UP Finals: Norway takes 3rd place in Division 2

Kingsford’s Michael Halley, left, crosses the finish line during the 1600 meter relays at the MHSAA UP Track and Field Finals on Saturday, June 1, 2019, in Kingsford, Mich. (Adam Niemi/Iron Mountain Daily News)

KINGSFORD — It took a while, but when Kingsford’s 1600 relay team crossed the finish line, it was cause for celebration.

The Flivvers collected their first and only boys’ first-place finish of the day.

In fact, it was the only Division 1 win among Kingsford and Iron Mountain on Saturday.

Norway had the best finish among area teams, taking third place with heady performances in the sprints, relays and field events.

The Knights’ 75 points was nowhere near enough to give Ishpeming a run for its money.

The Hematites ran away with the Division 2 title at Saturday’s MHSAA UP Finals, scoring 128 points. Newberry was runner-up with 84 points. Manistique (60) was fourth and St. Ignace (46) was fifth.

Gladstone took the Division 1 title with 127 points. Westwood (97) and Marquette tied for second place, followed by Calumet (41.5). Iron Mountain (37) was fifth and Kingsford was 10th.

Gladstone’s Adam Bruce wowed the crowd with a blistering pace in long distance. He ran the mile in 4:35.73 and the two-mile in 10:04.67. His margin of victory in the mile was seven seconds. His margin of victory in the two-mile was 18 seconds and was his personal best by 25 seconds.

Jaden Vicenzi took second for the Mountaineers in the long jump and Jake Dumais was fifth.

Iron Mountain took fourth in the 3200 relay, fifth in the 400 relay and fourth in the 1600 relay.

Charlie Gerhard gave the Mountaineers a third-place finish in the 110 hurdles and a fifth in the 300 hurdles. He was also tied for fourth in the high jump with Escanaba’s Kyle Gendron. Brandon Malburg was sixth in the 1600 and fourth in the 3200. Dumais was sixth in the 400.

“We did pretty well with what we went in with,” Iron Mountain head coach Kevin Sullivan said. “Brandon Malburg went from a seventh seed in the 2-mile and got fourth. His mile and two-mile, he smashed his personal best.

“He’s our track MVP. The kids vote on that. He was dual-sporting with baseball. He’s had to split time. To still come out and run like he does is pretty awesome. He’s an athlete. Hasn’t had a lot of reps at either. He’s been doing baseball and that’s been taking a lot of his time.”

Kingsford’s lone win was at the end of the day in the 1600 relay. The team composed of Cory Strong, Michael Creighton, Jacob Viau and Michael Halley beat Marquette by 33-hundredths of a second.

The Flivvers were fifth in the 800 relay and sixth in the 400 relay.

Norway had a first from Mitchell LeGrave in the 100 and 200 dashes and third in the long jump. The Knights’ 400 relay took first. Evan Grosskopf took second in the 110 hurdles and third in the 300 hurdles. David Loomis was second in the pole vault.

Bessemer’s 136 points was enough to comfortably win its second straight UP Finals after taking second place in 2017.

Lake Linden-Hubbell was second with 67 points, edging Brimley by a point for the runner-up spot. Rapid River took fourth in Division 3 with 60 points and North Central was fifth with 42.

“They’ve done excellent. We have done well for the past few years,” Bessemer coach Tracy Rowe said. “We took first place last year, lost by four points the year before. They’re really dedicated group of boys. A lot of it starts with these kids in cross country, basketball, football. They’re just really good athletes.”

Bessemer’s Uriah Aili set three Division 3 UP Finals records in the 1600 and 3200.

Aili’s 800 was timed at 1:59.93, beating his own record (2:01.08) from 2018.

Aili set the 1600 record with a time of 4:28.68, five seconds better than Cedarville’s Thomas Bohn set in 2018.

Aili’s 3200 time was 10:08.51. Wakefield’s Ryan Holm set the record in 2001 at 10:10.06. His 3200 time may have been even better had he not run the 800 shortly beforehand.

“The 800 took some of the wind out of me,” Aili said. “This is my last day of high school running. It’s definitely a good way to end. This means the world to me. We have such a small school and the younger kids look up to me. Now they know what’s possible.”

Jamie Jett gave the Speedboys a win in the 110 and 300 hurdles. He also took fourth in the 200 and fifth in long jump. Bessemer also won the 1600 and 3200 relays.

Lake Linden-Hubbell won the 200 and 400 relays.

Stephenson’s Montell Glover won the 100 dash. Noah Gorzinski gave the Jets a third-place finish in the event.

Leo Gorzinski won the 200 and finished second in the 400. Noah was second in the 300 hurdles. The Jets’ 1600 relay team was fifth.

Forest Park’s Dawson Bongi took second in the 110 hurdles behind Jett. Bongi was also fourth in the 300 hurdles and sixth in the long jump. Mason Rintala was third in the 1600 run.

Landon Sudelius gave the Wykons a sixth-place finish in the 110 hurdles and 300 hurdles.

Ontonagon’s Noah Lukkari won the 400 with a 52.56.

Lake Linden-Hubbell’s Cole Gregorie won the high jump at 6 feet. He also won the long jump at 19 feet, 9 inches.

Bessemer’s Zach Baross won the pole vault. Fellow teammate Tyler Busch won the shot put at 47-5.50.

Rapid River’s Gunner Larson won the discus at 141-4.

Escanaba’s Dayton Miron set the UP Finals Division 1 record in pole vault at 13-8. Gladstone’s Mike Coyne previously set the record in 2007 at 13-7.

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