A giant leap for Jarvis, Bulldogs

KINGSFORD – Jacob Jarvis has always had a natural affinity towards hurdling.

He qualified for U.P. Finals his sophomore and junior season, placing top-five both seasons in the 110 high hurdles and 300 intermediates, and was usually at the top in local Copper Country races.

But his senior year, Jarvis took it to another level.

With some dedicated winter weight lifting and fine tuning of his technique, the Hancock hurdler went from excellent to champion-material.

Saturday, at the Division 2 U.P. Track and Field Finals in Kingsford, Jarvis capped a transformative season with U.P. titles in both hurdle races while adding a second and third place anchoring the 800 and 1600 relay events.

“It’s pretty cool,” Jarvis said. “I kept getting closer to what my goals were this year, and once those happened, you can’t stop.

“I just tried to keep my head down, I tried to keep everything tighter.”

The Bulldog senior started the day with a comfortable win in the 110 hurdles (15.65), defeating reigning champion Vincente Carlson (Westwood) by over half a second.

Jarvis had such a lead that even completely knocking over the final hurdle didn’t prevent him from cruising to first.

“I really like running against Vince. He crushed me last year. Maybe that’s why I was better,” Jarvis said.

The 300 went even better, with Jarvis taking a commanding lead early and pulling away to win by exactly four seconds over Tylor Capadagli of West Iron County.

Jarvis’ 40.36 seconds marked a personal best, in the last time he will ever run the 300, he said.

“I figured out how to run the 300 at our last meet,” Jarvis said. “I kept stuttering earlier in the year. And I kept pacing it too much to. That did not work. So I just put my head down, gun, and went.”

As he rounded the curve, Jarvis’ lead was so great he couldn’t see the rest of the field in his peripheral vision.

This strange experience just drove him even harder.

“It’s a little bit scary when I don’t know where the rest of the field are,” Jarvis said. “Like, I kind of want to see them, but I don’t too. It’s kind of a scare tactic. If you can’t see them, you don’t want to see them again.”

Hancock got another double winner to go with Jarvis as well, as sophomore thrower Gage Hawthorne took home both the discus and shot put titles.

Hawthorne cleared 142 feet, three inches in the disc – just shy of the school record he set earlier this year at 144-8 – and won the shot with a 51 foot, 1/2 inch heave.

The Bulldog sophomore defended his discus title from freshman year while the shot put victory gives him three U.P. titles in his first two seasons.

Even more impressive, Hawthorne’s disc and shot distances were the best of any division Saturday.

The duo pushed the Bulldogs to the best finish in the team standings of any local school Saturday – third. Ishpeming won the title with 115, followed by Manistique’s 76 and Hancock’s 61.

For the other local Division 2 school, L’Anse sprinter Ryan LaBerge made sure the Purple Hornets wouldn’t go home empty-handed.

LaBerge won the 200 in thrilling fashion, edging Ryan Ramey of Manistique by three-tenths of a second with a 23.33 sprint.

LaBerge’s victory gives L’Anse their first boys’ individual win since 1993 (Mike Nordstrom, long jump).

“What a fun way to end my high school career,” LaBerge said.

If it seems like LaBerge emerged almost from nowhere this season as a dominant sprinter – that’s because it is true.

The Hornet senior participated in just field events his junior year, specializing in the long jump, and was on that track again this season before L’Anse coach John Jacobson suggested he try the 200 one day.

“My coach joked if I could beat Brandon Kemppainen, who got third in the 100 today, then I might have to stick with it,” LaBerge said. “Well I beat Brandon, so I’ve been doing it ever since.

“We’ve got a real close group of guys on the team, and it helps when you can support each other like that. Every practice we are helping each other out.”

Along with LaBerge, L’Anse got points from Levi Hoskins’ second-place finish in the discus and Kemppainen’s second in the shot put and third in the 100. The Hornets also claimed fourth in the 400 relay and finished sixth with 42 points.

For Hancock, Adrian Saterstad earned fourth in the shot put, Jack Fenton placed fifth in the 110 hurdles and Alex DeWald took sixth in the 200.

On the girls side, Hancock’s Olivia Rouleau placed third in the discus, Ellie Lucier nabbed a third in the 300 hurdles and a fifth in the 200, while Abby Tembreull (3200) and Julie Heinonen (100 hurdles) each earned a fourth place.

The Hancock girls had 25 points and finished seventh overall. St. Ignace won the D-2 girls’ championship over West Iron County 116-107 in the closest finish of the day.

L’Anse finished with six points, from a fourth in the 800 relay and a fifth in the 400 relay.