Performance: East Kentwood's Corinne Jemison

May 25, 2018

Corinne Jemison
East Kentwood senior – Track & Field

Jemison, the reigning Lower Peninsula Division 1 champion in discus and runner-up in shot put, earned the opportunity to compete for those titles again with a pair of Regional championships May 18 at Lansing Waverly while also earning the Michigan Army National Guard “Performance of the Week.” Jemison won discus by 16 feet with a throw of 151-9, and shot put by two inches with a personal record 46-10½.

In both events, Jemison also finished just ahead of Waverly’s Malin Smith, a top-three placer in LP Division 2 in 2017 and owner of the longest shot put in the state (48-1) this season. Jemison has the longest discus throw – 158-11 – and they will see each other again at the June 2 LPD1 Finals at her home track. Jemison has surpassed both of her best throws from last season, when she won the discus with a 151-0 and threw a season-best 40-9 in the shot put at the 2017 MHSAA championship meet as well. She’s finished first every time she’s thrown this spring but once, when she finished second in discus to a thrower from Ohio in early April. East Kentwood as a team won last week’s Regional by 100 points and should contend for the Finals championship again after coming in third a year ago.  

The 6-foot-3 Jemison is capping an outstanding three-sport career at East Kentwood, where she played four years of varsity volleyball and basketball as well. She earned Division 1 all-state honorable mention in volleyball in the fall and made the Class A all-state second team in basketball this winter. She has graduated with a 3.2 grade-point average and will continue her volleyball career at Miami University of Ohio, where she’ll study kinesiology and physical therapy – and hopes to pick up a second sport when she’s a fifth-year senior. In taking her athletic career to the next level, she’ll also be continuing to follow in the footsteps of her parents, Erica Westbrooks-Jemison and Darin Jemison, who both played basketball collegiately at Louisiana Tech.

Coach Stephanie Stephenson said: “Corinne is an exceptionally gifted athlete. She has chosen volleyball as her college sport, but she could have been a force in college basketball or could have gone on to compete at the highest levels of track & field in college and beyond. Her physical gifts are truly unparalleled. She has really been dialed in this season at practice. Her hard work has obviously paid off in her incredible performances. She is also a very fun person to have on the team. She brings joy and laughter wherever she goes. We will miss her next year, but know that she will have many successes in her future.”

Performance Point: “It was kind’ve scary, especially going against (Smith),” Jemison said of the Regional. “Seeing what her PR (personal record) was and being seeded second in shot, I was kinda nervous. (But) I was excited, especially when I heard that obviously she’s the real deal. I’m always up for a challenge. … I learned that I could shock myself. I didn’t think I was going to PR by that much (in the shot put).”

A natural, but with work: “It took a lot of practice. I spent a lot of time with my coach, Coach Mak (John Makinen), and I spent a lot time with Coach (Tyler) Pettit, and they just really (emphasized) the basics with me. For a while, my first year, I didn’t even touch an implement. It was all footwork. Sophomore year, I was picking up things more.”

Three-sport standout: “Obviously volleyball is my favorite sport, but track and basketball are neck and neck. As a junior, I wasn’t going to play (basketball); I was going to try to focus on travel volleyball in the winter. But I was like, ‘Mmmm … I miss it too much.’ So then I went back. … I don’t know how I balanced (three sports). I don’t know how I made it this far, doing homework in the car, staying up late night to study. But I enjoyed it though.”

Falcon pride: “I enjoy being a part of the track team at EK. It’s a really big deal at our school. I think it’s one of our best sports. It’s really incredible walking through the halls, hearing people like, ‘Oh yeah, she’s in track.’ Especially with our track jackets on, everybody just stops and stares.”

Listen to Mom and Dad: “(Their experiences) helped me a lot when I was younger. … Both my parents played in college, so when they (could) help you with sports, I was like ‘I should listen, because they know what they're talking about.’ They've really helped me on my athletic journey thus far.”

- Geoff Kimmerly, Second Half editor

Every week during the 2017-18 school year, Second Half and the Michigan Army National Guard will recognize a “Performance of the Week" from among the MHSAA's 750 member high schools.

The Michigan Army National Guard provides trained and ready forces in support of the National Military Strategy, and responds as needed to state, local, and regional emergencies to ensure peace, order, and public safety. The Guard adds value to our communities through continuous interaction. National Guard soldiers are part of the local community. Guardsmen typically train one weekend per month and two weeks in the summer. This training maintains readiness when needed, be it either to defend our nation's freedom or protect lives and property of Michigan citizens during a local natural disaster. 

Previous 2017-18 honorees:
May 17: Reagan Wisser, Richland Gull Lake soccer - Read
May 10: Clayton Sayen, Houghton track & field - Read
May 3: Autumn Roberts, Traverse City Central tennis - Read
April 26: Thomas Robinson, Wyoming Lee track & field - Read
March 29: Carlos Johnson, Benton Harbor basketball - Read
March 22: Shine Strickland-Gills, Saginaw Heritage basketball - Read
March 15: Skyler Cook-Weeks, Holland Christian swimming - Read
March 8: Dakota Greer, Howard City Tri-County wrestling - Read
March 1: Camree' Clegg, Wayne Memorial basketball - Read
February 23: Aliah Robertson, Sault Ste. Marie swimming - Read
February 16: Austin O'Hearon, Eaton Rapids wrestling - Read
February 9: Sophia Wiard, Muskegon Oakridge basketball - Read
February 2: Brenden Tulpa, Hartland hockey - Read
January 25: Brandon Whitman, Dundee wrestling - Read
January 18: Derek Maas, Holland West Ottawa swimming - Read
January 11: Lexi Niepoth, Bellaire basketball - Read
November 30: La'Darius Jefferson, Muskegon football - Read
November 23: Ashley Turak, Farmington Hills Harrison swimming - Read
November 16: Bryce Veasley, West Bloomfield football - Read 
November 9: Jose Penaloza, Holland soccer - Read
November 2: Karenna Duffey, Macomb L'Anse Creuse North cross country - Read
October 26: Anika Dy, Traverse City West golf - Read
October 19: Andrew Zhang, Bloomfield Hills tennis - Read
October 12: Nolan Fugate, Grand Rapids Catholic Central football - Read
October 5: Marissa Ackerman, Munising tennis - Read
September 28: Minh Le, Portage Central soccer - Read
September 21: Olivia Theis, Lansing Catholic cross country - Read
September 14: Maddy Chinn, Pontiac Notre Dame Prep volleyball - Read

PHOTOS: (Top) East Kentwood's Corinne Jemison begins her windup for a discus throw. (Middle) Jemison stands atop the awards podium at last year's Lower Peninsula Division 1 Finals. (Top photo courtesy of the East Kentwood athletic department; bottom photo by

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. 

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/