Preview: Past Champs Return to UP Boys Track & Field Finals
By Geoff Kimmerly
MHSAA.com senior editor
June 4, 2021
Nearly two calendar years have passed the last Upper Peninsula Boys Track & Field Finals.
But three past individual champions will return Saturday with opportunities to add to career achievements first built up before COVID-19 led to the cancelation of last season.
Gladstone’s Blake Servant and Calvin Thibault and Gwinn’s David Duvall all have won at least one Finals title and will be among those to watch as all three divisions again will be competed at Kingsford High School.
Events begin at 10 a.m. (EDT) and tickets to attend can be purchased online only at GoFan. The meets also will be broadcast on MHSAA.tv and viewable with subscription.
Below is a glance at team contenders and individuals to watch in all three divisions.
Top Regional scores: Marquette 71, Houghton 70, Gladstone 60.
Team forecast: Gladstone is the reigning champion after a 2019 run where it broke Marquette’s previous four-year hold on the Division 1 title. But Marquette may be the team to chase again with top seeds in two relays, four individual races and shot put. Houghton was runner-up in 2018 and 2016 and is seeking its first championship since 1992. The Gremlins got three individual championships and a leg of a relay winner from junior Eric Weiss at their Regional, and he could be important stacking up in the distance races. Gladstone’s star hurdlers also should factor into the team title mix.
Derek Douglas, Escanaba: The now-senior was fourth in the 800 and ran on three relays at the 2019 Final, and at this year’s Regional he won the 800 (2:01.73) by more than a second and was second in the 400.
Brady Schultz, Menominee: The Maroons junior high-jumped 6-foot-6 at his Regional to win by two inches, and a repeat of that jump would set the UPD1 Finals record by an inch.
Blake Servant, Gladstone: The discus champion as a sophomore in 2019, he may be in line for much more after outpacing two-time reigning Finals champ and teammate Calvin Thibault (see below) in the 110 (15.98) and 300 hurdles (41.9) at the Regional in addition to winning discus (136-9) and long jump (20-8).
Calvin Thibault, Gladstone: Now a senior, Thibault won the 110 and 300 hurdles Finals championships as both a freshman and sophomore, and in addition to Regional runner-up finishes in those races two weeks ago also took third in the 200 and fourth in the 100.
Carson & Colin Vanderschaaf, Marquette: After finishing third and fifth, respectively, in UPD1 cross country in the fall, Marquette’s sophomore distance standouts could be climbing the podium. Carson has the fastest seed times in the 3,200 (10:14.24) and as part of the 3,200 relay (8:45.36). Colin also runs on that 3,200 relay and is seeded first in the 1,600 (4:38.98).
Top Regional scores: Iron Mountain 63, Norway 53½, Ishpeming 39.
Team forecast: Ishpeming won back-to-back team championships in 2018 and 2019 and has earned five over the last six seasons, but that streak could be coming to an end as Iron Mountain seeks its first title since 2000 and Norway its first since 2005. Norway could be in line for some big points with the top seeds in two field events, two relays and two individual races. Iron Mountain, however, has an advantage on depth with all four relays and 17 individual entries competing. Ishpeming is right behind with all four relays and 14 individual entries.
Silas Broberg, Ishpeming: The Division 2 cross country champion in the fall will attempt to cap his high school career with another title or more, entering as the top seed in the 3,200 (11:23.9) by 18 seconds while also running the 800, 1,600 and on the 3,200 relay.
Adam Cavagnetto, Norway: The junior distance standout enters the weekend as the top-seeded contender in both the 800 (2:10.85) and 1,600 (4:46.47).
David Duvall, Gwinn: He was one of the most impressive performers as a sophomore in 2019, winning the 110 hurdles and finishing runner-up in the 300 and long jump. He’ll be a contender in those three events and as part of the 400 relay, with his 18.16 seed time in the 110 pacing the field.
Christian Koiveniemi, St. Ignace: After running two Finals relays as a freshman in 2019, he’s back as a junior with the top seeds in the 100 (12.08) and 200 (24.77) and also the high jump (5-6).
Landon Sudelius, West Iron County: He took sixth in both hurdles races two years ago as a freshman, but enters this weekend seeded first in the 300 (45.36) and second in the 110.
Top Regional scores: Pickford 73, Stephenson 65, Rapid River 64.
Team forecast: Rapid River has had the most recent success of the teams listed above, with two titles and two runner-up finishes between 2015-18 and a fourth place in 2019. Dominant field events would be the Rockets’ ticket this time, while Pickford has some likely high scorers throughout the lineup. Stephenson could be in line for its first team title since 2007 with 23 individual entries and all four relays running including two that are top-seeded. Powers North Central finished only three points behind Stephenson at their Regional and also has some interesting high-scoring possibilities.
Cameron Hoornstra, Brimley: After running the 800 and 1,600 two years ago as a sophomore, Hoornstra has found his stride in the sprints and enters this weekend with the top seed in the 100 (12.0) and fourth in the 200, and he’ll also run the 400 and is fourth-seeded in the long jump.
Kolson Kytta, Chassell: The Division 3 cross country runner-up in the fall could end his Chassell career as a champion entering this weekend with the top seeds in the 1,600 (4:39.17) and 3,200 (10:36.52).
Conner LeClaire, Dollar Bay: He got on the board with a fifth-place finish in the 300 hurdles in 2019 and returns as a senior with the top seed time in that race (43.85) and third-fastest in the 110.
Ben & Max Lenaker, Rapid River: The senior twins both are top seeds in field events, with Ben’s 20-9 pacing long jump and Max’s 6-0 tops in high jump. Ben also is top-seeded in the 400 (52.80) by more than a second.
PHOTOS: (Top) Gladstone's Blake Servant earns one of his four championships during the Mid-Peninsula Conference meet May 24 in Negaunee. (Middle) Houghton's Eric Weiss wins the 3,200 at the Mid-Peninsula finals with Ishpeming's Silas Broberg taking second. (Photos by Cara Kamps.)
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.)