The Scoop: Recapping Major State Championship Action

Michigan State Lower Peninsula Division 1 Championship Breakdown

1. Let's start with Grace Stark. The White Lake Lakeland junior had one of the top indoor seasons of any hurdler this winter. But it took the athlete awhile to get going over the outdoor season. By Saturday, though, she was moving like a hurricane. Stark won the 100m in a wind-legal 11.74 seconds, then scored a US No. 2 performance of 13.16 (+1.7) seconds in her favorite event. The sky is the limit, it seems, with this junior sprinter. 

2. Talk about a distance battle. Rockford junior Ericka Vanderlende and Ann Arbor Pioneer senior Anne Forsyth went after it in the 1600m and 3200m. While it was Vanderlende for the win in the 1600m in 4:45.17 -- to Forsyth's 4:48.28 -- Forsyth got to the line first in the 3200m in 10:08.07 -- while Vanderlende crossed four seconds later in 10:12.26. 

3. Oak Park can't be stopped. The girls team scored another state title -- coached by Brandon Jiles -- and nabbed wins in the 200m (Aasia Laurencin, 24.64), 400m (Miyah Brooks, 55.12), was third in the 800m (Doriann Coleman, 2:10.22), second in the 4x100 (47.96), first in the 4x400 (3:51.01) and first in the 4x800 (9:08.75). The girls didn't score in any field events but it didn't matter. The damage was done on the track, where Oak Park has established itself as a perennial powerhouse. The Detroit-based squad earned the victory in a dominating display of fast times. 

4. How about that double Oak Park senior Donnie James finished out his high school career with the double, scoring individual wins in the 200m (21.20) and the 400m (47.14). 

5. Speed matters. According to Michigan track and field journalist Jeff Hollobaugh, Rockford senior Cole Johnson needed every step of his last 100m to win the 1600m. He ran the final straightaway in a reported 12.99 seconds to out rank Nick Foster in a time of 4:08.64 -- Foster was second in 4:08.64. Johnson wasn't done, though. He won the state's LP Division 1 800m in 1:53.11. Foster, however, didn't come home empty handed. The Ann Arbor Pioneer junior was first in the 3200m in a time of 9:07.93. 

6. Ann Arbor Pioneer's boys distance squad had one heck of a race in the 4x800, scoring a US No. 8 time of 7:45.64 to win Division I.