Pickford Wins Matchup of Reigning Champions to Run Title Streak to 3

By John Vrancic
Special for MHSAA.com

June 2, 2024

KINGSFORD — The Pickford boys extended their championship reign here Saturday, retaining top honors at the Upper Peninsula Division 2 Track & Field Finals with 137 points.

They were followed by Munising with 106 and Ishpeming with 79. The team championship was the Panthers’ third straight, as they also won Division 3 in 2022.

Sophomore Gunner Bennin was a double-winner for Pickford, taking the 200-meter dash in 23.85 seconds and 400 at 53.36.

“It feels great to come here and win a couple events as a sophomore,” he said. “We knew Iron Mountain had some good sprinters, and Munising is tough. We needed the points. I started faster than I usually do, especially in the 400.

Senior Hayden Hagen provided the Panthers with a first in the 800 (2:05.03), and sophomore John Anderson won high jump at 5 feet, 8 inches.

Panthers junior Tom Storey was runner-up in pole vault (10-6) and high jump (5-7). Hagen was runner-up to Munising junior Dan Goss in the 1,600 (4:39.84) and 3,200 (10:30.81).

Goss ran a personal-best 4:33.98 in the 1,600 and was clocked at 10:23.9 in the 3,200, and anchored the winning 3,200 relay (8:50.22).

During a rainy 1,600, Munising's Dan Goss (1) leads the race with Pickford's Hayden Hagen (2) and Munising's Trevor Nolan (3) right behind him. “I like the weather today,” he said. “It was a little humid during the 3,200. Otherwise, it was a good day for running. That was a 10-second PR (personal record) in the 1,600. I’m real happy with that. I’ve been training my tail off the last two weeks.

“The field events hurt us, but overall I’m happy with how our team did. I had a PR in every event including a split of 2 minutes flat in the 3,200 relay.”

Munising – the Division 3 champion in 2023 – also took the 800 relay (1:36.19), and Pickford was runner-up (1:38.18). The Panthers claimed the 1,600 relay (3:43.36) and placed second in the 3,200 (8:52.74).

Munising senior Joe Kelley added firsts in the 110 hurdles (16.46) and the 300s (42.12) and helped the Mustangs take second in the 400 relay (46.19) and 1,600 (3:48.86). Mustangs’ senior Trevor Nolan added a third in the 1,600 (4:43.41), followed by Bark River-Harris freshman Ben Knauf in a personal-best 4:48.04.

Ishpeming got a first on senior Brayden Martin’s throw of 123-9¼ in discus, and Hancock senior Myles Lewis took shot put (42-11½).

The Hematites got seconds from senior Tramon Gauthier in long jump (18-7¾), 110 hurdles (16.47) and 300s (43.62), and freshman Kemper Gearhart was third in the 3,200 (10:41.5).

Ironwood sophomore Talon Hughes placed second in the 100 (11.51) and 200 (23.98) and third in the 110 hurdles (16.55).

Iron Mountain senior Matt Colavecchi had a hand in three firsts, taking the 100 (11.44), long jump (19-8¼) and anchoring the winning 400 relay (45.92).

Rudyard got a first on junior Jaydon Niemi-Alcorn’s leap of 11-6 in pole vault. Taking runner-up for the Bulldogs were senior teammate Kaeden Sistrunk in shot put (40-8) and junior Ethan Hoolsema in discus (120-0).

Click for full results.

PHOTOS (Top) Pickford's Jacob Mitchell hands off the baton to Eli MacDonald for the last leg of the 3,200 relay Saturday at Kingsford. (Middle) During a rainy 1,600, Munising's Dan Goss (1) leads the race with Pickford's Hayden Hagen (2) and Munising's Trevor Nolan (3) right behind him. (Click for more from Cara Kamps/RunMichigan.com.)

With 2nd Place in Final Race, Newberry Clinches 1st in Final Team Standings

By John Vrancic
Special for MHSAA.com

June 2, 2024

KINGSFORD — The race for the Upper Peninsula Division 3 boys track & field championship came right down to the wire Saturday as Newberry edged St. Ignace 96-92 for top honors.

Third-place team finisher Lake Linden-Hubbell won the day’s final race, the 1,600-meter relay, in 3 minutes, 41.94 seconds, and Newberry hung on to edge St. Ignace by two steps for second place and its first title in eight years.

Newberry, which was runner-up to Munising last year, was clocked at 3:43.07 in the 1,600 relay on this sunny and mild late afternoon. The Saints finished nine hundredths of a second later.

“We knew we had to beat St. Ignace to win,” Newberry senior Kennedy Depew said after finishing the anchor leg. “This was my last race ever. I knew I had to give it my all. That’s also why I knew I had to scratch from the open 400. I would have been in four events. I think scratching from the 400 helped me save some energy. We weren’t satisfied with runner-up last year, which makes this year’s championship all the more satisfying.”

Classmate Gabe Luck provided Newberry with its lone individual first with a heave of 44 feet, 1¾ inches in shot put.

“We had a lot of injuries this year,” Newberry coach Drew Schultz said. “For all the obstacles we had, we wouldn’t have it any other way, having two of the best athletes decide it in the last race. I’m extremely proud of our guys. To win it that way is just insane. I’m proud of all our eastern-end kids.”

Chassell's Kalvin Kytta and Cedarville/DeTour's Ethan Snyder lead the pack of 1,600 runners. Depew also was runner-up in the 100-meter dash in 11.63 seconds.

Senior Jon Ingalls, who ran the last leg for the Saints, won the 110 hurdles (16.39) and 300s (42.89) and helped them place second in the 400 relay (45.94).

“Both hurdles were decent,” Ingalls said. “Those weren’t my best times, but it feels good to grind out a few more wins.”

Senior Owen Lester also provided the Saints with a victory in pole vault (12-6).

LL-H got firsts from senior Gabe Popko in discus at 153 feet, 4¼ inches, and classmate Matt Jokela in the 400 (51.09). Jokela also took third in the 100 (11.65).

“Real good hydration and confidence are keys,” Jokela said. “I think having confidence helps a little. I usually don’t go too hard out of the blocks. Then, I usually try to go as hard as I can in the last 200.”

Chassell junior Kalvin Kytta claimed three firsts, taking the 800 in a personal-best 2:03.62, 1,600 (4:39.58) and 3,200 (10:27.32).

“Three wins, I’m pretty happy with that,” he said. “The 800 went real well. Overall, I’m very happy with my performance today.”

Fourth-place Bessemer set UPD3 Finals records in the 400 relay (45.3) and 800 (1:34.64). Powers North Central previously set the record in the 400 (45.34) two years ago and Rock Mid Peninsula had held the 800 record since 2001 when it ran a 1:35.1.

“We shaved two seconds off in the 800 relay which feels good, and our handoffs in the 400 were good all year,” Bessemer senior Landon Peterson said. “Our school record in the 400 is 44.98, which is something we’ve done three times this year. Running on a rubber track gives you a much better grip, which helped us a lot today.”

Bessemer senior Tom Trudgeon became a four-event winner, also taking the 100 (11.46) and 200 (23.85).

Crystal Falls Forest Park freshman Vic Guiliani won high jump (6-0), and sophomore Michael Rexford went 19-9 in long jump, providing Escanaba Holy Name with its first U.P. Finals title since the school reopened in 2021.

Click for full results.

PHOTOS (Top) Newberry runners celebrate taking second place in the 1,600 relay, allowing them to finish ahead of St. Ignace for the team title in Upper Peninsula Division 3. (Middle) Chassell's Kalvin Kytta and Cedarville/DeTour's Ethan Snyder lead the pack of 1,600 runners. (Click for more from Cara Kamps/RunMichigan.com.)