Colin, Carson VanderSchaaf lead Marquette Redmen to MHSAA Upper Peninsula Division 1 boys track and field three-peat

Marquette’s Colin VanderSchaaf reaches the finish line to win the 1,600-meter run at the MHSAA Upper Peninsula Finals in Division 1 boys track and field on Saturday at Kingsford. (Photo courtesy Cara Kamps)

KINGSFORD — The Marquette boys had a little more breathing room Saturday than they did last year at the MHSAA Upper Peninsula Finals in Division 1 boys track and field.

The Redmen defeated Kingsford by just one point a year ago, but were 20 points better than the Flivvers this time around to claim a third straight championship.

Marquette finished with 134 points and Kingsford had 114. Third-place Sault Ste. Marie had 90, followed by Gladstone with 51 as Negaunee was seventh with 29.

Like his team, Marquette’s Carson VanderSchaaf won an event for the third straight year — the 3,200-meter run. He finished in 9 minutes, 55.25 seconds, edging Sault Ste. Marie freshman Gabe Litzner by not quite a second.

“I ran a little bit quicker last year, but (in)

a little more favorable conditions,” VanderSchaaf said. “It’s pretty hot out, and I’m not quite feeling the best today.”

Nate Benninger takes off from his starting block in Marquette’s winning 400-meter relay at the MHSAA Upper Peninsula Finals in Division 1 boys track and field on Saturday at Kingsford. (Photo courtesy Cara Kamps)

He might have had two U.P. titles Saturday, but his brother Colin, also a senior, put Carson in his rearview mirror while winning the 1,600. Colin clocked 4:34.62 while Carson was not quite two seconds back as runner-up in 4:36.42.

“My brother outkicked me in the 1,600,” Carson said as in that particular event, Colin won in 2021, Carson in 2022 and now Colin in 2023.

Colin VanderSchaaf also won the 800 in 2:03.02, edging teammate Cullen Papin by just six-hundredths of a second, while this VanderSchaaf was second in the 400 by a little over a second.

Marquette added victories in the 400 and 1,600 relays. Nate Benninger, Adam DuVall, Wyatt Lakenen and Kyler Sager made up the 400 relay with Kai Chouinard, Ben Rayhorn, Papin and Colin VanderSchaaf were on the 1,600.

Drew Bradley added a runner-up finish for the Redmen in the pole vault by winning a tiebreaker after he cleared 11 feet, 6 inches, while MSHS was also second in the 800 relay by barely more than a second.

Negaunee’s highest finish was a third by Nico Lukkarinen in the discus with a toss of 128-6, while the Miners had three fourth places — by Lukkarinen in the shot put, Kurtis Kangas in the 110 hurdles and Kai Lacar in the 200.

Sault Ste. Marie’s Carter Oshelski won two titles, in the 200 and 400 dashes.

Teammate Rayce Rizzo won the pole vault by clearing 13-3 while the Blue Devils took the 3,200 relay.

Kingsford matched Marquette by winning five events, with Michael Floriano taking the 100 and running a leg on the Flivvers’ victorious 800 relay.

The host team’s other three wins were in field events, with Noah Johnson winning the discus with a D-1 finals record-tying toss of 160-5 that matched a distance first reached by Terry Martin of Manistique. And the Flivvers’ Cardel Morton won the long jump and Garrett Veale the shot put.

Iron Mountain’s Will Fairchild was a double winner, taking the 110 hurdles and 300 hurdles, while Menominee got its win from Darrent Butler in the high jump.

In Division 1 adaptive events, Marquette’s Jim Bennett won three of the four events — the 100, 200 and 400 — with Sault Ste. Marie’s Johnny Osborn triumphant in the shot put.

Jason Juno is the sports editor of the Daily Globe of Ironwood. He wrote this account of the U.P. finals for the Michigan High School Athletic Association’s website at www.mhsaa.com.


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