By Adam Niemi
Special for Second Half
KINGSFORD - Bessemer earned its name.
How could the aptly named Speedboys, whose logo is a winged shoe, not win a track & field meet?
They did just that Saturday at Kingsford High School's Flivver Field.
Bessemer's 136 points were enough to comfortably win its second straight UP Division 3 Finals after taking second place in 2017.
Lake Linden-Hubbell was second this time with 67 points, edging Brimley by a point for the runner-up spot.
"They've done excellent. We have done well for the past few years," Bessemer coach Tracy Rowe said. "We took first place last year, lost by four points the year before. They're a really dedicated group of boys.
“A lot of it starts with these kids in cross country, basketball, football. They're just really good athletes. It's just not one person. You can have one student or one athlete and you're not going to win. Of the 13 who made it, all of them except two or three were doing four events. That's phenomenal. They're multi-talented."
Rapid River took fourth with 60 points, and Powers North Central was fifth with 42.
Bessemer's Uriah Aili set Division 3 UP Finals records in the 800, 1,600 and 3,200.
Aili's 800 was timed at 1:59.93, beating his own record (2:01.08) from 2018.
He set the 1,600 record with a time of 4:28.68, five seconds faster than Cedarville's Thomas Bohn ran in setting the previous record in 2018.
Aili's 3,200 time was 10:08.51. Wakefield's Ryan Holm had set the record in 2001 at 10:10.06. Aili’s 3,200 time may have been even better had he not run the 800 shortly beforehand.
"The 800 took some of the wind out of me," Aili said. "This is my last day of high school running. It's definitely a good way to end. This means the world to me. We have such a small school, and the younger kids look up to me. Now they know what's possible."
Jamie Jett gave the Speedboys wins in the 110 and 300 hurdles. He also took fourth in the 200 and fifth in long jump.
Bessemer won the 1,600 and 3,200 relays.
"Have fun. We told them have fun, do your best," Rowe said. "If you do your best, things will fall where they should fall. You can kind of look at where the seeds are. We've had years where everything has gone wrong. A few years ago a person trips on the hurdles, and someone else sprains an ankle the week of. Keep healthy, do your best, work as a team and support each other."
Lake Linden-Hubbell won the 200 and 400 relays. Stephenson's Montell Glover won the 100 dash. Powers North Central's Leo Gorzinski won the 200. Ontonagon's Noah Lukkari won the 400 with a 52.56.
Lake Linden-Hubbell's Cole Gregorie won the high jump at 6 feet. He also won the long jump at 19 feet, 9 inches.
Bessemer's Zach Baross won the pole vault, and teammate Tyler Busch won the shot put at 47-5.50. Rapid River's Gunner Larson won the discus at 141-4.
PHOTOS: (Top) Bessemer's Uriah Aili wins the 800 on Saturday, one of three individual victories for the Speedboys standout. (Middle) Lake Linden-Hubbell's Kellen Klein carries the baton for one of his team's two relay winners. (Photos by Cara Kamps.)
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.