Houghton boys, girls win Houghton County Invitational

Houghton’s Mikko Salmi, left, clears a hurdle in the 300-meter hurdles during the Houghton County Invitational on Friday, May 13, 2022, in Houghton, Mich. (Eddie O’Neill/The Daily Mining Gazette)

HOUGHTON — The Houghton boys’ and girls’ track teams claimed victory on Friday at their home track and field invitational. The boys won with 87 points.

Calumet took second with 64 and Lake-Linden Hubbell finished third at 33.

The Houghton girls won with 81 points. Calumet came in second with 58 and Dollar Bay finished third with 28 points.

After a seemingly endless winter with the last of the snow piles finally melting in the first week of August, Friday’s 85-degree temperature would seem to be a welcomed relief. Some coaches and runners of the seven area high schools invited were heard complaining.

“This is hard for our distance runners,” said Hancock’s track and field head coach Pat Dwyer. “To go from 40 to 80 degrees without any time to get used to it is hard on the body. Low sixties would be ideal for the distance runners. Today’s temps are great for the field events and the short sprinting dashes.”

What coach Dwyer wasn’t complaining about was the effort his Bulldogs were putting into each event.

“We have a great group of kids this year. They are all positive and want to get better in their event,” he said.

He said there were a lot of personal records being set and broken among his team at this annual invite.

Take discus thrower and Bulldog, Myles Lewis. With a personal-best throw of 78 feet, 8 inches, the sophomore added two feet more onto his throw Friday

“That’s not a small feat,” said Dwyer. “Two feet is a big deal.”

Also doing well was Calumet senior Dryden Nelson. The football standout and future Michigan Tech Husky not only broke two (track) meet record but set a school record for the Copper Kings. His time of 10.88 in the 100-meter dash set a new meet record and school record. He followed that with a record 22.46 in the 200-meter dash and that smashed the meet record as well. All of this occurred on the first time Nelson had been on a rubberized track this season.

On the women’s throwing and jumping end of the field. Lydia Pyykkonen, of Jeffers, was please in how her meet was going.

“I am happy with my throws here today, and I did very well in the long jump,” she said. “At 14-1 I set a personal best and ended up in third place.”

Also setting a school record among the girls’ events was Houghton’s Stella Wickstrom. The senior jumper raised the bar to 4-foot-8 in the high jump.

“That’s what is so important in this sport,” said Kolson Kytta first-year track and field coach at Chassell.

“We have only seven boys and five girls on our team, and we don’t even have a track at our school. We have a well-marked off parking lot. We are smaller than most programs, but we have a lot of heart. I’ve been stressing that running and these other events are about self-improvement. We must have goal, and we have to be willing to work day-n and day out to reach them. That is where hard work pays off in this sport.”


Team standings-1, Houghton 81. 2, Calumet 58. 3, Dollar Bay-Tamarack City 28. 4, Lake Linden-Hubbell 24. 5, Chassell 16. 6, Hancock 7. 7, Jeffers 1.


Team standings-1, Houghton 87. 2, Calumet 64. 3, Lake Linden-Hubbell 33. 4, Dollar Bay-Tamarack City 27, Jeffers 18. 6, Chassell 6. 7, Hancock 2.


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