Hurdling toward lofty goals

April 24, 2012

By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor

Jake McFadden has become familiar with the number 1 over the last four years as one of Michigan’s elite high school hurdlers.

But he’s got his sight set on three more numbers in this, his final Clare season – 37, 21 and 13.

Running the 300-meter hurdles in 37 seconds has been a goal for a few years, and would further lower his school record in that race. Finishing the 200 in 21.9 would set another school record – and he’s come within nine hundredths of a second of doing so.

Breaking 14 seconds in the 110 hurdles would be another level of significant. McFadden is expected to win the races he runs this season, especially against many of the schools and competitors he already has defeated during his career. But hitting 13 seconds and change in the 110 would put him in elite company, regardless of which division he runs in and whoever he might be facing.

“It’s one of those benchmarks. If you break 14, you’re in a special kind of club,” McFadden said. “That would be more important than winning, personally. No one could take that away. … It would show we can run fast in Division 3 too. You don’t have to be from a big school.”

McFadden gets one of Second Half’s High 5s this week after another dominating performance. He won the 110-meter hurdles (14.9 seconds), the 300 hurdles (39.3) and the 200 dash (22.3) on Saturday at the Remus Chippewa Hills Invitational as Clare scored 174 points to finish first as a team.

He's also the reigning MHSAA Division 3 champion in both hurdles races and helped Clare to a third-place team finish at the 2011 Final.

McFadden has big things ahead. He’s signed to run next season for Michigan State University, and will study biomedical engineering.

But the best part of his story might be the beginning.

By his description, McFadden was “a little bit chubby” in junior high. He shot put and ran on the 800 relay, and as a freshman nearly played baseball instead.

But following the lead of older brother Mike, a 2010 Clare grad and sprinter who had switched to track from baseball, Jake gave track another try.

The Pioneers had a tradition of exceptional hurdlers before McFadden. And before high school, he’d never tried those events. But coach Adam Burhans told his now-slimmer freshman that he’d be the team’s next intermediate hurdler – and the decision proved one of genius.

“He had me try out the high hurdles, and I succeeded,” McFadden said. “I was a little nervous, and he kinda put pressure on me to follow that tradition.”

McFadden qualified for the Division 3 Finals in the 300 race as a freshman, then finished third at the 2010 Final in the 110 hurdles. He won the 110 at last season’s Final in 14.36 seconds and the 300 in 39.15.

This winter he ran on the indoor circuit, and finished second in the 60-meter hurdles at its championship meet just six hundredths of a second behind Ann Arbor Pioneer’s Drake Johnson – the two-time defending 110 champion in Division 1.

It's been an incredible run, literally, regardless of whether or not McFadden hits this season's sought-after times. At Clare High, he’s already certain to be remembered as arguably the best in a long line of record-setting standouts.

“People can look up there and see that I was the best,” McFadden said of his school records. “And they can shoot for that goal also, and break that.”

Click to read more about McFadden and this week's other High 5s.

PHOTO: Clare's Jake McFadden won both hurdles races at last season's MHSAA Division 3 Final.

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

By Jason Juno
Special for

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/