out he did.

Whitefish Township, which has just 22 students in the high school, went home with a champion for the first time in school history – Seth Mills in the discus. Newberry’s Rahilly won the long jump, North Central’s Dylan Plunger won the high jump and Rapid River’s Kody Goldi took the shot put.

Click for full results.

PHOTOS (Top) Munising's Micaiah Peramaki, center, wins the 400 on Saturday. (Middle) Bessemer's Vinnie Triggiano (4) is able to hold off Lake Linden-Hubbell's Matthew Jokela and Newberry's Kennedy Depew to win the 400 relay. (Below) Chassell's Kalvin Kytta, left, and Dollar Bay's Amos Norland run together until the end of the 3,200. (Photos by Cara Kamps/RunMichigan.com.)