Relay teams lead Oak Park girls to repeat as D1 track champs

Geoff Robinson, Special to The Detroit News
Anna Jefferson

Rockford — Anna Jefferson of Oak Park didn't bring home the gold in the 200-meter or 400-meter dash, but she was part of something bigger and better as Oak Park won the Division 1 MHSAA girls team championship for the second year in a row.

Jefferson was a part of the 4x100 and 4x200 relay teams that garnered first-place finishes, and perhaps that was more fitting for the junior.

"It's a great feeling," Jefferson said. "It lets us know that all of our hard work paid off despite the weather. I'm proud of us."

The Oak Park 4x200 relay team ran a personal best of 1:39.55.

As for the 400, where she picked up a silver medal, Jefferson confessed to running out of gas down the stretch.

"In the beginning I had to get out and catch who was in front of me," she said. "By the time I got to the finish I had to give my all, and apparently my all wasn't enough."

The 200 was won by Sekayi Bracey of East Kentwood, and the 400 was won by Sammy Cuneo of Rockford.

Jefferson finished in second place in both events.

Oak Park finished with 93 points, while East Kentwood came in second with 54.5, and Rockford finished third with 43.

In the 1,600-meter run, Rachel DaDamio of Birmingham Seaholm brought home her first individual championship with a time 4:46.05.

"It feels so good. I'm used to the runner-up spot," DaDamio said as she tried to catch her breath.

The senior, who will be running at Notre Dame next year, finished second in her cross-country state meet last fall, and came in fourth in the 1,600 last season.

"My plan was just to race," she said. "No one really wanted to lead, so I just took it. I really wanted to finish strong and have something left for the last lap. It felt go gratifying when I crossed the finish line."

Division 2

At Zeeland. St. John's won with 36 points besting Flint Southwestern (34) and Battle Creek Harper Creek (26). Charley Andrews of Harper Creek won the high jump (5 feet, 4 inches) and ran the anchor leg on the 1,600 relay (4:02.02).

Division 3

Pewamo-Westphalia (62 points) took home the trophy in a tight competition, beating out Frankenmugh (59.5) and Manistee (57). Annie Fuller of Manistee broke her own meet record in the 800 meters (2:09.61) and won the 1,600 meters (4:57.40). Hailey Stockford of Sanford_Meridian won the 200 meters (25.11) and the 100 meters (12.07).

Division 4

Harbor Springs took first with 57 points, beating out second-place Fowler (53.5) and third-place Concord (50). Tessa Fornari of Waterford Lakes won the 3,200 meters (11:33.70) and the 1,600 meters (5:06.39).