Not one, but two: Jokelas, Kytta, set new school records

Lake Linden-Hubbell runner Sam Roberts (right) hands the baton over to teammate Matthew Jokela during the 800-meter relay Monday at the Houghton High School track. The Lakes won the event. (David Archambeau/For the Gazette)

HOUGHTON — It has been said that records were meant to be broken. That certainly was the case on Monday at the Copper Country Invitational on the track of Houghton High School as new school records were set at Lake Linden-Hubbell and Chassell and both with close family ties.

First out of the blocks was senior sprinter Matthew Jokela, of Lake Linden-Hubbell. He broke both the long-standing 200-meter and 400-meter school records. The 200-meter record was 23.12 set in 1990 by Jamie Wiles. On Monday, Jokela ran it in 21.03.

Next was the 400-meter record of 51.60, which was set by the Lakes’ Ken Anderson set in 1969. More than 50 years later, Jokela set the new standard at 51.43.

“Matthew is a dedicated athlete who has really taken his off-season training to the next level, and it has paid off,” said Lakes coach Brett Gervais.

Interestingly, Matthew’s younger sister, Emily, also set new school standards in her sprinting events. The junior broke her own (school) records in the 200 and 400-meter dashes. In the 200, Emily ran 26.62, and she established the new 400-meter record at 59.27.

The Jokelas were not the only family experiencing record-braking moments on Monday. Chassell junior and distance runner, Kalvin Kytta, broke his brother’s, and coach’s, school record as well. Kolson Kytta, track and field coach at Chassell, had been the Panthers’ fastest in the 1600-meter with a time of 4:35:10; however, that was shattered by Kalvin by two seconds at 4:33. 24.

Kalvin also raised the bar in the 800-meter run with a new time of 2:04.

“It was the first time for Kalvin to run this, and he broke Ray Soumis’ 40-plus-year record by a second,” said his sibling and coach. “So that was exciting. He knocked our names off the leaderboards.”


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