Jokela Stars Again, Lake Linden-Hubbell Reigns This Time as Outright Champ

By John Vrancic
Special for

June 2, 2024

KINGSFORD — Lake Linden-Hubbell junior Emily Jokela had quite a workout here Saturday and has three individual victories to show for it.

The Lakes also benefitted from her effort as they earned the Upper Peninsula Division 3 track & field team championship.

LL-H, which shared the title with Stephenson a year ago, scored 72 points this time. Newberry edged Stephenson 64-62 for the runner-up trophy.

“Our Regional has been tough since 2016,” Lakes’ coach Gary Guisfredi said. “Since that time, teams from our Regional have won the U.P. Finals eight times. Emily scored 38 points alone today. Our shot putter (sophomore Maddy Dudenas) taking third and our girl (sophomore Cleo Milkey) taking fourth in long jump were big points. We knew Newberry and Stephenson were going to be tough.”

Jokela opened with a victory in the 100-meter dash in 13.04 seconds. Later, she set UPD3 Finals records in back-to-back races, taking the 400 (58.61) and 300 hurdles (44.8) prior to placing second in the 200 (27.03).

“My starts were better than usual,” she said. “Those (open 400 and 300 hurdles) are tough races, but you just got to push through that. You always try to prepare for that in practice. I just try to beat everybody to the next hurdle.”

Her effort in the 400 topped the old mark (58.7) by Superior Central’s Lauren Spranger in 2011, and in the hurdles she bested her own record (45.63) from a year ago.

The Lakes, who finished undefeated this year, also won the 800 relay at 1:52.52.

Stephenson's Faith Cappaert (11) takes the lead and doesn't relinquish it while winning the 800. “I think our handoffs were good,” senior Rebecca Lyons said. “It feels great to be U.P. champions. We were really excited about this meet. We knew Newberry and Stephenson were pretty good.”

Dollar Bay got a first on sophomore Kiera Isaacson’s leap of 5-3 in high jump.

Newberry, coming off a solid cross country season from last fall, showed its strength in the distances. Sophomore Samantha Taylor set the meet record in the 1,600 (5:14.9), topping the previous best (5:17.2) by Amy Kerst of Munising in 2011. She was followed by freshman Abby Taylor (5:22.7), Stephenson sophomore Faith Cappaert (5:36.7) and Newberry senior Kaylen Clark (5:37.49), who will run at Davenport University this fall.

Clark added a first in the 3,200 (12:33.7), withstanding a challenge from North Dickinson’s Mya Grunlund (12:43.65).

“I knew I had my kick and had to use it today,” Clark said. “I just wanted to defend my title one more time. I think my conditioning from cross country helped me. I missed three meets because of bronchitis. Once I got over that, I did a lot of slow miles. It was a struggle.

“I’ll get to run against Lola (Korpi) again in college. I’m real excited about that. It will also be exciting to do something new.”

Newberry also overcame a slow start to win the 3,200 relay (10:24.16).

“We weren’t too worried,” Abby Taylor said after anchoring that relay. “We knew Kaylen and Sam would close it. I felt pretty relaxed and confident in the final leg.”

Cappaert won the 800 (2:25.91), followed by Abby Taylor (2:33.34) and Clark (2:35.52), and senior Kayela Putnam added a first for the Eagles in pole vault (10-0).

Fourth-place Carney-Nadeau got the bulk of its points in the field events where senior Samantha Kedsch set a meet and school record in long jump at 16-11. Her effort also topped the previous best jump of 16-7½ by Ontonagon’s Olivia Suomis in 2012.

Junior teammate Mariska Laurila won discus with a school-record throw of 114-1 and added a first in shot put (33-1¼), with senior Kelsie Smith taking second (32-5).

Big Bay de Noc got a first from Destiny Bleau, who was clocked at 26.73 in the 200.

Click for full results.

PHOTOS (Top) Lake Linden-Hubbell's Emily Jokela sets a meet record in the 400 with a winning time of 58.61 on Saturday. (Middle) Stephenson's Faith Cappaert (11) takes the lead and doesn't relinquish it while winning the 800. (Click for more from Cara Kamps/

Performance of the Week: Onsted's Emmry Ross

June 6, 2024

Emmry Ross headshotEmmry Ross ♦ Onsted
Junior ♦ Track & Field

Ross became just the third girl in Lower Peninsula history – and one of eight statewide – to win four individual events at an MHSAA Track & Field Finals, as she finished first in the 400 (56.25), 800 (2:10.74), 1,600 (4:57.81) and 3,200 (10:55.27) on Saturday at the LP Division 3 championship meet at Kent City. She was the only member of her team to qualify for the Finals, but her 40 points earned in those races placed Onsted second in the team standings.

Her 400 time was a season-best, and her 800 and 3,200 times were personal records – which is saying even more considering she also won the 400 and 800 as a sophomore and the 400 (and ran on the winning 1,600 relay) as a freshman in 2022. Ross also runs cross country and finished fifth at the LPD3 Final this past fall.

@mhsaasports 🏃‍♀️‍➡️POW: Emmry Ross #trackandfield #onsted #letsgo #champion #running #part1 #highschoolsports #tiktalk #interview #performanceoftheweek #mistudentaid #fyp #MHSAA ♬ original sound - MHSAA

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Past 2023-24 Honorees

May 31: Isaac Sturgess, Flint Powers Catholic baseball - Report
May 30:
Abby Russell, Allen Park track & field - Report 
May 23:
Isabel Thelen, St. Johns tennis - Report
May 16:
Ally Katinas, Novi lacrosse - Report
May 9:
Peter Roehl, Rochester Adams golf - Report
May 2:
Lilah Smith, Richland Gull Lake soccer - Report
April 25:
Mason Mayne, Lawton track & field - Report
April 18:
Alli Wright, Jenison softball - Report
April 11:
Chloe Wishart, Trenton soccer - Report
March 28:
Jenna Maki, Ishpeming basketball - Report
March 22:
Jaremiah Palmer, Niles Brandywine basketball - Report
March 15:
Leah Hodge, North Farmington gymnastics - Report
March 8:
Darius Marines, Detroit Catholic Central wrestling - Report
March 1:
Rylee Smith, Zeeland West bowling - Report
Feb. 22:
Caleb Lewandowski, Traverse City West skiing - Report
Feb. 15:
Jadin Mix, Onaway basketball - Report
Feb. 8:
Onalee Wallis, Cadillac skiing - Report
Feb. 1:
Abbey DeGraw, Rochester Hills Stoney Creek competitive cheer - Report
Jan. 25:
Ewan Todd, Riverview swimming - Report
Jan. 18:
Ashley Weller, Jackson Northwest basketball - Report
Jan. 11:
Michael Baldwin, Saginaw Arthur Hill wrestling - Report
Dec. 15:
Jena Fijolek, Fenton bowling - Report
Dec. 8:
Sophia Wagner, Escanaba gymnastics - Report
Dec. 1:
Isaiah Marshall, Southfield Arts & Technology football - Report
Nov. 24:
Sarah Bradley, Clarkston Everest Collegiate volleyball - Report
Nov. 17:
Kalieb Osborne, Waterford Mott football - Report
Nov. 10:
Tekalegn Vlasma, Muskegon Western Michigan Christian soccer - Report
Nov. 3:
Colton Kinnie, Birmingham Seaholm football - Report
Oct. 27:
Lauren Timpf, Macomb Lutheran North golf - Report
Oct. 20:
Alena Li, Okemos golf - Report
Oct. 13:
Seth Norder, Grand Haven cross country - Report
Oct. 5:
Paige Anderson, Muskegon Reeths-Puffer golf - Report
Sept. 29:
MacKenzie Bisballe, Lake City volleyball - Report
Sept. 22:
Jhace Massey, Gladwin football - Report
Sept. 15:
Kaylee Draper, Sturgis swimming - Report
Sept. 8:
Owen Jackson, Traverse City St. Francis tennis - Report
Sept. 1:
Rachel Forsyth, Ann Arbor Pioneer cross country - Report

(Photo by Jamie McNinch/