West Iron County Clinches with Win in Final Relay

By John Vrancic
Special for MHSAA.com

June 6, 2021

KINGSFORD — The race for the Upper Peninsula Division 2 championship came down to the wire Saturday as West Iron County edged Ishpeming 108-104½ for its first title in eight years.

Bark River-Harris placed third with 80 points, followed by three-time reigning champion St. Ignace with 71.

“We kind of knew it’d be close,” said West Iron coach Kristi Berutti. “We had to change some relays to maximize our points.”

The Wykons secured the decision by winning the 1,600-meter relay in four minutes, 27.04 seconds. Ishpeming placed second at 4:39.92.

“It’s awesome to win it all, and we wouldn’t have done it without my sister Danica,” said senior Jordan Shamion. “She’s the one who pushed us over the edge.”

Ishpeming trackJordan won the 100-meter hurdles at 16.99 seconds, 300s in a personal-best 48.72, anchored the 1,600 relay and took second in shot put at 31 feet, eight inches.

“I stumbled on a hurdle and still got a PR, and I’m happy with second in shot,” she said.

Danica Shamion, a freshman, added victories in the 100 (13.07), 200 (27.35) and 400 (1:01.48).

“I think my starts have improved,” said Danica. “If you have a bad start, you have a bad race.”

West Iron’s Avery Bociek placed second in the 800 (2:40.08).

Ishpeming freshman Lola Korpi took the 800 (2:34.90), 1,600 (5:41.32) and 3,200 (12:26.93) and anchored the winning 3,200 relay (10:56.42).

Division 1 and 2 runners ran together in the open 3,200, and Korpi paced with eventual Division 1 champion Olivia Moffitt of Marquette and runner-up Ingrid Seagren from Houghton.

“Olivia did awesome. She’s a senior and she deserves it,” Korpi said. “I just wanted to separate from the girls behind me. Olivia was a quarter track ahead of me, and I knew I wasn’t going to catch her. She really surprised me. She and Ingrid were my competition.”

Teammate Rebekah Loman swept the weight events, taking shot (32-4¾) and discus (104-3).

West Iron County trackBR-H freshman Mckenzie Hoffmeyer captured long jump (15-5) and was runner-up in the 100 (13.38) and 200 (27.56).

Iron Mountain won the sprint relays and Chloe Maycroft the high jump (4-11), and Lexi Hagen won pole vault (8-6).

“Our third handoff (by Emma Ellis) went real well,” said Mountaineers junior Abbygayle Richer, who anchored the winning 800 relay (1:52.86). “That was our fastest time all year. The competition pushed us to do better. We knew we had to run well to beat Bark River-Harris.

“I’m just glad we had a chance to run this year. Last year we didn’t get to do this (because of COVID-19).”

The Mountaineers were clocked at 53.88 in the 400 relay.

BR-H was runner-up in the 400 relay (55.39) and 800 (1:53.48), and sophomore Hazel Conklin was second in the 300 hurdles (51.53).

Click for full results.

PHOTOS: West Iron County’s Jordan Shamion celebrates her team’s finish in the 1,600 relay Saturday. (Middle) Ishpeming’s Lola Korpi leads the open 1,600. (Below) West Iron’s Danica Shamion, middle, crosses first in the 100. (Photos by Cara Kamps. Click to see more at RunMichigan.com.)

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. 

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/RunMichigan.com.)