St. Joseph Boys Make Every Point Count in Clinching 1st Finals Since 1997

By Keith Dunlap
Special for

June 3, 2023

ROCKFORD – Entering the final event of Saturday’s Lower Peninsula Division 1 Final, the 1,600 relay, St. Joseph was in first place – but by the slimmest of margins.

St. Joseph had 35.75 points, while Rockford had 35, Clinton Township Chippewa Valley had 32, and Ann Arbor Huron had 30. 

Bears head coach Todd Rose knew his team was in the second heat before faster teams after, but his for sure needed to be faster than Rockford. 

“I don’t teach them to worry about who they are running against,” Rose said. “Just run within themselves and run how we teach them.” 

St. Joseph did that behind the team of Shay White, Will Fiesbeck, Eli Toney and Alex Moyer, finishing fourth in the event with a time of 3:21.50 to earn a meet-best 40.75 points – clinching the program’s first Finals team championship since 1997. 

Chippewa Valley was runner-up with 38 points, while Rockford was third at 36 points. 

St. Joseph senior Gerald Capaccio scored 18 precious points for his team, most notably winning the discus with a winning throw of 167-2. Capaccio said he was in second going into his last throw.

Ann Arbor Huron's Braxton Brann finishes one of his two race wins. “I just had the mindset that everyone can have a big throw, and it just has to be me that gets the big throw,” Capaccio said. “It happened on my final throw.” 

Capaccio also was second in the shot put with a throw of 56-11¼.

In addition to Capaccio earning big points in the shot put and discus, Rose gave credit to high jumper Joshua Scott for finishing in a tie for seventh in that event. That gave the Bears two points, and they proved to be especially important as the team won by less than one.

It’s rare when a runner does something that hasn’t been achieved since before automobiles were invented, but Ann Arbor Huron senior Braxton Brann had that distinction. 

Brann won the 110 hurdles and the 200 dash, becoming the first athlete to win those two events at the same state meet since 1895 – three decades before the MHSAA was formed. 

“It’s great to be in that kind of conversation,” said Brann, who will run in college at Ohio State.

First, Brann won the 110 hurdles in a time of 13.77. He said that was the event he was most concerned about.

“I haven’t really been consistent, so I just wanted to be that,” Brann said. 

Feeling much more comfortable and at home in the 200 dash, Brann ran a winning time of 21.12. 

“Everybody comes in looking at the stats of everybody else,” he said. “I saw I was in the best position to win. But I knew I had to run by butt off against this great field and come out with a win.” 

Northville makes the final exchange of its record-setting 3,200 relay. Just about everyone in the stadium did a double-take when Northville’s 3,200 relay time was posted. The team of Brandon Latta, Brock Malaikal, David Whitaker and Brendan Herger set a new all-Finals record with a blistering time of 7:35.32, which was the best time in the nation this year.

Herger said when he got the baton on the anchor leg, he knew his teammates set him up incredibly well. But even he and Northville couldn’t have foreseen this. 

“I had to run 1.54 to get it, and then I ended up running a bit faster than that,” Herger said. “I was so happy. I love my boys so much. It was great to share the moment together. 

Herger also ended up finishing second in the 800 meters with a time of 1:52.19 behind Utica’s Trent McFarland.

Detroit U-D Jesuit senior Jaiden Reed won the 100 (10.74), and Clinton Township Chippewa Valley junior Shamar Heard won the 400 (47.78). Grand Rapids Ottawa Hills senior Benne Anderson won the 1,600 (4:05.44), and Grand Haven junior Seth Norder won the 3,200 (9:04.68). Kalamazoo Central senior Kayenn Mabin won the 300 hurdles (38.31). Rockford in the 400 (42.01), Chippewa Valley in the 800 (1:26.41) and Oak Park in the 1,600 (3:18.90) also won relay titles.

Battle Creek Lakeview senior Andrew Berryhill was champion in the shot put (58-¼), and Saline senior Dolan Gonzales won pole vault (16-0). Ann Arbor Huron junior Andrew Harding won the high jump (6-7), and Canton sophomore Quincy Isaac won the long jump (22-11). New Baltimore Anchor Bay sophomore Luke Bowman competed in the adaptive 100 (19.65), 200 (35.66) and 400 (1:14.39).  

Click for full results.

PHOTOS (Top) St. Joseph celebrates its LPD1 championship Saturday. (Middle) Ann Arbor Huron's Braxton Brann finishes one of his two race wins. (Below) Northville makes the final exchange of its record-setting 3,200 relay. (Photos by Jamie McNinch [top two photos] and Carter Sherline/

Performance of the Week: Pickford's David Kozisek

June 9, 2023

David KozisekDavid 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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2022-23 Honorees

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.