KINGSFORD — They were tested, but the Pickford boys came through with their first Upper Peninsula Division 3 track & field championship in a decade Saturday.
Pickford scored 91 points, followed by Munising with 82 and 2021 champ Dollar Bay at 56. Pickford was runner-up to Dollar Bay last season, with this team title its first since 2012.
The Panthers secured the title by winning the 1,600-meter relay in 3 minutes, 37.83 seconds.
“We were up by one point going into the 1,600 relay,” said Panthers’ coach Garde Kangas. “You can’t get much closer than that. One kid who’s a part of all our relays couldn’t be here because he had to go to a funeral. We had some kids step up. In long jump, we were seeded fourth or fifth and our guy (Noah Barowski) got second, and we ran our best time all year in the 1,600 relay.”
Junior Caden Awbrey provided the Panthers with a first in the 300-meter hurdles in 41.98 seconds and a second in the 110s (17.24).
“I really liked the start, but got a little sloppy in the end,” he said. “About halfway through I started clipping the hurdles (in the 300s). Although, this is something I can build on. I need to work on my form, and that takes time.
“Overall, I think the day has gone pretty well. Our 1,600 relay is fast and our 3,200 is solid. We were missing some people and still PR’d.”
Dollar Bay senior Nik Thomas set two UPD3 meet records on a sunny and warm day. He was clocked at 4:25.91 in the 1,600 and 10:05.59 in the 3,200, topping the previous-bests of 4:28.68 and 10:08.51 by Bessemer’s Uriah Aili three years ago. Thomas also won the 800 (2:01.27) and placed fourth in the 400 (53.03) on Saturday.
Ewen-Trout Creek senior Jonah Nordine was runner-up in all three races Thomas won, at 2:06.39, 4:40.3 and 10:26.51, respectively.
Munising was led by the Peramaki brothers. Micaiah won the 100 (11.52), 200 (23.7) and 400 (51.98) and discus at 127 feet, 4 inches, and Josiah took pole vault at 13 feet, 4 inches and placed third in long jump (18-4¾).
North Central junior Luke Gorzinski anchored the winning 400 relay (45.34) and 800, clocked at a school-record 1:35.31, and was runner-up in the 100 (11.57) and 200 (23.94).
“Our handoffs absolutely went real well,” he said. “I’ve had more time to work on those now that baseball is over. This is pretty awesome. We’ve been working toward this all season.”
Junior Trent Naser provided the Jets with a victory in the 110 hurdles (16.76) and a third in the 300s (42.78).
PHOTOS (Top) Pickford's Caden Awbrey (6) leads the 300 hurdles on the way to winning the race Saturday. (Middle) Dollar Bay's Nikolas Thomas celebrates his win in the 1,600, one of his three championships at the meet. (Click for more from Cara Kamps/Run Michigan.)
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
March 23: Regan Finkbeiner, Hemlock basketball - Report
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.