Meyers Gives Kentwood Crowd Final Show
By Paul Costanzo
Special for MHSAA.com
June 3, 2017
Khance Meyers put on one final show in an East Kentwood uniform Saturday, and did it on his home track.
The senior sprinting star won the 100 and 200 meters for the second straight year at the Lower Peninsula Division 1 Boys Track & Field Finals, and anchored the winning 800 relay team also to a repeat championship.
“Doing all this on my home turf feels amazing,” said Meyers, who also anchored the runner-up 1,600-relay team. “Just knowing that you’re at home, competing against the best, the top in the state, some even nationally ranked, it’s just amazing. Coming out here, giving the fans what they want, giving them a show – all I can say is I thank God that I’m able to do this.”
Meyers’ performance led an all-around remarkable day for the Falcons, who finished with 78½ points to claim their first MHSAA team title since 2014. It was the school’s sixth title under coach Dave Emeott. Rival Rockford was second with 62 points, followed by defending champion Oak Park in third with 44.
“Ultimately it was a full team approach,” Emeott said. “We won a bunch of events, and we set a state record in the long jump and ended up second place; that doesn’t happen very often. Our kids were on fire, every event. I’m so proud of them.”
Meyers set the Division 1 meet record in the 100 meters with his time of 10.53 seconds. He just missed breaking his own 200-meter record, winning in 21.27. He joined teammates Al Jeffries, Jacobie Welch and Stephan Bracey to run 1:26.07, breaking the Division 1 meet record East Kentwood set a year ago.
“People ask me all the time, ‘Khance, how does it feel to be No. 1 in the state?’ or ‘How does it feel to be competing at the top level?’” Meyers said. “Just being No. 1 in the 100, 200 and dropping your times -- all I can say is, I just thank God.”
Meyers wasn’t the only Falcon to take home an individual title, as sophomore thrower Logan Brown won the shot put with a toss of 60 feet, 1½ inches.
He also wasn’t the only record setter on the day. Salem’s Mason Phillips won the long jump with a leap of 24-2¾, the best mark not only in Division 1 meet history, but for all Finals.
Rockford’s 400-meter relay team did the same, as their time of 41.2 seconds is a new top mark in MHSAA Finals history. The team included Melvin Moseley, Noah Stallworth, Josh Patterson and Nicholas Isley.
Like Meyers, Oak Park’s Cameron Cooper came away with three titles and one runner-up finish. He won the 800 in 1:51.22, teamed with Dewan Hawthorne, Bryce Pickett and Javonne Kirksey to win the 1,600 relay in 3:17.58, and teamed with Hawthorne, Kirksey and Michael Campbell to win the 3,200 relay in 7:44.85. He was second in the 1,600 meters, edged out at the line by Rockford’s Cole Johnson.
“I just ran it,” Cooper said of the 800. “I had to come back after all of those events -- I can’t really feel my legs. I’m kind of used to (running four events) because I do it throughout the year, sometimes even doing two meets a week. I’m really strong, so I can come back and still run the same thing.”
For Johnson, his 1,600 win was a redemption story. He stumbled early in the race a year ago, but bounced back to take third. This year, he got out fast and won in 4:08.60, despite a late push from Cooper.
“Since I wanted to run fast, I had to be out there pushing the pace,” Johnson said. “I definitely learned from my fall last year to get out fast. I knew that I could go out in sub-60 (seconds on the first lap) because that’s what I went out at in an MSU meet earlier this year. I definitely wanted to get out fast.”
East Lansing’s Kentre Patterson doubled in the hurdle races, winning the 110 in 13.84 and the 300 in 38.23 seconds despite not running in the final heat. It was the second straight title for Patterson in the 110 hurdles.
“I always love competition, but being in the slow heat, kind of controlling the race was pretty good,” Patterson said. “It let me relax and do my own thing. I didn’t put my clothes back on until after (the final heat).
“I just had it in my head that this is the last race of the season, last time running the 300 hurdles. My coaches had me thinking about it all week, telling me I could do it coming out of the slow heat.”
Ypsilanti Lincoln’s Matthew Moorer won the 400 meters in 47.42 seconds. Fenton’s Dominic Dimambro won a tight 3,200-meter race in 9:07.79.
Randy Prince of Portage Northern won the discus with a throw of 173 feet. Connor Bush of Plymouth won the high jump with a jump of 6-6. Cale Snyder of Macomb Dakota won the pole vault, clearing 15-6.
PHOTO: East Kentwood's Khance Meyers pushes past his competitors during a sprint win Saturday. (Photo by Carter Sherline/RunMichigan.com.)
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.)