Thank You from Second Half

January 25, 2013

By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor

Next week will mark the one-year birthday of Second Half, our place to tell your high school sports stories.

And I thank you for helping us to such a great start.

We knew what we hoped to accomplish starting this site a year ago, but we've learned quite a bit during a relatively short time. Although we continue to pursue the mission of being home of the state’s best high school stories and a daily stop for fans, we’ll continue to experiment to figure out what you'd most like to see and how best we can continue to pass along the great things happening in MHSAA athletics.

A few things to call to your attention as we move ahead:

  • First and foremost, we strive to tell your stories – hoping to hit every sport and all regions of our state – and have some intriguing ones coming up as we get into the second half of the winter season. Stay tuned.
  • Second Half is the home for the “Battle of the Fans II.” We have visits to Buchanan and Vandercook Lake next week, followed by Ann Arbor Gabriel Richard and Zeeland East the week after. We’ll announce the winner Feb. 22. All will be found here first.
  • We've revamped our video page (see menu across the top of this screen) and will be adding more videos more regularly in the year to come.
  • After a brief hiatus, we’ll next week bring back “High 5s” featuring two athletes and a team that have done great things this season.
  • What you’re reading now is the first of a weekly “First Pitch” blog that will allow us to post more of the quick hits we run across in our regular travels. Make sure to continue checking out the twice-weekly blog by Executive Director Jack Roberts, as well as the Viewpoints and SAC Sound-Offs supplied regularly by our friends from the Michigan State University Institute for the Study of Youth Sports and the members of our Student Advisory Council, respectively.
  • We began providing in-depth statewide coverage – both previewing and then postgame reporting – of our Finals in every sport this fall, and hope to become your first and fastest source for the stories behind our championships.

We’re always looking for ideas both for stories or any other features you’d like to see – and feel free to send them directly to me at [email protected]

And again, thank you again for coming to our site today. We look forward to seeing you more in the year to come.

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/