Whittemore-Prescott Gets Win That Counts Most
By Wes Morgan
Special for MHSAA.com
June 3, 2017
GRAND RAPIDS – Winning it all doesn’t necessarily mean winning them all when it comes to track & field.
In fact, the Whittemore-Prescott boys team didn’t win a single event at Saturday’s Lower Peninsula Division 4 championship meet at Grand Rapids’ Houseman Field.
The Cardinals still managed to rack up 36 points for the team title to hold off Manton (31), Harbor Springs (28) and two other schools that finished within 10 of the lead.
Seniors Ian Driscoll and Azaiyah Bell, sophomore Ridge Schutte and junior Bradley Lomason had one of the best finishes of the day for the Cardinals, clocking in at 3 minutes, 27.98 seconds in the 1,600-meter relay for second place. Junior Michael Eagan was also runner-up after he sailed 20 feet, 10½ inches in the long jump.
The top eight finishers in each event secure all-state status from the coaches association, and Whittemore-Prescott boasted five more all-state performances. Bell took fifth in the 100 (11.50), Driscoll, Schutte, Lomason and Bell were third in the 800 relay (1:32.92) and Lomason crossed the line in sixth in the 400 (51.52).
Senior Hunter Kensa added a seventh-place effort in the 800 with a time of 2:02.04, and junior Zane Aldrich was fourth in the 3,200 (10:04.19).
No records were broken at Houseman Field on a day with perfect weather. There were, however, a handful of double champions.
Harbor Springs sophomore Jeremy Kloss swept the 1,600 and the 3,200 with times of 4:25.73 and 9:46.25, respectively. He was fueled by a runner-up finish this past fall at the Cross Country Finals, but his game plan for both races seemed to have been scrapped immediately. Kloss reacted well to the chaos that often can accompany the pressure-packed championship meet.
“In the mile, I went out a little harder than I would normally because I didn’t want to get pulled in and surrounded by a pack,” Kloss said. “So I led the race the whole time.
“In the two mile I went out a little slow (4:57) and I was maybe in 10th place at the mile mark. I made up a lot of ground and caught the Saginaw Nouvel kid around the 300-meter mark. It was a completely different race, but it totally worked out in the end. I wanted to redeem myself during track, and it feels really nice. I was really happy.”
Livingston Christian senior Paxton Titus felt his heart rate increase when he had to make his third attempt in the discus count following two scratches. His final toss in the preliminaries went 169-10 to ensure a spot in the finals. He wouldn’t need the extra throws, though, as that mark was good enough to win a title.
He ran his hand through his mohawk, pumped his fists and let out some deep sighs of relief as he left the circle.
Titus was also the favorite in the shot put, and he delivered with a winning distance of 55-9½. Titus was the Finals champion in the discus last season as well and seventh in the shot put last June.
Sand Creek sophomore Alec Muck also doubled Saturday, securing victories in the 100 and 200. He cruised to a time of 10.98 seconds in the 100 and turned in a 22.14 in the 200. The times were personal records, and Muck edged Reading’s Ethan LoPresto, who also has two more years of competition ahead, setting up what should be some exciting matchups to come.
"It felt great to win this year," Muck said. "It was a goal I had this past year, and it's what I strived to do. It felt surreal to accomplish it. The weather was really nice today, and that helped me a lot, I think.
“Coming off last year winning the 200, I was nervous and felt like I had a lot to live up to. It was nice to be able to represent my county and bring home the wins in both races."
Marcellus junior Derek Flory also put his stamp on Saturday’s Finals with a pair of victories. He sprinted to the line in a time of 39.89 in the 300 hurdles and logged a distance of 20-11 to win the long jump.
PHOTOS: (Top) Whittemore-Prescott runners pass the baton during a relay Saturday at Houseman Field. (Middle) Muskegon Catholic Central and Fulton-Middleton anchors cross the finish line during the 400 relay. (Photos by Dave McCauley/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.)