East Kentwood — The sport is referred to as track and field but at East Kentwood for the next year, it’ll go by field and track.
It was the field events, sometimes the overlooked part of the sport, that carried the school to its second consecutive Division 1 boys championship — and seventh in the last 10 years.
“We came into the meet kind of thinking we knew we had a lot of chances in the field (to score points) but we had to execute them,” said Logan Brown, who won the shot put (57 feet-1¾ inches). “That’s what we did in my opinion.
“We got the points we needed to help us get that cushion.”
East Kentwood had 61 points — and 40 of them came from the field events. Ann Arbor Pioneer came in second overall with 39 points. Saline (37), Grand Blanc (37) and Rockford (35) rounded out the top five.
“It was a weird year for us,” said Falcons coach Dave Emeott. “We didn’t run in the 100 (meters), 200, 400, 800, none of it. That doesn’t happen at East Kentwood very often. But it’s cool to do it in a different way now.
“At least for a year we’ll be East Kentwood Field and Track from now on. Everything changes. We watched a lot of the track events today. We weren’t in them.
“But they’re all such great kids and we’re blessed to coach them, and I’m so proud of our coaches.”
Another key Falcons field event victory was in the pole vault, where Trevor Stephenson set a new state record (16 feet, 9½ inches) while winning the event, edging Saline’s Eric Harris (16-6½) with a large crowd assembled.
East Kentwood pole vaulter Trevor Stephenson talks about setting a state record in the pole vault (16 feet, 9.5 inches). Ted Kulfan, Detroit News
“That was a really big part of why I went up so high,” said Stephenson of the way Harris was vaulting. “If he’d gone out at 15-9 or something, I would have probably lost motivation. He kept pushing me and kept me going.
“It was awesome, cool to have everybody over there (by the pole vault pit). I was real surprised when I looked up and I saw people just coming over there. That was real cool and it helped motivate me get over the bar.”
Locally, AJ Abbot (West Bloomfield) won the long jump (23-7¼). Detroit King won the 800-meter relay (Jaeveyon Morton, Dylan Brown, Dequan Finn and Jalen McGaughy) in 1 minute, 26 seconds, Oak Park’s Donnie James won the 400 (47.14) and 200 (21.20).
Rockford senior Cole Johnson ended his career in memorable fashion, winning the 800 (1:53) and 1600 (4:08.47), just edging Ann Arbor Pioneer’s Nick Foster (4:08.64).
“I found a lot of energy with the people supporting me here, all the fans packed in here today,” Johnson said. “Winning the mile (1,600) in Michigan is real prestigious and that’s what kept me going.”
Coldwater won the Division 2 state title in Zeeland with 60 points, followed by Zeeland East (53) and Harper Woods Chandler Park (37).
Clare (44 points) edged Berrien Springs (42) to win the state title in Comstock Park. Kent City (32) and Saugatuck (30) followed.
Kalamazoo Hackett (51 points) earned the state championship in Hudsonville, outlasting Sand Creek (36) and Breckenridge (33). Southfield Christian (27) was fourth.