Performance of the Week: Mackinaw City's Larissa Huffman
April 14, 2023
Larissa Huffman ♦ Mackinaw City
Senior ♦ Track & Field
Huffman – who runs as part of a cooperative team with Indian River Inland Lakes – finished first in the 55-meter hurdles (9.7 seconds), second in the high jump (5-0) to teammate Hannah Robinson, third in the 800 (2:41) and was on the second-place 1,600 relay as Inland Lakes won the Lake Superior State University Indoor Invitational on Friday. She’s been part of seven top-eight finishes during the last two Lower Peninsula Division 4 Track & Field Finals, placing third in the 100 hurdles, seventh in the 300 hurdles, fourth in high jump and running on the eighth-place 1,600 relay last spring as Inland Lakes tied for seventh as a team.
The four-sport standout also ran in her second LPD4 Cross Country Final for Mackinaw City this past fall and helped the volleyball team to its first District title. But she’s perhaps most known for her skills on the basketball court – she went over 1,000 career points this season in helping the Comets to a 25-2 record and league, District and Regional championships this season (and Huffman’s twin brother Lars went over 1,000 career points as well this winter). Larissa also previously played softball for Mackinaw City, earning all-league honors, but couldn't this year because of conflicts with her track schedule. She will continue her academic, basketball and track & field careers at St. Norbert College in Wisconsin.
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April 6: Darius Acuff, Detroit Cass Tech basketball - Report
March 23: Regan Finkbeiner, Hemlock basketball - Report
March 16: Alaina Yaney, Grand Ledge gymnastics - Report
March 9: Braeden Davis, Dundee wrestling - Report
March 2: Gabriel Sanchez-Burks, Ann Arbor Pioneer swimming - Report
Feb. 23: Grace Sobczak, Marquette swimming - Report
Feb. 16: Kaitlynn Demers, Gibraltar Carlson competitive cheer - Report
Feb. 9: Indya Davis, West Bloomfield basketball - Report
Feb. 2: Braydon Sorenson, Onekama skiing - Report
Jan. 26: Shayna Hruska, Iron Mountain wrestling - Report
Jan. 19: Kayla Tafanelli, Warren Woods-Tower bowling - Report
Dec. 20: Brenden Paden, Riverview Gabriel Richard hockey - Report
Dec. 16: Tuff Scott, Holton bowling - Report
Dec. 9: Macey Fegan, Standish-Sterling basketball - Report
Dec. 2: Treyton Siegert, Gladwin football - Report
Nov. 24: Lily Witte, Dexter diving - Report
Nov. 17: Navea Gauthier, Shelby volleyball - Report
Nov. 10: Derek Huisman, Holland Christian soccer - Report
Nov. 3: Thomas Westphal, New Baltimore Anchor Bay cross country - Report
Oct. 27: Justin Wickey, Colon football - Report
Oct. 20: Owen DeMuth, Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood tennis - Report
Oct. 13: Mia Melendez, Ann Arbor Greenhills golf - Report
Oct. 6: Shawn Foster, Grand Ledge football - Report
Sept. 30: Hannah Smith, Temperance Bedford swimming - Report
Sept. 22: Helen Sachs, Holland West Ottawa cross country - Report
Sept. 15: Nina Horning, Lake Orion volleyball - Report
Sept 8: Arturo Romero, Muskegon Oakridge soccer - Report
Sept. 1: Austin King, Midland Dow tennis - Report
Aug. 25: Olivia Hemmila, Troy Athens golf - Report
PHOTO Inland Lakes' Larissa Huffman runs a hurdles race during last season's LPD4 Finals. (Photo by Nicky Fenstermaker.)
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.
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.
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.)