Marquette Standouts Finish Stellar Run

By John Vrancic
Special for

June 4, 2016

KINGSFORD — The Marquette High School girls have dominated their competition throughout this track and field season.

That held true again Saturday as the Redettes captured their sixth consecutive Upper Peninsula Division 1 title with 169 points. Escanaba and Sault Ste. Marie shared runner-up honors with 61 apiece on a day during which rainy conditions eventually gave way to partly sunny skies at Flivver Field.

“This was a great day for our whole team,” said Marquette coach Natalie Messano. “I’m real proud of their effort. I was a little nervous at first about the weather, but the girls didn’t let it get to them. We have an excellent program and (former coach) John Peterson did a great job building it. It’s going to be hard to lose our seniors, but we have a lot of strong juniors coming up.”

The Redettes grabbed four of the six places in the 1600 and 3200-meter runs.

Senior Lindsey Rudden had a hand in four firsts, taking her fourth straight title in the 800 at two minutes, 16 seconds and 1,600 (5:03.31) and anchoring the winning 1,600 (4:05.4) and 3,200 (10:12.92) relays.

“I was a little slow today,” said Rudden, who set the U.P. 1,600 record at 4:55.28 two years ago as a sophomore. “It felt like I pushed hard. I’m pleased with the victories, but I’m definitely disappointed I didn’t break five (minutes) in the 1,600. Although, it’s still fun. A lot of our girls qualified, and I’m happy our team did so well.”

Senior Holly Blowers led off both relays and was runner-up in the 800 (2:22.69) and 1,600 (5:16.1).

“I think our handoffs went well, and we still have pretty solid times after losing Shayla (Huebner) to graduation last year,” said Blowers. “This is a real emotional day. It’s hard to believe it’s over.”

Marquette’s Izzie Peterson won the 100 (12.6), 200 (26.9), and helped the winning 400 relay (52.59) and runner-up 800 relay (1:49.28).

Junior Amber Huebner, also part of Marquette’s 1,600 and 3,200 relays, placed second in the 3,200 run (11:57.47) and third in the 1,600 (5:18.43).

Escanaba junior Jeny Brandt won discus at 108 feet, 10 inches. Negaunee’s Caylee Dempsey was runner-up (100-1), with Escanaba senior Haile Waters third (97-0).

Sault Ste. Marie senior Brenna James captured the 300 hurdles (47.11) and placed second in the 100 dash (13.03) and fourth in the 200 (27.55).

“My times improved a lot from last year,” said James. “My first 200 in the hurdles was solid, then I really had to fight through the last 100. I have to give credit to my opponents, too. That’s a tough race. Early in the meet, it was hard to stay warm with all the rain we were getting. We had to wear a lot of layers.”

James was followed by Marquette’s Jacquie Cammarata in 48 seconds flat and the Redettes’ Hannah Detmers (48.11) in the 300 hurdles.

Menominee senior Paiton Plutchak won the 100 hurdles (15.95), followed by Escanaba senior Sunny Martineau (16.42) and Cammarata (16.79).

“I felt pretty good,” said Plutchak, who finished with three straight victories in the 100s. “I hadn’t practiced all week because of my hip, but I felt the whole thing went well. My goal was to not hit any hurdles. I had kind of a mental block before the Regionals. I needed to get a few wins to get my confidence up.”

Kingsford’s Olivia Allen took the 400 (1:01.22), and helped the winning 800 relay (1:49.1) and runner-up 1,600 relay, which was clocked in a school-record 4:10.13.

Click for full results.

PHOTOS: (Top) Marquette's Lindsey Rudden leads the pack during the 1,600 at the Upper Peninsula Division 1 Finals. (Middle) Menominee's Paiton Plutchak outpaces Escanaba senior Sunny Martineau (left) and Marquette’s Jacquie Cammarata in the 100 hurdles. (Photos by Cara Kamps.)

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

By Jason Juno
Special for

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/