Ishpeming 'Grinds Out' 4th Title in 5 Seasons

By John Vrancic
Special for

June 3, 2018

KINGSFORD — First-place finishes may not have been plentiful for the Ishpeming boys Saturday, but they placed in enough events to edge Iron Mountain 90-82 for their fourth Upper Peninsula Division 2 track title in five years.

Third-place Norway scored 64 points, three more than reigning champ Newberry.

Hart Holmgren’s leap of 19 feet, 5½ inches provided Ishpeming with its lone first on this sunny, mild and breezy day at Flivver Field.

“I thought we’d win it by a little more, although it was still a good win,” said Ishpeming coach P.J. Pruett. “Our guys had to grind it out. I was very pleased with their fight to win. Our depth came through.”

The Hematites placed second in three relays and got runner-up finishes from Holmgren in high jump (6-2), Jonah Broberg in the 1,600 at 4 minutes, 48.24 seconds and Spencer Giroux in the 3,200 (10:38.83). They claimed three places in the 3,200 and two apiece in the 800 and 1,600.

“Distance is where we got our major points,” said Pruett. “That’s where we won the meet. Overall, we had a lot of third-place medal winners. Gavin Sundberg was seeded fifth in the 400 and placed third (53.01). Every point counts, and that was proven today. We put more than two in each (distance) event and that’s why we won.

Beating Newberry in the Regional (May 18 at Manistique) was a big boost for us. Last year, we were runner-up in D-2 and Iron Mountain was runner-up in D-1. Surviving the Regional was key for us.”

Iron Mountain’s Michael Kulas won the 800 (2:09.14), helped the winning 1,600 (3:40.31) and 3,200 (8:44.88) and placed second in the 400 (51.57). Junior Charlie Gerhard added a first in the 300 hurdles (41.1) and second in the 110s (16.55).

Norway senior Inocencio Stankevich won the 110s (16.0) and was runner-up in the 300s (41.93), and Josh Boulden provided a first in discus (131-3).

Newberry swept the sprint relays, edging Ishpeming on a lean for first in the 400 (45.35) and taking the 800 (1:34.05) in what is believed to be a school record.

“We fixed Brandon’s handoff,” said Newberry senior Andre James, who anchored both relays. “He (Christensen) dropped the baton in the (Straits Area) conference meet, but he did it perfect today. The 4x1 was really close and in the 4x2 we won by more than we thought. We just have some fast kids on the team and had a lot of adrenalin on a big stage. It’s exciting to be here. A lot of people turn out for this.”

Stephenson junior Montel Glover was a triple winner, taking the 100 (11.36), 200 (22.98) and 400 (51.3).

Click for full results.

PHOTOS: (Top) Ishpeming Gavin Sundberg leads off the 800-meter relay. (Middle) Stephenson's Montell Glover, left, outleans Iron Mountain's Michael Kulas in the 400. (Photos by Cara Kamps. Click for more at

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/