Thrower Claims Lone Individual Title to Lead Hackett to Team 3-Peat

By Tom Lang
Special for

June 3, 2023

Kalamazoo Hackett Catholic Prep just keeps winning and winning.

This time the Irish took home their fourth title in the last five Lower Peninsula Division 4 Track & Field Finals, on Saturday at Hudsonville.

Hackett’s only individual title was taken by discus winner Nathan Buchmann, a senior, who was fine knowing he was the shortest in stature among all the sizable competitors.

“In the offseason after football I worked out every day, working towards this goal,” he said after getting his medal. “I would say this takes 80 percent technique and 20 percent strength to throw the discus. So, length can help but if you have good technique and are really strong, that will play into it.

“I think we are very balanced throughout the meet today,” he said about teammates that scored points in finishes other than first place. “We have 13 guys here today, and we have people in a lot of the races. But I do not run; I have too short of legs to be a fast runner,” he said with a chuckle.

Buchmann had to work through a hip injury to compete this spring.

“I think the setbacks are what make you strong,” he said. “You can either give up through the setbacks or push forward and become better.”

Cardinal Mooney's Tyler Lenn, far right, sets the pace in the 1,600.Coach Charissa Dean agreed.

“The kids have big hearts,” she said after all the points were totaled and the Irish were on top once again, with 53. “They worked hard. They had a lot of potential when we started the season. And we had a lot of drive to put in the work, and we are happy the results came out the way they did.”

Reading was runner-up at 47 points, followed by Wyoming Potter’s House Christian with 42, then Fowler and Flint Beecher each with 37 points.

Senior Lezawe “Moses” Osterink, of Potter’s House Christian, placed second in 1,600 but took the 3,200 title as defending champ of both. He dominated the latter by lapping the field with a final lap kick that resembled more of a superhero speedster.

“Nobody really took it out that hard at the start,” he said. “There was a freshman (Marek Butkiewicz of Hackett) that tried to get the pace going quick, but me and Dakota (Dykhuis of Montabella) just kind of sat back and gradually pulled him through.

“We took it gradually, and I was just relying that I could kick.”

Kick did he ever. The trio were neck and neck the majority of the race in a grouping ahead of the pack.

“With 400 to go I just tried to go all out,” Osterink said. “I had a lot more left than I thought and I was pleased with the win. Not really the time, but that doesn’t matter, especially this hot out.”

The overall meet was in the low 90s/high 80s heat and searing sun all day. So, race officials allowed the unique opportunity for coaches to spray the runners with water and give them water bottles.

“It was very weird because I’ve never taken water to drink while I’m running, so I didn’t know how that would feel,” Osterink said. “And they were spraying us and hitting us in the face. It was kind of fun.”

Junior Tyler Lenn of Marine City Cardinal Mooney defeated Osterink at his own game in the 1,600.

“I’m feeling great,” Lenn said after grabbing the medal. “I said to a newspaper after one of my races (during the season) I was right where I wanted to be. This has been a long rebuilding process for me since an injury back in the fall, and I set a pretty high goal the day the injury happened. I was telling myself I needed to fulfill what I said I would do at the beginning of last cross country season. And that is what I did today.” 

Lenn suffered an ankle sprain from a misstep that turned worse because he kept running through the season on it.

“Coming back from that was pretty tough, but I wouldn’t have it any other way,” he said. Flint Beecher's Jaylin Townsend, middle, crosses the finish first for one of his two sprint championships. “Perseverance; I said from the beginning what I was going to do. I kept my eye on that target, and no matter the circumstances life threw at me, that I was going to make it happen and I am a man of my word.”

Jaylin Townsend, a senior from Flint Beecher, dominated the short races. He won the 100 dash (10.67) and 200 dash at 22 seconds flat. It was his third 100 win at a Finals.

“I put in a lot of work; I had to three-peat,” he said after the 100. “There’s a lot of great competition here, so I knew I had to come out and run my best.”

Concord in the 400 (43.72), Buckley in the 800 (1:30.76) and 1,600 (3:29.13) and Potter’s House in the 3,200 (8:14.18) were relay champs Saturday. Reading’s Tayshawn Bester won the 110 hurdles (15.13), and Athens’ Landen Bennett won the 300 (39.85). Caseville’s Nathan Feltner won the 400 (50.76), and Vestaburg’s Owen Patton claimed the 800 (1:55.11).

Fruitport Calvary Christian’s Bradley Richards won the high jump (6-10), and Peck’s Alex Affer won the long jump (23-4). McBain Northern Michigan Christian’s Isaac Bowden was first in pole vault (13-0), and Brown City’s Kyle Affer won shot put (49-2).

Click for full results.

PHOTOS (Top) Kalamazoo Hackett Catholic Prep celebrates its third-straight LPD4 title Saturday. (Middle) Cardinal Mooney's Tyler Lenn, far right, sets the pace in the 1,600. (Below) Flint Beecher's Jaylin Townsend, middle, crosses the finish first for one of his two sprint championships. (Photos by Ken Swart/

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

By John Vrancic
Special for

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/