Ishpeming Dominates with Record Total

By John Vrancic
Special for

May 31, 2015

KINGSFORD — It was a dominating performance by the Ishpeming boys during Saturday’s Upper Peninsula Division 2 Track and Field Final, to say the least, as they retained their title with a U.P.-record 164 points.

The Hematites were followed by archrival Ishpeming Westwood with 75 and Iron River West Iron County at 64.

Senior Nate Meyer paced the Hematites with four firsts, taking the 100-meter dash in 11.64 seconds, 200 (23.36) and 400 (54.33) and anchoring the winning 1,600 relay.

“I’ve run my 400 faster, but had PRs (personal records) in the 100 and 200,” said Meyer. “I had very good starts, and my brother Zach who runs in college (at Hillsdale College) has worked with me. I don’t think I would have won those races without him helping me.”

Ishpeming grabbed the top three places in the 800. Tommy Potter won that race (2:11.64), followed by Daren Guichin (2:12.38) and Derek Mahoski (2:15.87).

“Nate and Tommy are the backbone of our team, and we surround them with good people.” said Hematites coach Scott Syrjala. “Taking the top three places in the 800 is huge. We have a great group of seniors who are just very competitive.”

Ishpeming captured the 400, 1,600 and 3,200 relays and was runner-up to West Iron in the 800.

Potter added a second in the 1,600 (4:45.92), with Guichin fourth (4:59.31).

Westwood’s Vincente Carlson dominated the 110 hurdles (15.77) and 300 (42.59), finishing more than two seconds ahead of the field in each race.

Brandon Olson provided West Iron with a first in long jump at 19 feet, three inches. Rusty Johnson was runner-up in the 400 (56.23). Teammate Nik Thoney took second in the 200 (23.87), and Johnson placed third (23.96).

Fourth-place L’Anse scored 34 of its 55 points in the weight events, with Levi Hoskins winning discus (139-9) and Ryan Delene taking third (102-4). Brandon Kempainen took shot put (42-7¾) and Hoskins was runner-up (41-0).

Ironwood senior Jared Joki won the 1,600 (4:43.35) and 3,200 (9:58.02).

The 3,200 combined runners in Division 1 and 2, with Marquette junior Lance Rambo the overall winner in a U.P. Division record time (9:50.03).

“I was happy with how everything went, although I would have liked to have kicked it in a little sooner (in the 3,200),” said Joki, who plans to attend Brigham Young University this fall. “Lance got little bit of a gap on me and I did my best to minimize that. My place was to stay with him as long as I could.”

Joki, who hopes to run cross county and track in college, liked Saturday’s cooler weather conditions better than the 86-degree heat the athletes endured a year ago.

“We had nicer weather than we had last year,” he said. “It was more comfortable for running this time.”

Click for full results.

PHOTOS: (Top) Nate Meyer pulls ahead of the field for one of his three sprint championships Saturday at the U.P. Division 2 Final. (Middle) Tommy Potter, right, and teammate Daren Guichin take off at the start of a race; they finished first and second, respectively, in the 800, and second and fourth in the 1,600. (Photos courtesy of Cara Kamps.)

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/