Jesuit Emerges from Meet Full of Close Finishes with 1st Team Title Since 1993
By Paul Costanzo
Special for MHSAA.com
June 4, 2022
ROCKFORD – Jaiden Reed had faith in the Detroit U-D Jesuit 1,600-meter relay team.
Despite the fact the Cubs qualified into the slowest of the three race heats out of the Regional, Reed knew Cameron Hendrix, Bryson Wade, Nick Johnson and Devin Grantham would come through.
His faith was rewarded.
The foursome finished the first heat with a time of 3 minutes, 21.67 seconds, a time that held up enough through two more heats to clinch the Lower Peninsula Division 1 Finals title.
“I’m excited – my emotions are everywhere right now,” Reed said. “I was looking, and it was a one-point lead from what we were looking at. It’s just a lot of emotions. My heart was racing. It stopped, it was skipping beats. But I knew they were going to do it. I knew they were going to pull through. Even without our original four, I still knew they were going to do what they had to do.”
Thanks in part to that third-place 1,600 relay, U-D Jesuit finished with 41 points, 10 ahead of second-place Farmington.
The Cubs thought they had a one-point win, as East Kentwood’s 1,600 relay team was the initial winner, which would have made the top two scores U-D Jesuit 40, East Kentwood 39. But the Falcons were disqualified from the race, and finished tied for third with Clinton Township Chippewa Valley at 29. Rochester Adams rounded out the top five with 24 points.
It was the second team Finals title for the Cubs, with their last coming in Class B in 1993.
“They started talking about it in the winter, ‘What’s the goal? It’s a state title,’” U-D Jesuit coach Carl Brock said. “So to be able to manifest it, it’s something special for them. State meets, everything has to go well and you have to have some luck, and that happened today. For Jaiden to not win the 100 or the 200 (he finished second and fourth, respectively) and us still win the team title, something had to break in our favor, and it did.”
The Cubs did not have an individual champion, but won both the 400 and 800 relays. Reed was joined by Johnson, Grantham and Hendrix on both relays, which won in 42.39 and 1:28.06. The 1,600 relay team finished third after the East Kentwood DQ.
“Watching them develop their brotherhood,” Brock said. “Watching them come together as family. Some of these kids have traveled all over the country running with one another. They’ve stayed in hotel rooms together, they’ve developed that brotherly bond. They’re running for each other, and that’s what it’s all about.”
The only athlete to win multiple individual titles Saturday was Clinton Township Chippewa Valley’s Shamar Heard, who claimed both sprint crowns. He won the 100 in 10.77 and the 200 in 21.32.
There were plenty of surprises on the day, though, and plenty of tight finishes.
One even needed a camera review, as East Kentwood freshman Malachi Mosley eked out a victory over Oak Park’s Josh Flake in the 400. Each runner finished with an official time of 48.85, but Mosley was four thousandths of a second better.
“I just went out there and had to run my race,” Mosley said. “I was supposed to be in Lane 7, they moved me to Lane 2, and I was just really surprised. When I realized I could have a chance to catch those top people, I just pulled ahead. I tried to push myself harder than I ever have, and it worked. I was able to catch him.”
The 800 featured another tight, exciting finish, as Utica’s Trent McFarland used a final kick to pass Davison’s Brady McAardle in the final 20 meters, and win in 1:52.03. That race got an unexpected early spark when Saline’s Jason Whitton put up a 1:54.81 in the first heat, a time that only McArdle had bested during the season. He ended up finishing sixth.
“A kick is all heart, it’s all effort,” McFarland said. “Usually I’m known for giving my all at the end. The race went just to plan, I did it perfectly, paced it perfectly. I knew I had to take off that last 300 meters. I saw I was in position for the win in the last 100 meters and I just went. (Whitton) definitely added a little bit of pressure. But me and the other top runners in the group, we talked, we knew what we were going to do. We all wanted to go 1:53, 1:52, and it worked out for some of us.”
Hartland’s Riley Hough won the 1,600 in his final meet, finishing with a time of 4:07.61, less than a second ahead of Seth Norder of Grand Haven who was second at 4:07.99.
Hough was in an equally tight top two in the 3,200, but this time he came in second to Grand Rapids Ottawa Hills’ Benne Anderson, who won the race in 9:02.89, less than a second ahead of Hough.
Kalamazoo Central’s Kayenn Mabin won the 110 hurdles in 14.27, 0.02 ahead of Ypsilanti Lincoln’s Melik Williams.
Rochester Adams’ Armon Howard won the 300 hurdles in 37.32, in a race that saw four runners at 38 flat or lower.
Detroit Cass Tech’s team of Renard Richmond, Michael Davis-Hawkins, Aydan Myers and Tamaal Myers II won the 1,600 relay in 3:20.24 after the East Kentwood DQ. That was also a photo finish.
Northville won the 3,200 relay in 7:44.71 with a team of Brandon Latta, Brock Malaikal, David Whitaker and Brendan Herger.
Battle Creek Lakeview’s Andrew Berryhill won the shot put with a toss of 57 feet, 9 inches.
“I wanted to throw farther,” Berryhill said. “I had a good week of practice in shot put. I was being really consistent all week at 56, 57, so I knew I had it.”
Farmington’s Jake Steslicki won the discus with a throw of 174-1. Canton’s Nathan Levine won the high jump with a jump of 6-8. Muskegon Mona Shores’ Demitri Roberson won the long jump with a jump of 23-6.75. Temperance Bedford’s Ethan Lingle won the pole vault, clearing 15-9.
PHOTOS (Top) Detroit U-D Jesuit completes an exchange during the 1,600 relay Saturday at Rockford High School. (Middle) Utica’s Trent McFarland surges toward the finish of the 800. (Click for more from Jamie McNinch/Run Michigan.)
Preview: UP Boys Finals Loaded with Intriguing Opportunities
By Geoff Kimmerly
MHSAA.com senior editor
June 2, 2023
Saturday’s Upper Peninsula Boys Track & Field Finals can match storylines with any of the other events happening statewide on the busiest day of the school sports season.
The Division 1 meet will pit rivals returning after one point separated them a year ago, while Division 2 will see a pair of 2022 champions looking to win again.
Munising’s Micaiah Peramaki will compete in his last Finals after becoming the latest to win four individual events last spring, and Pickford’s David Kozisek will compete in his first and only Finals with a great possibility of becoming the next four-event champ.
All three divisions will again be contested at Kingsford High School, with preliminaries leading off the day at 9 a.m. local (Central) time. Tickets cost $11 and are available digitally only via GoFan.
MHSAA.tv will live-stream the meets beginning at 9 a.m. (CDT)/10 a.m. (EDT), viewable with subscription.
Following is a glance at team contenders and individuals to watch in all three divisions:
Team forecast: Marquette owns a two-year championship streak, but claimed last season’s title by a mere point ahead of Kingsford. The Flivvers will pose another challenge Saturday with a pair of relay favorites and strong field events hoping to counter Marquette’s distance stars and overall depth. Sault Ste. Marie, boasting excellence in the distance events as well, could factor significantly.
Matthew Colavecchi, Iron Mountain junior: Last season’s 100 and 200 champion in UPD2 will run on a contending 400 relay and had the sixth-fastest UPD1 Regional time in the 100 (11.85).
Will Fairchild, Iron Mountain senior: He finished fifth both in the 110 and 300 hurdles and eighth in long jump in UPD2 last season, but heads into these UPD1 Finals with the top Regional times for his division in both races – 16.05 and 42.48, respectively.
Michael Floriano, Kingsford junior: Last season’s 200 and 400 relay champion and 100 dash runner-up will run on two favored relays this time and also enters with the third-fastest UPD1 Regional times in the 100 (11.56) and 200 (23.94).
Drew Hughes, Gladstone senior: After running a relay at last year’s Finals, he’s set to run two plus enters with the top UPD1 Regional time in the 800 (2:05.23) and fourth-fastest in the 1,600 (4:38.46).
Gabe Litzner, Sault Ste. Marie freshman: The UPD1 cross country champion in the fall enters his first Track Finals with the top UPD1 Regional times in the 1,600 (4:35.42) and 3,200 (9:58.36).
Cole Myllyla, Kingsford senior: He’s another returning relay champ and also won the long jump and was sixth in the high jump last season. He’ll run on two favored relays and had the third-best UPD1 Regional long jump (20-¼).
Carson VanderSchaaf, Marquette senior: He’s a two-time 3,200 champion and also won the 1,600 and as part of the 3,200 relay last spring, and he’ll enter Saturday with the second-fastest UPD1 Regional time in the 1,600 (4:37.21) and third-fastest in the 3,200 (10:02.40).
Colin VanderSchaaf, Marquette senior: He’s also won races the last two Finals, the 800 last year and 1,600 as a sophomore (finishing second to his brother last year), and enters this meet with the second-fastest UPD1 Regional times in the 400 (54.11) and 800 (2:06.68) and third-fastest in the 1,600 (4:37.28).
Team forecast: Ishpeming has four won straight Division 2 titles (not counting canceled 2020), but Pickford – last season’s UPD3 champion – might be the favorite to continue its streak instead. The Panthers have contenders in several events and also will get help with a number of Bark River-Harris hopefuls slotting into possible high places as well. That said, the Hematites do have qualifiers in 16 events and depth to match anyone in the field.
Caden Awbrey, Pickford senior: He won the 300 hurdles in UPD3 and was second in the 110 last season, also running on championship and runner-up relays. He’ll run on two contending relays this weekend and enters with the UPD2 Regionals third-fastest 300 time (43.97) and fourth-fastest in the 110 (17.63).
Wyatt Demers, Manistique junior: He had a busy 2022 Finals with a relay championship, fifth places in the 100 and 400 and a third in the 200. He could top that as part of two contending relays and entering with the fastest UPD2 Regional times in the 100 (11.5) and 200 (23.24).
Tramon Gauthier, Ishpeming junior: He played a major role in last year’s team title with a win in the 110 hurdles, second in the 300 and fourth-place long jump, and this weekend he enters with the second-best UPD2 Regional long jump (19-3), second-fastest 110 (16.41) and 300 hurdles (43.34) times and fourth-fastest in the 100 (11.99).
Hayden Hagen, Pickford junior: After also running on a relay champ last year in UPD3 and finishing fourth in the 3,200 and ninth in the 1,600, he’s lined up for a huge meet entering with the top UPD2 Regional times in the 800 (2:14.15), 1,600 (5:03.16) and 3,200 (11:08.89).
David Kozisek, Pickford senior: He could cap his lone season of high school track with one of the most memorable as he enters with the top UPD2 Regional times in the 110 (15.39) and 300 hurdles (42.37) and top high jump (5-10) and long jump (20-7½) as well.
Owen Lester, St. Ignace junior: The reigning pole vault champion (and seventh-place finisher in the 300 hurdles) posted the top UPD2 Regional pole vault (11-6) by six inches.
Brayden Martin, Ishpeming junior: He had the farthest UPD2 shot put (43-8½) and second-longest discus toss (119-2) at Regionals, after finishing fourth in the shot put at last year’s Finals.
Team forecast: There will be a new champion with Pickford in UPD2, with 2022 runner-up Munising coming off a Regional title after falling just nine points shy of catching the Panthers a year ago. The Mustangs have favorites in several events and contenders in most others. Newberry, fifth in UPD2 last season, also looks capable of making serious noise.
Joe Kelley, Munising junior: He finished fifth in the 300 and sixth in the 110 hurdles last season, but could play a massive part Saturday entering with the fastest UPD3 Regional 300 (44.81) and second-fastest time in the 110 (17.06).
Kalvin Kytta, Chassell sophomore: He finished seventh in both the 1,600 and 3,200 and 10th in the 800 as a freshman and also will be expected to score entering with the fastest UPD3 Regional times in the 1,600 (4:48.91) and 3,200 (10:56.07).
Seth Mills, Paradise Whitefish senior: He could become his school’s first Finals champion in this sport as he enters with the top UPD3 Regional discus throw (149-4) by more than 21 feet – and with that toss nearly 40 better than his fifth-place finish in the event a year ago. He also enters with the sixth-best UPD3 Regional shot put (38-5).
Josiah Peramaki, Munising senior: The reigning pole vault champion also was third in the long jump and fifth in the 200 last season, and he’ll enter this weekend tied with the top UPD3 Regional pole vault (12-0) and also competing on a relay and in the long jump and 100, having posted the third-fastest time (11.73) in the sprint.
Micaiah Peramaki, Munising senior: He became the eighth boys four-time Finals individual champion last year winning the 100, 200, 400 and discus. He could add three more individual titles entering Saturday with UPD3 Regional bests in the 100 (11.24), 200 (23.47) and 400 (53.05) while also running on a contending relay.
Matthew Rahilly, Newberry sophomore: He was fifth in the long jump and ran on two scoring relays in UPD2 as a freshman, and enters this Finals with the best UPD3 Regional long jump (19-9) and tied for the second-best high jump (5-8).
Ian Sundling, Rapid River senior: The reigning long jump champ also finished seventh in high jump last season and will compete in both plus two relays, entering with the third-best UPD3 Regional long jump (19-1).
PHOTO Iron Mountain's Matthew Colavecchi (3) edges Pickford's David Kozisek (2) and Powers North Central's Luke Gorzinski (4) in a 200 heat at the April 17 Superior Dome Invitational. (Photo by Cara Kamps.)