KINGSFORD – Track coaches are a strange breed of people. They can most often be found sitting away from the action crunching numbers, calculating how their team might finish if the projections are right or if an unexpected third-place finish might be the difference between winning a meet and being the runner up.
Brimley girl’s track coach Joyel Hyvarinen has been “Jimmy The Greek”-like in her calculations over the past five years, bringing home four titles and creating an attitude that breeds victory.
“Winning is catchy,” said Hyvarinen. “Every kid coming in wants to keep up with what the other classes have done. And the graduates come back and help out. It’s been really great being a part of this.”
“This” includes a Division 3 track title this season as the Bays scored 78 points, 12 better than Superior-Central, good for Title No. 4.
Things did not look good early on for the Bays as Hyvarinen didn’t have many numbers to crunch.
Things picked up though after the 400-meter relay team came through with a win.
“After that and a second in the 400, I realized that we still had a pretty good chance to win,” said Hyvarinen.
Tabitha Graham repeated as the high-jump champ with a jump of 5-3, and anchored the 3200 relay team. She also finished second in the 400, while teammate Alexis Mason placed third in the event, giving the Bays the boost they needed.
The meet remained in doubt heading into the final event, the 3200-meter run. Brimley’s title hopes rested on the legs of freshman Emily Chartrand.
“Emily ran in the mile and really sort of ran herself out of that race,” said Hyvarinen. I wasn’t sure that she had the skill to win the 3200 as a freshman. But she learned from her mistake in the mile and took that into the two-mile.”
Chartrand needed a fourth-place finish to secure the win, but was told by Hyvarinen that if she felt like she had an opportunity to move up a couple of spots. Chartrand did her one better and edged Jeffers’s Meeghan Randell at the tape to get the win.