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Blue Bolts win 1st U.P. Finals in school history

Dollar Bay-Tamarack City's Johnny Norland runs during the 3200-meter relay in the U.P. Finals on Saturday, June 5, 2021, in Kingsford, Mich. (Adam Niemi/The Daily Mining Gazette)

KINGSFORD — Saturday is a day the Dollar Bay boys will long remember as they were crowned Upper Peninsula track and field champs for the first time in school history.

The Bays scored 67 points in the MHSAA Division 3 Finals, followed by Pickford 56 and Rapid River 47 on this hot and humid day at Flivver Field.

Dollar Bay set school records while winning the 1600-meter relay in three minutes, 42.88 seconds and the 3200 (8:31.01).

“We got it done,” said senior and Bay College basketball recruit Davin Hill. “Our coach pushed us hard all year. Our practices were harder than the meets.”

Senior John Norland anchored the winning 3200 relay and took the 400 (51.38) and 800 (2:07.1) on a day which is believed to be the hottest U.P. Finals on record.

Saturday’s temperatures in Dickinson County hovered in the low to mid 90s with a heat index of 99.

“We knew we had a chance to win the U.P. Finals,” he said. “I ran my second fastest split (2:01) in the 3200 relay. The 400 and 800 are tough races. The 800 is very close to a sprint.”

Prior to last year, Bessemer had won the 3200 relay eight straight times.

Conner LeClaire added a first in the 300 hurdles (42.33) and second in the 110s (17.63).

Chassell senior Kolson Kytta was a double-winner, taking the 1600 in a school-record 4:35.37 and 3200 (10:45.14).

“I did a lot of visualization about how I thought the races would do,” said Kytta, who’s considering running at Michigan Tech. I put in a lot of training to get better. I don’t think the heat affected me too much.”

Lake Linden-Hubbell recorded its lone first in the 800 relay (1:38.04) and was runner-up in the 400 relay (46.58)

“Our handoffs looked pretty good,” said senior Caleb Klein, who anchored the 800 relay. “This was our best time all year and I think the competition helped us a lot. All the adrenalin from all the fans being here also got me going.”

Ewen-Trout Creek junior Jonah Nordine placed second in the 800 (2:10.19) and 3200 (10:48.222) and third in the 1600 (4:40.34) and Jaden Borseth took second in long jump (19-6) and third in high jump (5-6) and discus (117-6).

Marquette took the D-1 title with 140 points, followed by defending champ Gladstone 93 and Kingsford 71.

Calumet’s Dryden Nelson was a double-winner, edging Marquette senior Kameron Karp on a lean in the 100 (11.32) and long jump (20-6).

Houghton’s Donovan Dueweke placed second in the 400 (51.92) as did Cade Holombo in the 200 (23.8) and Eric Weiss in the 3200 (10:41.29).

Calumet’s Nathan Spence and Houghton’s Quinn Aho tied for third in pole vault (11-0) and the Copper Kings took third in the 400 relay (46.36).

Menominee junior Brady Schultz set the U.P. high jump record at 6-8, three inches higher than the previous best by Kingsford’s Jake Richmond in 2004.

Ishpeming and Norway shared the D-2 title with 95 points apiece. Third-place Iron Mountain had 85 points.

This marked the first U.P. title since 2004 for Norway. Ishpeming had won it 5-of-6 times prior to last year.

L’Anse had a double-winner in Nathan Hochstein, who took high jump at five feet, nine inches, long jump (18-9 1/2). Eli Ostermeyer added a first in discus (114-11) and a second in shot put (37-9 1/4).

Hancock’s Myles Lewis was fourth in shot put (32-2).

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