2017-05-17 / Sports

Only two in each event move on to state meet


Lapeer’s Alex Thomas (right) and Kellee Byard (left) look to have a strong showing at this year’s regional meet. 
Photo by Kylee Richardson Lapeer’s Alex Thomas (right) and Kellee Byard (left) look to have a strong showing at this year’s regional meet. Photo by Kylee Richardson AREAWIDE -- The track season is coming to a close as the area’s teams gear up for their respective regional meets on Friday and Saturday. Lapeer in Div. 1, North Branch and Imlay City in Div. 2, Almont, Capac and LakeVille in Div. 3 and Dryden and Mayville in Div. 4, will all be competing for a spot in the state finals held on June 3. The top two finishers in each event, plus any other athletes meeting the state qualifying standards in their events, will move on to the state finals. Below is a preview for each regional.

Div. 1 at Saginaw Heritage

The Lapeer track team is set to compete at Saginaw Heritage on Friday. The meet will include Alpena, Bay City Central, Bay City Western, Davison, Flint Carman- Ainsworth, Flint Kearsley, Flushing, Midland, Midland Dow, Mt. Pleasant, Saginaw Arthur Hill, Saginaw Heritage, Swartz Creek, Traverse City Central and Traverse City West.

LakeVille’s Darrell Washington is poised for a strong showing in both the high jump and long jump during regionals. 
Photo by Austin VanDaele LakeVille’s Darrell Washington is poised for a strong showing in both the high jump and long jump during regionals. Photo by Austin VanDaele After having recently faced off with the majority of teams it will see at the regional meet, Lapeer will look to face a tough test on the boys’ side while attempting to hold off competitors on the girls’ side.

Lapeer’s boys’ team has struggled through the season, but will look to turn around its luck on Friday. Kennith Lueck leads Lapeer in the hurdles events where he has seen some success this season. Meanwhile, Jesse Sullivan in the 1,600 and 3,200 runs and Zach Sparks in the 800 will look to compete for a chance at the state meet.

As for the girls’ side, Lapeer has been strong all season long. Sprinter Alex Thomas has been steadily placing within the top three of the 100, 200 and 400 meter runs, making her one to watch for the day. Thomas also runs on the 800-relay team, along with Lisa West, Kellee Byard and Lauren Barber, which just broke a school record in the event on Friday. Thomas was named Female Athlete of the Meet at the April County Press Invitational at North Branch. Lapeer has also seen success at the 400 relay with Barber, Byard, Elizabeth Perry and Mariah Brown and the distance relays which include Alyssa Vanooteghem, Kristen Kautz, Morgan Turk, Brooklyn George, Rebecca Deneweth and Barber. For the field events, Madison Green looks to be in the mix during the high jump competition.

Div. 2 at Clio

Imlay City and North Branch will be traveling to Clio on Friday. They will be competing against Algonac, Armada, Birch Run, Bridgeport, Clio, Croswell- Lexington, Goodrich, Macomb- Lutheran North, Marysville, Mt. Morris, Richmond, St. Clair and Yale.

The North Branch girls are currently undefeated this season, sitting at a 10-0 record overall. The Lady Broncos have set numerous school records this season as well as personal bests. Heather Czarnecki is heading into regionals with an impressive chance of qualifying for states. She has set records in the 800, 1,600, 3,200 and 1,600 relay this season alone. The North Branch boys 400 relay team of Josh Boyne, Kyle Parvin, Salvador Suau-Frontera and Logan Rutledge recently tied the school record and set a new meet record at the Bad Axe Invitational.

The Imlay City boys currently have a 4-3 Blue Water Area Conference record and have competed well in tournaments throughout the season. T.J. Reintjes will be looking to continue on his high scores in pole vaulting. The 3,200- relay team of Richard Mukholi, David Hart, Jon Louwsma and Jacob Swartz will also be competitive with a shot to move on to states.

The Lady Spartans are 6-1 in the BWAC. Robin LeFevere will be a strong competitor in the long jump, having recently posted a jump of 16-foot-9.75 for her career best. The 800-relay team of Robin LeFevere, Jillian LeFevere, McKinzie Winget and Carly Livingston are a group of girls with a strong chance of moving on as well.

Div. 3 at Marlette

Almont, LakeVille and Capac head to Marlette on Friday to start their journey to states. They will be competing against Bad Axe, Brown City, Caro, Cass City, Frankenmuth, Marine City, Marlette, Millington, Reese, Sandusky and Vassar.

Almont has generated impressive pole vaulters for both the boys and girls this season in a brother-sister pairing. Austin Battani will be vaulting for the boys with a career best of 10-foot while his sister Aubrey Battani will be vaulting for the girls with a career best of 10-foot as well. Alec Giles will be a strong competitor for the boys in the hurdles and high jump. Rebecca Measel will be one to watch for the girls in both the 100 and 300 hurdles.

LakeVille will have a few key athletes to watch during the regional, including Darrell Washington from the boys’ side and distance runners Jewell Colley, Eva Chmielewski and Kailyn Allmon on the girls’ side.

Washington will look to have strong performances in the long jump and high jump while also competing in some individual sprints. Washington’s focus will be on the long jump, where he has been steadily jumping over 20-foot for the season. He earned the Male Athlete of the Meet award at the annual County Press Invitational in April.

As for the girls’ side, LakeVille will look to have strong showings from Colley in the 400, Chmielewski in the 800 and Allmon in the 1,600 and 3,200. Those three girls also form a strong distance relay team along with Ashlee Chema that will also be competitive.

Capac will have some solid sprinters with Tyler Saez, Omar Santana, Omar Canelo and Charlie Aldrich on the boys’ end and the girls will be paced by Sara Herrera, Lily Rodriguez and Alondra Munoz.

Div. 4 at Deckerville

Dryden and Mayville will travel to Deckerville on Saturday to compete for a shot at the state meet. Also competing will be Akron- Fairgrove, Austin Catholic, Carsonville-Port Sanilac, Caseville, Deckerville, Genesee, Harbor Beach, Kingston, Marine City Cardinal Mooney, Mt. Clemens, North Huron, Owendale-Gagetown, Peck, Pigeon-Laker, Ubly and Unionville-Sebawing.

For Dryden, Kelli Schenkel and Mia Sliman will be athletes to watch in both the high jump and long jump events, while Rachel Vallad will look to hold down the discus and shot put events. Dryden will also look to Hannah Weiss and Jodie Adams to place high in the hurdle events.

For the boys’ side, pole vaulter Blake Porter has been having a strong season and has the potential to place high during his event. A sprinting core led by Sam Peyerk and Tyler Honnold will also be something to watch during the meet.

The Wildcats have been solid all season long, and for the boys, expect big performances from Vinny Damiani, Michael Redfield, Jacob Miller and Ben Hulley, just to name a few. Lyndee Bailey, Peyton Williams, Olivia Goodfellow, Livia Flynn and Rachel Cummings have all been excellent sprinters for the Lady Wildcats this year.

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