KINGSFORD – The Pickford boys moved up a division after winning last year’s Upper Peninsula Division 3 Track & Field Finals title. And it didn't faze them a bit.
They dominated the field Saturday, finishing with 151 team points. Manistique was second with 90, Ishpeming third with 87 and St. Ignace fourth with 73.
In the process, Pickford ended the Hematites' four-year run on top of Division 2.
The Panthers won nine of the 17 events. Hayden Hagen won all of the distance events and David Kozisek won both of the hurdle races along with the high jump and long jump to become just the ninth male athlete to win four individual events at an MHSAA Finals. Brayden Altoft took home a first in the shot put as did the 400 relay team (Cole Warner, Kendrick Brace, Altoft and Owen McConkey).
One of the more exciting finishes of the day came in the 200-meter dash when Bark River-Harris’ Kavin Fredrick dove for the win ahead of Manistique’s Wyatt Demers.
Demers was Fredrick’s biggest concern. Why? He’s really fast, and he usually beats him in the 200.
Fredrick led until about 50 meters to go, and he could see Demers’ arms coming up.
“So I thought to myself, ‘Well, I mean I’ve got to dive if I want this,’” he said.
And so he did.
“I took a big dive and I won by a hundredth of a second,” Fredrick said. “I’m a little cut up, but totally worth it if you ask me.”
No, he hadn’t tried that before.
“It’s my first time ever diving and it worked, so I’d recommend it,” Fredrick said. “It feels great. I went in thinking it would be a tough race against a couple people that I was up against. And I actually did it, so that’s a good feeling.”
Demers picked up a Finals title in the 100 dash.
The Broncos also the 800 relay (Justin Bergquist, Fredrick, Cristian Spear and Vincent Martin). Manistique won two relays, the 1,600 (Grant Mason, Dillon Hayes, Carter Miller and Demers) and the 3,200 (Mason, Brenden Mead, Ben Gilroy and Austin Hinkson).
The Emeralds’ Mason was first in the 400.
In the field events, Ishpeming’s Brayden Martin won the discus and St. Ignace’s Owen Lester repeated in the pole vault.
PHOTOS (Top) Pickford’s David Kozisek crosses the finish line first in the 300 hurdles Saturday. (Middle) Bark River-Harris’ Kavin Frederick and Manistique’s Wyatt Demers race for the finish line, with Frederick crossing first by one hundredth of a second. (Below) Runners begin the 1,600, including eventual winner Hayden Hagen (1) of Pickford and runner-up Alex Korpela (4) of Ironwood. (Photos by Cara Kamps/RunMichigan.com.)
David Kozisek ♦ Pickford
Senior ♦ Track & Field
Kozisek was an exchange student from Czech Republic this school year, and when he returns home this week he'll do so having accomplished a rare feat in MHSAA track & field history. On Saturday he became the ninth male athlete to win four individual events at a Finals, taking first in the 110 hurdles (15.40), 300 hurdles (41.39), high jump (6-3) and long jump (20-10) in helping Pickford to the Upper Peninsula Division 2 team championship.
After also playing football and basketball for the Panthers, Kozisek joined the track & field team this spring with plenty of knowledge having competed in that sport over the last six years in his home country. He was incredibly close to leaving an even larger historical imprint last weekend; Kozisek's long jump and high jump both were just one inch off tying UPD2 Finals records, and his 110 time missed that meet record by only six hundredths of a second. He was the first to win four boys events with the combination of two hurdles races and two jumps, and the second four-time individual winner joining Joe Baker, who in 1974 became the first from any school to win four Finals events.
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May 25: Mitchel Luck, Linden lacrosse - Report
May 18: Ahava Le Febre, Holland tennis - Report
May 11: Gracie Maloney, Macomb Dakota softball - Report
May 4: Braxton Brann, Ann Arbor Huron track & field - Report
April 27: Owen Patton, Vestaburg track & field - Report
April 20: Lilly Damm, Millington softball - Report
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March 16: Alaina Yaney, Grand Ledge gymnastics - Report
March 9: Braeden Davis, Dundee wrestling - Report
March 2: Gabriel Sanchez-Burks, Ann Arbor Pioneer swimming - Report
Feb. 23: Grace Sobczak, Marquette swimming - Report
Feb. 16: Kaitlynn Demers, Gibraltar Carlson competitive cheer - Report
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Feb. 2: Braydon Sorenson, Onekama skiing - Report
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Oct. 13: Mia Melendez, Ann Arbor Greenhills golf - Report
Oct. 6: Shawn Foster, Grand Ledge football - Report
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Sept. 15: Nina Horning, Lake Orion volleyball - Report
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PHOTOS courtesy of 2BU Photography.