Ishpeming Adds to Near-Decade Reign Atop Upper Peninsula Division 2

By John Vrancic
Special for

June 5, 2022

KINGSFORD — The Ishpeming boys have allowed very little to stand between them and the Upper Peninsula Division 2 track & field championship in recent years.

They added another trophy to their collection Saturday by scoring 116 points.

The Hematites, who won three of the last four titles outright and shared the fourth, were followed by Iron Mountain with 102 points and St. Ignace at 63.

Senior Jonny Matson scored 36 points for the Hematites, who also have either won or tied for the title six of the last seven seasons.

That string was interrupted only in 2017 when they were runners-up to Newberry and three years later by COVID-19.

Last year, the Hematites shared the title with Norway.

Matson won the 400-meter dash in 53.58 seconds and long jump at 18 feet, 11¾ inches and was runner-up in the 100 (11.73) and 200 (23.77).

“Jon has been a great leader for us, and Parker Gauthier and Hunter Smith picked it up,” said Troy Smith, who shares Ishpeming’s coaching duties with his wife Trisha. “We greatly appreciate the effort of our coaching staff (Morgan Kangas, Khora Swanson and Hailey Smith). They’re a big part of our success.

“Our numbers have been a little low, but we have a great group of kids.”

Iron Mountain trackThe Hematites won the 3,200-meter relay in 9 minutes, 4.42 seconds, and Tramon Gauthier added a first in the 110 hurdles (16.67) and second in the 300s (43.0).

Smith was runner-up in high jump (5-11), and Parker Gauthier placed third in the 3,200 (11:44.6).

Iron Mountain’s Matt Colavechhi won the 100 (11.56) and 200 (23.71), and senior Luke Ruble added victories in the 1,600 (4:54.69) and 3,200 (10:52.05).

The Mountaineers also won the 400 relay (45.31) and 800 (1:34.42).

Bark River-Harris was runner-up in the 400 in a school-record 45.34

“Nick (Anderson) started real good and got us in a good spot,” said BR-H junior Vincent Martin, who ran the second leg. “We were seeded fourth. We knew the other three teams were good in the first and anchor legs. We mixed up our lineup a little and were in first going into the third leg.”

St. Ignace got a first from junior Reese McLean in the 800 (2:09.06), and Owen Lester took pole vault (10-0).

“That was a PR by three seconds,” said McLean. ‘With this being the last meet, I decided I might as well put everything into it. I think I started out all right. I wanted to get to the front right away.”

West Iron County’s Landon Sundelius won the 300 hurdles (40.56) and placed second in the 110s (16.74), and Nathan Hochstein of L’Anse was high jump champion at 5-11.

Manistique earned a victory in the 1,600 relay (3:43.99).

Click for full results.

PHOTOS (Top) Ishpeming's Tramon Gauthier leads West Iron County's Landon Sundelius and they take first and second in the 110 hurdles. (Middle) Iron Mountain's Matthew Colavecchi edges Bark River-Harris's Vincent Martin by three hundredths of a second to seal the win in the 400 relay. Other members of Iron Mountain's winning relay were Max Jayne, Joey Colavecchi, and Kurt Adiano Ryan. (Click for more from Cara Kamps/Run Michigan.)


With 2nd Place in Final Race, Newberry Clinches 1st in Final Team Standings

By John Vrancic
Special for

June 2, 2024

KINGSFORD — The race for the Upper Peninsula Division 3 boys track & field championship came right down to the wire Saturday as Newberry edged St. Ignace 96-92 for top honors.

Third-place team finisher Lake Linden-Hubbell won the day’s final race, the 1,600-meter relay, in 3 minutes, 41.94 seconds, and Newberry hung on to edge St. Ignace by two steps for second place and its first title in eight years.

Newberry, which was runner-up to Munising last year, was clocked at 3:43.07 in the 1,600 relay on this sunny and mild late afternoon. The Saints finished nine hundredths of a second later.

“We knew we had to beat St. Ignace to win,” Newberry senior Kennedy Depew said after finishing the anchor leg. “This was my last race ever. I knew I had to give it my all. That’s also why I knew I had to scratch from the open 400. I would have been in four events. I think scratching from the 400 helped me save some energy. We weren’t satisfied with runner-up last year, which makes this year’s championship all the more satisfying.”

Classmate Gabe Luck provided Newberry with its lone individual first with a heave of 44 feet, 1¾ inches in shot put.

“We had a lot of injuries this year,” Newberry coach Drew Schultz said. “For all the obstacles we had, we wouldn’t have it any other way, having two of the best athletes decide it in the last race. I’m extremely proud of our guys. To win it that way is just insane. I’m proud of all our eastern-end kids.”

Chassell's Kalvin Kytta and Cedarville/DeTour's Ethan Snyder lead the pack of 1,600 runners. Depew also was runner-up in the 100-meter dash in 11.63 seconds.

Senior Jon Ingalls, who ran the last leg for the Saints, won the 110 hurdles (16.39) and 300s (42.89) and helped them place second in the 400 relay (45.94).

“Both hurdles were decent,” Ingalls said. “Those weren’t my best times, but it feels good to grind out a few more wins.”

Senior Owen Lester also provided the Saints with a victory in pole vault (12-6).

LL-H got firsts from senior Gabe Popko in discus at 153 feet, 4¼ inches, and classmate Matt Jokela in the 400 (51.09). Jokela also took third in the 100 (11.65).

“Real good hydration and confidence are keys,” Jokela said. “I think having confidence helps a little. I usually don’t go too hard out of the blocks. Then, I usually try to go as hard as I can in the last 200.”

Chassell junior Kalvin Kytta claimed three firsts, taking the 800 in a personal-best 2:03.62, 1,600 (4:39.58) and 3,200 (10:27.32).

“Three wins, I’m pretty happy with that,” he said. “The 800 went real well. Overall, I’m very happy with my performance today.”

Fourth-place Bessemer set UPD3 Finals records in the 400 relay (45.3) and 800 (1:34.64). Powers North Central previously set the record in the 400 (45.34) two years ago and Rock Mid Peninsula had held the 800 record since 2001 when it ran a 1:35.1.

“We shaved two seconds off in the 800 relay which feels good, and our handoffs in the 400 were good all year,” Bessemer senior Landon Peterson said. “Our school record in the 400 is 44.98, which is something we’ve done three times this year. Running on a rubber track gives you a much better grip, which helped us a lot today.”

Bessemer senior Tom Trudgeon became a four-event winner, also taking the 100 (11.46) and 200 (23.85).

Crystal Falls Forest Park freshman Vic Guiliani won high jump (6-0), and sophomore Michael Rexford went 19-9 in long jump, providing Escanaba Holy Name with its first U.P. Finals title since the school reopened in 2021.

Click for full results.

PHOTOS (Top) Newberry runners celebrate taking second place in the 1,600 relay, allowing them to finish ahead of St. Ignace for the team title in Upper Peninsula Division 3. (Middle) Chassell's Kalvin Kytta and Cedarville/DeTour's Ethan Snyder lead the pack of 1,600 runners. (Click for more from Cara Kamps/