By John Vrancic
Special for Second Half
KINGSFORD — After taking home the runner-up trophy a year ago, the Ishpeming boys track and field team took that final step up the podium in Saturday’s Upper Peninsula Division 2 Finals.
The Hematites collected 115 points, earning their first title since 2003. They were followed by defending champ Manistique with 76 and Hancock with 61.
“We looked back at the seeding times, and it looked like we were 30 points better than them,” said Ishpeming coach Scott Syrjala. “We knew Manistique was faster than that. It’s a real feather in our cap to win by nearly 40. The guys were showing up for Saturday and Sunday workouts because we had practice whenever the sun was shining.”
Ishpeming senior Noah Olgren won pole vault at 12 feet, with classmate Jordan Tousignant runner-up (11-6).
Senior teammate Bobby Zhulkie was runner-up to Newberry senior Leroy Ward-Harbaum in high jump (5-8) on a tie-breaker, and junior Tommy Potter placed second in the 800-meter run in 2 minutes, 7.23 seconds, the 1,600 (4:57.9) and helped the Hematites place second in the 3,200 relay.
Ishpeming junior Nate Meyer placed second in the 400 (53.39) and senior Adam Prisk was third (54.07). Meyer added a third in the 200 (23.73). Prisk and Meyer also helped the winning 800 and 1,600 relays.
Manistique senior Ryan Ramey retained his 400 title (51.71), but yielded his 200 crown to L’Anse senior Ryan LaBerge (23.33). Ramey was runner-up in the 200 (23.63).
Senior teammate Tony Floyd won the 100 (11.64) and took fifth in the 200 (23.83).
Hancock had double-winners in senior Jacob Jarvis and sophomore Greg Hawthorne.
Jarvis won the 110 hurdles (15.65) and 300 (40.36) and helped the Bulldogs take second in the 800 relay. Hawthorne won shot put (51-/2) and retained his discus title (142-3).
“My starts have been good all day, and my legs have gotten a little quicker in the 110s,” said Jarvis, who will study at Michigan Tech this fall. “At the Regional (at West Iron County), I felt good and started thinking (winning both U.P. hurdle races) was a realistic goal.”
Ironwood junior Jared Joki became a triple-winner, taking the 800 (2:06.58), 1,600 (4:45.18) and 3,200 in a personal-best 10:19.36.
“It’s a great feeling to win here with some amazing competition,” said Joki. “It was hot out there. I have a couple friends in D-3 and you could tell the heat drained their energy. During the races, I didn’t think the heat was much of a factor. You just had to make sure you stayed hydrated.
“I had a lower body injury during the winter, otherwise I would have tried to go under 10 (in the 3,200). Overall, I’m pleased with the whole day.”
Click for full results.
PHOTO: A pair of Ishpeming runners exchange the baton en route to winning the 1,600 relay at the U.P. Division 2 Final on Saturday at Kingsford. (Click to see more from RunMichigan.com.)