Truckey Paces Marquette's Run in UP Division 1

By John Vrancic
Special for

June 6, 2021

KINGSFORD — Sophomore Baux Truckey had a hand in four firsts Saturday at Kingsford, helping the Marquette girls retain their Upper Peninsula Division 1 track title with 120 points.

They were followed by Sault Ste. Marie with 94 points and Menominee with 71 on a hot and humid day at Flivver Field.

Truckey anchored the 400-meter relay which set the UPD1 Finals record at 50.11 seconds, topping the previous best (51.22) by Gladstone in 2007.

She also anchored the 800 relay (1:47.14), won the 100 (12.79) and edged teammate Julia Ott on a lean in the 200 (26.58).

Menominee track“Our handoffs went real well,” said Truckey. “Going 1-2 in the 200 was fun, but the heat was a factor. It was a relief to get done today. We have a lot of competition in practice, which I think is very helpful.”

Ott won high jump at five feet and was clocked in 13.1 and 26.6 in the 100 and 200, respectively.

Kali McDonough captured pole vault (10-1), and Olivia Moffitt added a first in the 3,200 (12:00.03).

Sault senior Emily McLean set the UPD1 shot put record again, at 42-8½, topping her own mark (39-2) from two years ago.

The Central Michigan University recruit was crowned Straits Area Conference champion May 24 with a school-record toss of 46-8, then won at Tuesday’s Northern Michigan Meet of Champions at Gaylord (43-4).

“The heat was a factor,” she said. “It was kind of crazy. We were in the sun quite a while, although today’s weather forecast helped us mentally prepare for the heat. We knew what was coming.

Kingsford track“I had kind of an off day in discus, but Joanne (Arbic, of Sault Ste. Marie) had a nice throw. I’m definitely excited for her and about going to Central.”

Houghton’s Lillian Williston won discus (116-10). Arbic placed second (114-7) and McLean was fourth (106-3).

Menominee senior Makenzie Wellner became a four-event winner, taking the 100 hurdles (15.7), 300s (46.7), long jump (16-8) and anchoring the winning 1,600 relay (4:11.6), which previously had set the school record at 4:09.01 in Marinette, Wis., on May 25.

“Our coach (Scott Melchoir) helped me with my approach and helped me jump a little further,” said Wellner, who plans to run track at Wayne State next season. “I was feeling good today. It was hard to find space under the bleachers today (due to the heat).”

Hayden Buck added a first in the 400 in a school-record 59.77 seconds.

In the 1,600, Houghton sophomore Ingrid Seagren ran second nearly the whole race before sneaking past Marquette’s Guinn Wuorinen for the victory. Seagren was clocked in 5:34.49 with Wuorinen at 5:34.59.

In another tight race, Kingsford’s Melanie Wenzel won the 800 (2:29.55), edging Sault senior Haleigh Knowles on a lean.

Click for full results.

PHOTOS: (Top) Marquette's Baux Truckey anchors the 400 relay and crosses the finish line first Saturday at Kingsford. (Middle) Menominee's Hayden Buck crosses the finish line first in the 400. (Below) Kingsford's Melanie Wenzel, left, beats Sault Ste. Marie's Haleigh Knowles to the finish line. (Photos by Cara Kamps. Click to see more at

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/