By John Vrancic
For the Newberry News

It doesn’t get much closer than this.

The outcome of the Upper Peninsula Division 3 boys’ track and field Finals boiled down to the last race as Newberry held off St. Ignace 96-92 for its first championship in eight years when it was competing in D-2.

Lake Linden-Hubbell, which finished third in D-3 with 89 points, won the 1600-meter relay in three minutes, 41.92 seconds, a fraction of a second before the Indians secured the championship by finishing a few steps ahead of the Saints.

“We knew we had to beat St. Ignace to win,” Newberry senior Kennedy Depew said moments after finishing his anchor leg. “This was my last race ever. I knew I had to give it my all.”

For Depew it was a matter of deciding whether to scratch from the open 400.

The Indians were runners-up to Munising a year ago.

“I would have been in four events,” he said. “I think scratching from the 400 helped me save some energy. We weren’t satisfied with runner-up last year, which makes this year’s championship all the more satisfying.”

Senior Gabe Luck’s toss of 44 feet, 1 3/4 inches provided the Indians with their lone individual title.

“We had a lot of injuries this year,” Indians’ coach Drew Schultz said. “For all the obstacles we had, we wouldn’t have had it any other way, having two of the best athletes decide it in the last race. I’m extremely proud of our guys. To win it that way is insane. I’m proud of all our eastern end kids.”

Senior Jon Ingalls, who ran anchor for the Saints, won the 110 hurdles (16.39) and 300s (42.89) and helped them place second in the 400 relay (45.94).

“Both hurdles went decent,” he said. “Those weren’t my best times, but it feels good to grind out a couple wins.”

Fourth-place Bessemer scored 58 points, followed by Crystal Falls Forest Park 48, Chassell 30, Rapid River 27, Stephenson, L’Anse, Dollar Bay and Escanaba Holy Name 12, Engadine 11, Cedarville-DeTour 10, Brimley 6, North Dickinson 5, Powers North Central 3, Mackinac Island 2, Republic-Michigamme and Norway 1 and Hannahville and Wakefield-Marenisco 0.

Also part of Newberry’s 1600 relay were senior Chris Hopson, junior Sam Rahilly and sophomore Garrett Lewicki.

Rahilly placed second in long jump at 19 feet, 7 1/4 inches and third in high jump (5-8).

Depew was runner-up in the 100 (11.63) and fourth in the 200 (24.13). Senior Liam Rao took second in the 300 hurdles (44.51) and fourth in the 100 (11.95).

Lewicki placed second in the 800 (2:06.43) as did Rahilly in long jump at 19 feet, 7 1/4 inches.

Newberry’s 400 relay, comprised of Rao, Rahilly and seniors Brien Nelson and Jacob Mohar, placed third at 47.17 seconds.

Taking fourth for the Indians were senior Chris Hopson in the 300 hurdles (45.31), Mohar in pole vault (11-0) and junior Ethan Pavey in shot put (47-7 1/4).

Newberry’s 3200 relay including Lewicki, Rahilly, freshman Oliver Sevarns and junior Sebastian Patterson, took fifth (9:23.7).

Rahilly also took fifth in the 800 (2:14.22), and so did senior Liam Nalette in disc (125-3 1/2).

Engadine senior Elijah Parker placed third in the 400 (54.91) and sixth in the 110 hurdles (18.65) and junior Dakota Taylor was fourth in the 3200 in a personal-best 11:19.69.

“I was able to run PRs in the 1600 (5:13.9) and 3200 which I’m happy about,” Taylor said. “The 1600 was pretty competitive, but I was able to place higher in the 3200. This is a good way to end my junior year and go into summer running.”

Pickford retained its D-2 title with 137 points. The Panthers were followed by Munising 106 and Ishpeming 79.

Marquette kept its D-1 crown for the fourth consecutive time with 163 points, followed by Kingsford 101 and Houghton 67.

The Lake Linden-Hubbell girls won with 72 points and Newberry edged Stephenson 64-62 for the runner-up trophy.

Carney-Nadeau placed fourth at 49 1/2, followed by Forest Park 43, Brimley 36, Ontonagon 34, Big Bay de Noc 32, Dollar Bay 30, St. Ignace 29, North Dickinson 21, Norway 15 1/2, Ewen-Trout Creek 10, Baraga 9, Rapid River 8, Bessemer 5, Engadine 3, Holy Name 2, Mid Pen and Mackinac Island 1.

Newberry showed its strength in the distances, opening with a victory in the 3200 relay (10:24.16),

Sophomore Samantha Taylor set a U.P. D-3 record in the 1600 at 5:14.91, surpassing the 2012 record (5:17.2) by Munising’s Amy Kerst.

Freshman Abby Taylor was second (5:22.7) and senior Taylor Clark took fourth (5:37.49).

Clark then won the 3200 (12:33.7), withstanding a challenge from North Dickinson senior Mya Grunlund (12:43.65).

“I knew I had my kick and had to use it today,” Clark said. “I just wanted to defend my title one more time. I think my conditioning from cross country helped. I missed three meets because of bronchitis. Once I got over that, I did a lot of slow miles. It was a struggle.”

Clark is looking forward to running against Pickford’s Lola Korpi again in college.

“I’m really excited about that,” Clark said. “It will also be exciting to do something new.”

The Indians overcame a slow start to win the 3200 relay with a team comprised of Abby and Samantha Taylor, Clark, and senior Phinnaea Bloom.

“We weren’t too worried,” Abby Taylor said after running the anchor leg. “We knew Kaylen and Sam would close it. I felt pretty relaxed and confident in the final leg.”

Abby Taylor and Clark also had success in the 800, placing second and third in 2:33.34 and 2:35.62, respectively.

In the 800 relay, the Taylor girls joined senior Elisa Rizzoli and junior Makennah Russell in a third-place finish at 1:56.05.

Engadine junior Claire Oven placed fifth in the 100 hurdles (18.64).

Newberry senior Lucie Rabochova took fifth (27.95) and Engadine sophomore Bianca Briggs was sixth (28.07) in the 200.