Pickford track

Boys Track & Field

Pickford Hangs On with Win in Final Event to Secure UPD3 Championship

By John Vrancic
Special for Second Half

June 5, 2022

KINGSFORD — They were tested, but the Pickford boys came through with their first Upper Peninsula Division 3 track & field championship in a decade Saturday.

Pickford scored 91 points, followed by Munising with 82 and 2021 champ Dollar Bay at 56. Pickford was runner-up to Dollar Bay last season, with this team title its first since 2012.

The Panthers secured the title by winning the 1,600-meter relay in 3 minutes, 37.83 seconds.

“We were up by one point going into the 1,600 relay,” said Panthers’ coach Garde Kangas. “You can’t get much closer than that. One kid who’s a part of all our relays couldn’t be here because he had to go to a funeral. We had some kids step up. In long jump, we were seeded fourth or fifth and our guy (Noah Barowski) got second, and we ran our best time all year in the 1,600 relay.”

Junior Caden Awbrey provided the Panthers with a first in the 300-meter hurdles in 41.98 seconds and a second in the 110s (17.24).

“I really liked the start, but got a little sloppy in the end,” he said. “About halfway through I started clipping the hurdles (in the 300s). Although, this is something I can build on. I need to work on my form, and that takes time.

Dollar Bay track“Overall, I think the day has gone pretty well. Our 1,600 relay is fast and our 3,200 is solid. We were missing some people and still PR’d.”

Dollar Bay senior Nik Thomas set two UPD3 meet records on a sunny and warm day. He was clocked at 4:25.91 in the 1,600 and 10:05.59 in the 3,200, topping the previous-bests of 4:28.68 and 10:08.51 by Bessemer’s Uriah Aili three years ago. Thomas also won the 800 (2:01.27) and placed fourth in the 400 (53.03) on Saturday.

Ewen-Trout Creek senior Jonah Nordine was runner-up in all three races Thomas won, at 2:06.39, 4:40.3 and 10:26.51, respectively.

Munising was led by the Peramaki brothers. Micaiah won the 100 (11.52), 200 (23.7) and 400 (51.98) and discus at 127 feet, 4 inches, and Josiah took pole vault at 13 feet, 4 inches and placed third in long jump (18-4¾).

North Central junior Luke Gorzinski anchored the winning 400 relay (45.34) and 800, clocked at a school-record 1:35.31, and was runner-up in the 100 (11.57) and 200 (23.94).

“Our handoffs absolutely went real well,” he said. “I’ve had more time to work on those now that baseball is over. This is pretty awesome. We’ve been working toward this all season.”

Junior Trent Naser provided the Jets with a victory in the 110 hurdles (16.76) and a third in the 300s (42.78).

Click for full results.

PHOTOS (Top) Pickford's Caden Awbrey (6) leads the 300 hurdles on the way to winning the race Saturday. (Middle) Dollar Bay's Nikolas Thomas celebrates his win in the 1,600, one of his three championships at the meet. (Click for more from Cara Kamps/Run Michigan.)