Saugatuck, Dunn Dominate in D4 Repeat
June 4, 2016
By Chip Mundy
Special for Second Half
GRAND RAPIDS – There was little question that Saugatuck junior Blake Dunn was the individual star of the MHSAA Lower Peninsula Division 4 track & field meet Saturday afternoon at Houseman Field.
Dunn swept the 110 and 300-meter hurdles, both in meet-record times, to lead Saugatuck to the championship just one year after the Indians shared first place with Concord. Saugatuck finished with 66 points to easily outdistance runner-up Evart’s 32. Cassopolis was third with 30.
It was Saugatuck’s third MHSAA championship in the past four years, and the Indians were runners-up in 2014.
“The distance guys let me know that we would have won the meet without Blake,” Saugatuck coach Rick Bauer said. “They get tired of my harping at them and asking why they don’t score as much as Blake. We used to be a distance program that ran track, and now we’re a pretty complete team.”
Dunn dominated the 110 hurdles as he set an LP Division 4 Finals record by winning in 14.33 seconds. He won by more than a second while running into a headwind.
“There was nothing I could do about the wind, so I just did the best I could,” he said. “I’m just really glad that I was able to run a good race.”
Dunn’s double came in the 300 hurdles, which he won in 38.31 seconds, another meet record. That victory was by nearly two seconds, and it was his second consecutive MHSAA title in that event.
“Basically, I try to get out as hard as I can and make those guys try to catch me and see what happens from there,” Dunn said. “I just have to hit the hurdles and keep pushing.”
Dunn is one of the top all-around athletes in the state. He was quarterback on the football team, played basketball and already has decided to play baseball at Western Michigan University. In fact, he had to leave his baseball team, which played in the District tournament Saturday, to compete in the track meet.
“It was a hard choice, but I had faith in my baseball guys that they could come out with a couple of wins,” he said. “It’s awesome that the coaches let me play both sports.
“I’ve been playing football, basketball, baseball and track my whole life, and I think it has helped me keep fresh for every season,” he added. ‘They announced a stat that there are fewer injuries for people who play multiple sports, and I think it keeps my muscles relaxed and loose.”
Bauer was thankful that Dunn was able to be on hand at Houseman.
“That’s a kid who throws 90 miles per hour and probably is going to be in the majors someday; that’s great. Thanks,” he said.
Dunn also ran a leg on Saugatuck’s fourth-place 400 relay, joining teammates Jordan Mitchell, Cole Hartman and Jeff Kohlmeyer.
“The 4 by 100 was kind of a surprise,” Bauer said. “We came in fourth, but we beat our school record by a half a second. That’s the sort of thing you hope happens.”
Saugatuck also was second in the 3,200 as Keegan Siefert, Nick Butch, Orlando Carrion and Zachary Pettinga finished in 8:17.84.
While Dunn had the only individual championships for Saugatuck, the team was loaded with plenty of excellent finishes. Perhaps the most inspiring was the second-place finish in high jump by senior Mervyn Auffret, an exchange student from France.
“We didn’t expect him to score at all, and he ended up in second place,” Bauer said. “I didn’t expect that to happen. He had never tried track until this year, and he didn’t know anything about high jump. He also qualified in the hurdles, so he was a great addition to our team.”
Auffret certainly will return to France with some stories to tell.
“I have told all my friends about the high jump and that I’m good at it, but it was really hard at first,’ he said. “I didn’t know much about it. Really, I didn’t know anything.”
Saugatuck had other strong finishes. In the 3,200, freshman Corey Gorgas was second and junior Pettinga was third. Evan Hotary was fourth in the pole vault (12-9), and Xavier Cardona took fourth in the shot put.
The only other individual double-winner at the meet was Santana Scott of Evart. Scott won the 1,600 in 4 minutes, 22.89 seconds and took the 3,200 in 9:42.83.
Other individual champions in the running events were Billy Wojnowski of Big Rapids Crossroads, who edged Montez Brewer of Concord 11.15 to 11.16 in the 100. Freshman Alec Muck of Sand Creek won the 200 in 22.50, Deion Gaston of Cassopolis took the 400 (50.20) and Daniel Mikovits of Concord captured the 800 in 1:58.50.
In the field events, Jacob Kulhanek of Merrill repeated as champion in the pole vault by clearing 13 feet, 9 inches. Southfield Christian sophomore Blake Washington won the high jump at 6-5, just 1 inch higher than Auffret.
Delvon Hines of Melvindale Academy of Business & Technology won the long jump (20-9.25), Paxton Titus of Brighton Livingston Christian took the discus (162-11), and Jacob Lechner of Harbor Springs won the shot put (13-9).
Relay winners included Melvindale ABT in the 400 (43.75), Muskegon Catholic Central in the 800 (1:31.30), Centreville in the 1,600 (3:28.28) and Hillsdale Academy in the 3,200 (8:13.34).
PHOTO: Saugatuck's Blake Dunn clears a hurdle on the way to an individual title while helping his team to the overall championship at Houseman Field. (Photo by Angie Graham/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.)