#TBT: Pioneer Mourns Champion Coach

July 9, 2015

By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor

Ann Arbor Pioneer this week mourned longtime girls track & field and cross country coach Bryan Westfield, who died Sunday at the age of 72 and led Pioneers teams to a combined 19 MHSAA team championships over a career spanning more than three decades.

The Pioneers won their first girls track & field title under Westfield in 1985, edging Detroit Cass Tech 56-50 in Lower Peninsula Class A at Flint’s Houston Stadium. Pioneer went on to win the next six LP Class A titles, then strung together four more straight wins from 1996-99. His track & field teams won five more titles during the first decade of the 2000s, most recently in 2008, and the program holds the record for Lower Peninsula Finals championships with 16, six more than Detroit Renaissance.

Westfield’s girls cross country teams won back-to-back LP Class A titles in 1987 and 1988, and then won again in 1997.

Westfield graduated from Ann Arbor High School – the predecessor to Pioneer – in 1960 having lettered in football and track & field. He competed in both at Cornell University and eventually returned to Pioneer as a teacher. He also had a brief stint with the New York Giants’ developmental squad and qualified for the U.S. Olympic Trials in 1964.

He began coaching Pioneer’s girls track & field and cross country teams in 1978 and coached both during the 2014-15 school year. He was inducted into the Michigan Interscholastic Track Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2006 and the Michigan High School Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2014, among a number of accolades earned over the years.

A memorial service is scheduled for 2 p.m. Friday at Ann Arbor Pioneer High School. The school’s track was dedicated in 2012 to Westfield and former boys track & field coach Don Sleeman.

Click for Westfield’s obituary and coverage of his passing from AnnArbor.com.

PHOTO: Coach Bryan Westfield stands with his 1990 team after it won the Lower Peninsula Class A track & field championship. 

Lake Linden-Hubbell, Stephenson Share in UPD3; Jokela Joins Elite Club

By Jason Juno
Special for MHSAA.com

June 4, 2023

KINGSFORD – Lake Linden-Hubbell got to the top with first-place power. Stephenson won only two events. 

But there are multiple ways to win an MHSAA Finals championship in track & field. And the Lakes and Eagles tied for the Upper Peninsula Division 3 girls title Saturday. 

Lake Linden-Hubbell got a little assist from two-time reigning champion Ontonagon in the final event, the 1,600 relay. The Lakes led in the standings by eight points, but they didn’t have a 1,600-meter relay team. Stephenson could have won the team title with a win in that event, but Ontonagon’s relay team proved solid again and forced the Eagles to settle for the runner-up spot in the race and the eight points that come with it.

The Lakes last won team Finals titles during a three-year run from 2017-19. For Stephenson, it had been since 1993 when the team competed in Class C. The Eagles were runners-up last year.

Norway's Taylor Adams wins the 800. Lake Linden-Hubbell sophomore Emily Jokela entered with the fastest Regional times in all four of her events, and she won all four of them Saturday – the 100, 200, 400 and 300 hurdles. She became just the sixth female to win four individual events at an MHSAA Finals.

The only one she didn’t win a title in last year was the 100 dash; she has that now. The only school record she didn’t have going into Saturday was in the 200; she has that now as well. She broke it by one tenth of a second.

“It feels great,” Jokela said. “I was very worried about running today because it was so hot.”

Her 300 hurdles time of 45.63 seconds set a UPD3 Finals record. Ontonagon’s Lori Wardynski had the record before (47.27).

Teammate Abi Codere repeated in the 100 hurdles, and their 400 relay team (Codere, Rebecca Lyons, Isabella Tampas and Cleo Milkey) also won.

Stephenson’s wins came in the 3,200 relay (Faith Cappaert, Joelle Beaudo, Kayela Putnam and Jada Kuntze) and the long jump (Sarah Labs).

Ontonagon also won the 800 relay (Lilly McIntyre, Alli Bobula, Kylee Uotila and Makennah Uotila).

“I’m sad we didn’t get a title this year, but the past two back-to-back U.P. titles we had made my entire career,” senior Makennah Uotila said. “I’ve enjoyed it so much. The relays were a big part of our U.P.  titles, so to still have strong relays is very important.”

Newberry’s Kaylen Clark won the 1,600 and 3,200 runs. She was the runner-up at the UPD3 cross country meet in the fall and in both events at the UPD2 track meet last season. Taylor Adams of Norway won the 800.

In the field, Mariska Laurila of Carney-Nadeau was the champion in the discus, Rudyard’s Alicia Cheney won the high jump, Dollar Bay’s Nora Keranen won the pole vault after winning long jump in 2022, and Brimley’s Grace Hill repeated in the shot put.

Click for full results.

PHOTOS (Top) Lake Linden-Hubbell's Emily Jokela, second from right, wins the 400 on Saturday. (Middle) Norway's Taylor Adams wins the 800. (Photos by Cara Kamps/RunMichigan.com.)