Lansing Waverly coach Rex Wilkes could release a sigh of relief Saturday night when reflecting upon the strategy that gave his team its second consecutive state championship
After all, a mere point proved to be the difference.
“This one was a little harder,” said Wilkes, whose team edged host Zeeland East, 47-46, for the Lower Peninsula Division 2 girls state track and field championship. “When the expectations go up, it makes it a little more stressful.”
It was stressful when freshman Priscilla Trainor held her hamstring yet managed to hang onto a third-place finish in the 200-meter finals to secure the 1-point victory. Trainor ran six races and was a part of two relay teams that took first place — the 4x100 (48.98) and 4x200 (1:43.71).
Seven athletes were brought to the meet — and all seven earned points. Junior Maya Garrett and senior Teaghan Thomas were on both first-place relay teams, and junior thrower Malin Smith secured key points in the discus (138 feet, second place) and shot put (third place).
“It shows that if you have the right seven girls, it can lead to great things,” Wilkes said.
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Carleton Airport senior Zoe Eby sprinted across the finish line as a state champion twice.
Eby won the 200-meter race in 24.26. And in the 100-meter race (12.11) she edged Romulus senior Ieisha Davis (12.31).
Macomb Lutheran North senior Taylor Dziatczak won the long jump (17 feet, 11.5 inches).
Division 4: Southfield Christian wins title
A pair of juniors powered Southfield Christian to the Lower Peninsula Division 4 title at Houseman Field in Grand Rapids.
Junior Chika Amene won three individual titles — the 100 (12.71), the 200 (25.71) and 400 (58.83). She was also a leg on the first place 4x400-meter relay team along with teammates Rebekah Wilson, Kaelin Ray and Shelby Goodson (4:07.33).
Ray, a junior, won the 300-meter hurdles (45.98) to help Southfield Christian finish 10 points ahead of second-place Fowler.
Division 3: Rosales powers Adrian Madison
Adrian Madison coach Josh Powers has come close to winning a state championship during his 18-year tenure. A third-place finish in 2013. Then a runner-up finish last year by a mere 3.5 points.
Saturday made the painful past a distant memory.
“It’s just an amazing feeling,” said Powers, whose team won the Division 3 championship by a 15.5-point margin above Lansing Catholic at Comstock Park High School. “We had some outstanding performances today.”
Especially from senior Megan Rosales, who was involved in four state championships. She took the 400 (57.02), the 300 hurdles (45.05) and was a leg on two relay teams.
Rosales and teammates Chelsea Short, Delaney Stersic and Sierra Hernandez won the 4x200 (1:44.11) and the 4x400 (3:57.8). The 4x00 relay broke a 10-year-old meet record previously owned by Ann Arbor Gabriel Richard (3:59.06 in 2007).
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Dearborn Advanced Technology Academy freshman Jaylah Watson won the 100 hurdles title in 14.76 seconds.
Watson’s victory margin was .09 above Dearborn Heights Robichaud senior Kierra Rice.
In the 4x100 meter relay, Rice helped Robichaud take first place along with Shaquetta Woods, Mariah Harris and Terria Fisher, who finished in 49.75. They held a narrow edge (.13) over the Clintondale relay team of Raya Starks, Mia Wilson, Aurora Ward and A’Rhyanna Tyus (49.88).
Bruce Mason is a freelance writer.