Ishpeming, Norway Race to Shared Finals Fame

By John Vrancic
Special for

June 6, 2021

KINGSFORD — The Ishpeming boys are used to winning Upper Peninsula track & field championships.

They came into Saturday’s U.P. Division 2 Finals as two-time reigning champs and had won five titles over six seasons prior to last year when all spring sports were cancelled due to COVID-19.

This time the Hematites and Norway shared the title with 95 points each. Third-place Iron Mountain had 85.

For Norway, this was its first championship since 2004.

“Not bad for us, especially with having just 10 boys,” said Norway coach Al Trudeau. “At the beginning of the year we weren’t expecting this. We had a great bunch of kids who worked hard. We had a great year.”

Ishpeming trackNorway junior Adam Cavaghetto, who returned midseason following a blood disorder, won the 800-meter run in two minutes, 5.06 seconds and the 1,600 (4:38.59).

Ishpeming’s David Liimatta took the 400 (54.16) and placed second in the 800 (2:07.57) and 1,600 (4:41.42), and Silas Broberg was first in the 3,200 (10:50.91).

The Hematites also won the 1,600 relay (3:47.52) and 3,200 relay (9:25.34).

“We had a good day,” said Ishpeming coach P.J. Pruett. “Overall, our kids did well.”

Iron Mountain enjoyed much of its success in the sprints with senior Dante Basanese taking the 200 (23.84) and sweeping the speed relays.

“Our handoffs felt pretty good,” said Basanese, who anchored the winning 800 relay. “We had four good sprinters who definitely ran real hard.

“Norway has a good team. We felt they were the team to beat.”

The Mountaineers were clocked at 1:35.1 in the 800 relay with Norway the runner-up (1:37.99). They also took the 400 relay (45.05).

Iron Mountain trackIron Mountain won the Regional at West Iron, and Norway was crowned champion at Ishpeming.

St. Ignace got firsts from Christian Koiveniemi in the 100 (11.79), who edged Gwinn’s Max Jayne by one hundredth of a second, and Trevor Visnaw in pole vault at nine feet. Basanese was third (11.82) in the 100.

Newberry’s lone champion was Eric Edwards in shot put (40-4½), and David Duvall provided Gwinn with its only first in the 110 hurdles (17.81), followed by Norway’s Wyatt Richter (17.9) and St. Ignace’s Jackson Ingalls (17.93).

L’Anse had a double winner in Nathan Hochstein, who took high jump at 5-9 and long jump at 18-9½. Eli Ostermeyer added a first in discus (114-11) and a second in shot put (37-9¼).

West Iron’s champion was Landon Sudelius in the 300 hurdles (43.58).

Click for full results.

PHOTOS: (Top) Norway's Adam Cavaghetto travels the final stretch in winning the 1,600. (Middle) Ishpeming's Jordan Longtine hands off to Hunter Smith during the 3,200 relay. (Below) Iron Mountain's Dante Basanese wins the 200 with Norway's Jeffrey VanHolla taking second. (Photos by Cara Kamps. Click to see more at

Chippewa Valley's Heard Has Big Plans to Add to All-Time Sprint Legacy

By Keith Dunlap
Special for

May 10, 2024

CLINTON TOWNSHIP — Clinton Township Chippewa Valley senior Shamar Heard admits he’s thought about it, and for good reason.

Greater DetroitAfter all, why not at least entertain the thought of doing something unprecedented in state history when it comes to track & field?

Two years ago as a sophomore, Heard achieved the double in the fastest races, winning both the 100 and 200-meter dashes at the Lower Peninsula Division 1 Finals. 

Last year, Heard completed the trifecta when it came to sprint state titles, focusing solely on the 400 dash and winning that event in 47.78 seconds while also running on first and third-place relays.

So, how about trying to train for and win all three events this year as a senior? Who in the state would be able to stop him? 

“I definitely have been thinking about it,” Heard said. “Because why not? It probably hasn’t been done in a long time, if ever.”

But while the thought has crossed his mind, it won’t happen. It’s a little much on the body — in particular running the 100-meter dash — to try and do all three at once. 

However, Heard in the coming weeks is still in a good position to cement what already is a place among the greatest sprinters to come through the state of Michigan. 

First, he has big things in mind for his specialty race, the 400 meters. He has won two consecutive AAU national titles in that event in addition to the Finals title he won last year, but is craving more.

“I want to be at 45 seconds for the state meet,” Heard said noting the June 1 Finals at East Kentwood. 

In addition, Heard plans on competing in the 200 meters at East Kentwood. He also is a part of Chippewa Valley’s 800 relay team that won last year in 1:26.41. He’s expected to qualify for all three at the Regional on May 17 at Romeo.

Heard prepares to run the winning 400 at last season’s championship meet.When Heard is done with high school, he will continue running track at Tennessee. 

It’s all mighty impressive for a speedster that Chippewa Valley head coach Terry Wilson said hates lifting weights and is “barely above 150 pounds.”

“He doesn’t weigh a whole lot, but he generates a lot of power,” Wilson said. “His strength-to-weight ratio has to be astronomical. He’s just gotten better with his form.”

Throughout his entire life, Heard said he’s simply loved racing. When he was a kid, he would constantly pick out a stop sign on a street or another spot in a yard and race others to the finish, often beating them with ease. 

When he was 10 years old, he was invited by a friend to come out for a track team, and he proceeded to beat others in races continuously. 

As he got a little older, Heard discovered how gifted he was running the 400 meters and started to focus more on that event. 

Heard said he loves the 400 meters so much mostly because he loves embracing a challenge many sprinters don’t want to face. 

“I like that not many people want to go through that pain,” he said. “I take it as a compliment when people look at (the 400) and they say, ‘Hey, people are crazy for doing that.’ That makes me motivated to do it.”

Wilson admits there doesn’t have to be much coaching done with Heard. It’s just simply a matter of getting together before races to discuss how he feels and what his body can do that day. 

“He understands his body a little bit better every year,” Wilson said. “He understands what he needs to get done in races. He’ll run the 200 in practice and I’ll have a stopwatch on him, and he’ll say, ‘That felt like a 24 (seconds). I look at my stopwatch and it’s a 24.2. He has that ability to gauge how fast he’s going. It’s just different with him.” 

Heard also was a football player at Chippewa Valley, but gave the sport up before last fall to focus solely on his track career. 

“I was just looking at the bigger picture,” Heard said. “I was more consistent in one sport than I was the other.”

He will run the 400 meters at Tennessee, and then the sky could be the limit given what he’s accomplished already on a national level.

Until then though, Heard will spend the rest of his high school career trying to win more hardware and leave a mark that might be impossible for future sprinters in Michigan to surpass. 

“I want to give everyone a senior year that they will remember,” Heard said. “I want to go out with one of the most memorable years of a high school athlete.” 

Keith DunlapKeith Dunlap has served in Detroit-area sports media for more than two decades, including as a sportswriter at the Oakland Press from 2001-16 primarily covering high school sports but also college and professional teams. His bylines also have appeared in USA Today, the Washington Post, the Detroit Free Press, the Houston Chronicle and the Boston Globe. He served as the administrator for the Oakland Activities Association’s website from 2017-2020. Contact him at [email protected] with story ideas for Oakland, Macomb and Wayne counties.

PHOTOS (Top) Chippewa Valley’s Shamar Heard crosses the finish line while anchoring the winning 800 relay at last year’s LPD1 Finals. (Middle) Heard prepares to run the winning 400 at last season’s championship meet. (Click for more from Jamie McNinch/