KINGSFORD — John F. Kennedy was running for President and gasoline was selling for less than 30 cents a gallon when the Manistique boys last were crowned Upper Peninsula track champions.
The year was 1960, and the Emeralds earned their first Class A-B crown.
Manistique ended that drought Saturday by scoring 102 points to capture the Division 2 title. The Emeralds were followed by Ishpeming with 96 and West Iron County with 75.
The Emeralds held a 92-88 edge over Ishpeming heading into the 1,600 relay, which was delayed roughly an hour by a thunderstorm.
Manistique, however, placed an exclamation point at the end of its season by winning the day's final race. Ishpeming placed second and West Iron was third in the closing event.
"I was getting a little worried about having to come back and run after that long of a delay," said Emeralds' coach Mary Lou Lund. "But the guys found a way to get it done."
Manistique was trailing Ishpeming by approximately 20 yards when junior Ryan Ramey got the baton. He responded with a 48.2-second anchor leg, enabling the Emeralds to slip past the Hematites for the win.
"It feels great to finally win this (U.P. Finals)," said Manistique senior Kenner Broullire, who led off the 1,600 relay. "Ishpeming definitely wanted to run, and we wanted to run. We didn't want the last race to get cancelled. We wanted to win this meet fair and square. Ryan had a lot of ground to make up, but nobody will ever doubt Ryan. He just finds another gear."
Ramey also won the 200-meter dash in 23.82 seconds, the 400 in a school-record 51.12 and anchored the winning 3,200 relay.
Ishpeming sophomore Nate Meyer, who beat Ramey in the 400 in the Mid-Peninsula Conference meet May 23 at Norway, was runner-up this time (51.68).
"I slipped out of the blocks in the 200," Ramey said. "I knew I had to find another gear in the first 100 and use the home stretch for my kick. I also knew I had to take Meyer early in the 400. I was more relaxed and got out of the blocks faster than in the M-PCs."
Broullire, who will run track at West Point next season, set the U.P. meet record in the 300 hurdles (39.35), topping the previous mark (41.0) by Munising's Lee Denman run in 2004.
Broullire also won the 100 (11.37), followed by West Iron's Tyler Stafford (11.43).
"I didn't get a great start in the 100, but decided to go for it in about the final 15 meters," Broullire said. "I was hoping to run in the 38s in the 300 hurdles, but you can't complain about a title. I'm excited about our team winning. Deep down I knew we had the potential to win it. This is a great way to end a high school career."
Ishpeming took the 400 relay in a U.P. meet record 45.16, topping the previous mark (45.35) by St. Ignace in 2008.
Newberry senior James Sutton set the high jump record (6-4), an inch higher than the previous record holder Rick St. Amour of Munising from 2001.
"I seem to jump better in the cold," said Sutton, who cleared 6-8 in the Straits Area Conference meet at Sault Ste. Marie on Tuesday. "I'm happy with the U.P. record, but I'm a little disappointed I didn't go higher. I like this track and its nice, soft surface. Some of the kids said they didn't like the pits, but I didn't have a problem with it."
Iron Mountain senior Dan Kulas was a double winner, taking the 1,600 (4:42.03) and 3,200 (10:15.4).
St. Ignace, which won D-2 the past three seasons, competed in D-3 this year.
PHOTOS: (Top) Manistique's Kenner Broullire carries the baton for his team during a relay Saturday. (Middle) The Emeralds pose with their first MHSAA boys track and field championship trophy since 1960. (Photos courtesy of Manistique High School.)
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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June 1: Helena McLellan, Northville soccer - Report
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
April 13: Larissa Huffman, Mackinaw City track & field - Report
April 6: Darius Acuff, Detroit Cass Tech basketball - 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
Feb. 9: Indya Davis, West Bloomfield basketball - Report
Feb. 2: Braydon Sorenson, Onekama skiing - Report
Jan. 26: Shayna Hruska, Iron Mountain wrestling - Report
Jan. 19: Kayla Tafanelli, Warren Woods-Tower bowling - Report
Dec. 20: Brenden Paden, Riverview Gabriel Richard hockey - Report
Dec. 16: Tuff Scott, Holton bowling - Report
Dec. 9: Macey Fegan, Standish-Sterling basketball - Report
Dec. 2: Treyton Siegert, Gladwin football - Report
Nov. 24: Lily Witte, Dexter diving - Report
Nov. 17: Navea Gauthier, Shelby volleyball - Report
Nov. 10: Derek Huisman, Holland Christian soccer - Report
Nov. 3: Thomas Westphal, New Baltimore Anchor Bay cross country - Report
Oct. 27: Justin Wickey, Colon football - Report
Oct. 20: Owen DeMuth, Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood tennis - Report
Oct. 13: Mia Melendez, Ann Arbor Greenhills golf - Report
Oct. 6: Shawn Foster, Grand Ledge football - Report
Sept. 30: Hannah Smith, Temperance Bedford swimming - Report
Sept. 22: Helen Sachs, Holland West Ottawa cross country - Report
Sept. 15: Nina Horning, Lake Orion volleyball - Report
Sept 8: Arturo Romero, Muskegon Oakridge soccer - Report
Sept. 1: Austin King, Midland Dow tennis - Report
Aug. 25: Olivia Hemmila, Troy Athens golf - Report
PHOTOS courtesy of 2BU Photography.