Hematites Climb Back to 1st in UPD2

By John Vrancic
Special for MHSAA.com

May 31, 2015

KINGSFORD — It was bit of a challenge at times, but the Ishpeming girls captured their first MHSAA Upper Peninsula Division 2 track and field title in eight years Saturday by scoring 151 points.

Iron River West Iron County was runner-up for the second straight second with 126, followed by Manistique at 59.

Ishpeming’s Khora Swanson won the 800-meter run in two minutes, 28.53 seconds and took second in the 1,600 (5:45.62) on this partly sunny and breezy day.

Hematites senior Jessica Spencer was runner-up in the 100 hurdles at 17.97, edging teammate Katie Loman by one hundredth of a second. She also took third in the 300 (53.15) and helped the winning 400 and 800 relays.

“We worked on handoffs a lot in practice and those were a key for us,” said Spencer, who will attend Northern Michigan University this fall. “We just focused on doing the best we could, and our team showed its true potential. I’ve been to the Finals all four years, and this was the best. The energy was contagious.

“Everybody just supported each other. This is a great way to end my senior year.”

Ishpeming’s Marissa Maino swept the weight events with tosses of 35 feet, one inch in shot put and 109-4 in discus. Nassi Thomas added a first in long jump (14-10½) and seconds in the 100 (13.4) and 200 (27.5).

The Hematites also won the 3,200 relay, with West Iron taking the 1,600.

West Iron took the top three spots in the 400, which was won by Emmy Kinner (1:02.18). She was followed by Elizabeth Pellizzer (1:04.01) and Erin Angeli (1:05.22).

Kinner also finished first in the 100 (13.19) and 200 (27.16).

West Iron senior Tori Harris placed second in the 800 in a school-record 2:28.77 and the 3,200 (12:42.27) and placed third in the 1,600 (5:50.29).

“I was not happy with the 1,600, but felt better during the 800,” Harris said. “The 800 is my favorite race, and I’m very pleased to get the school record. I started weight training, and I think it helps a lot.”

Keeley Nolingberg provided the Wykons with a second in shot put (30-7¾), with Rachel Tefft third (29-6½). Pellizzer added a third in the 200 (28.53).

Westwood junior Katie Etelamaki won the 1,600 (5:32.91) and 3,200 (12:02.45) and placed third in the 800 in a personal-best (2:29.54).

“I’m not quite where I want to be,” Etelamaki said. “I just tried to find someone to draft off of and had enough left to kick it in at the end. We haven’t had many windy meets this year, but the temperature is pretty good (mid 50s). I really can’t complain about the weather.”

Manistique made its strongest showing in pole vault, which was won my Katie Davis at eight feet. Josie Price was runner-up (7-6) and Brittney Zellar took fourth (7-0).

Hancock’s Mary Jarvis was a double-winner, taking the 100 hurdles (16.76) and 300 (49.21).

Click for full results.

PHOTOS: (Top) Ishpeming's Jessica Spencer crosses the finish line during one of her four events Saturday at the U.P. Division 2 Final. (Middle) The Hematites' Khora Swanson, right, works to stay ahead of West Iron County's Tori Harris; the two raced each other in the 800 and 1,600. (Photos courtesy of Cara Kamps.)

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. 

Norway's Taylor Adams wins the 800. 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.

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).

Stephenson's Jada Kuntze crosses the finish line first in the 3,200 relay.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. (Below) Stephenson's Jada Kuntze crosses the finish line first in the 3,200 relay. (Photos by Cara Kamps/RunMichigan.com.)