Ishpeming Steps Up to 1st in UP D2

By John Vrancic
Special for

June 1, 2014

KINGSFORD — After taking home the runner-up trophy a year ago, the Ishpeming boys track and field team took that final step up the podium in Saturday’s Upper Peninsula Division 2 Finals.

The Hematites collected 115 points, earning their first title since 2003. They were followed by defending champ Manistique with 76 and Hancock with 61.

“We looked back at the seeding times, and it looked like we were 30 points better than them,” said Ishpeming coach Scott Syrjala. “We knew Manistique was faster than that. It’s a real feather in our cap to win by nearly 40. The guys were showing up for Saturday and Sunday workouts because we had practice whenever the sun was shining.”

Ishpeming senior Noah Olgren won pole vault at 12 feet, with classmate Jordan Tousignant runner-up (11-6).

Senior teammate Bobby Zhulkie was runner-up to Newberry senior Leroy Ward-Harbaum in high jump (5-8) on a tie-breaker, and junior Tommy Potter placed second in the 800-meter run in 2 minutes, 7.23 seconds, the 1,600 (4:57.9) and helped the Hematites place second in the 3,200 relay.

Ishpeming junior Nate Meyer placed second in the 400 (53.39) and senior Adam Prisk was third (54.07). Meyer added a third in the 200 (23.73). Prisk and Meyer also helped the winning 800 and 1,600 relays.

Manistique senior Ryan Ramey retained his 400 title (51.71), but yielded his 200 crown to L’Anse senior Ryan LaBerge (23.33). Ramey was runner-up in the 200 (23.63).

Senior teammate Tony Floyd won the 100 (11.64) and took fifth in the 200 (23.83).

Hancock had double-winners in senior Jacob Jarvis and sophomore Greg Hawthorne.

Jarvis won the 110 hurdles (15.65) and 300 (40.36) and helped the Bulldogs take second in the 800 relay. Hawthorne won shot put (51-/2) and retained his discus title (142-3).

“My starts have been good all day, and my legs have gotten a little quicker in the 110s,” said Jarvis, who will study at Michigan Tech this fall. “At the Regional (at West Iron County), I felt good and started thinking (winning both U.P. hurdle races) was a realistic goal.”

Ironwood junior Jared Joki became a triple-winner, taking the 800 (2:06.58), 1,600 (4:45.18) and 3,200 in a personal-best 10:19.36.

“It’s a great feeling to win here with some amazing competition,” said Joki. “It was hot out there. I have a couple friends in D-3 and you could tell the heat drained their energy. During the races, I didn’t think the heat was much of a factor. You just had to make sure you stayed hydrated.

“I had a lower body injury during the winter, otherwise I would have tried to go under 10 (in the 3,200). Overall, I’m pleased with the whole day.”

Click for full results. 

PHOTO: A pair of Ishpeming runners exchange the baton en route to winning the 1,600 relay at the U.P. Division 2 Final on Saturday at Kingsford. (Click to see more from

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/