Top Seven Athletes To Watch At MITS Indoor State Champs



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State championship season continues as the top athletes in Michigan will take to the LAB this weekend in Ypsilanti looking to capture state titles.

That includes athletes chasing after gold medals in multiple events, and others that could potentially set new Michigan state records on the track and in the field.

MileSplit will be on-site providing extensive coverage over the course of the two-day meet, providing live race video, photos, interviews, articles and more.

Below, find a breakdown of the athletes to watch as they compete for elusive titles at the MITS Indoor State Championships this weekend.

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Nevaeh Burns, Motor City Track Club

Events: Girls 200m and 400m

Burns has had quite the 2023 season -- MI No. 1 in the 400m and 300m, a hefty PR of 55.65 in the quarter-mile and nine total wins across events from the 55m to the 400m.

And she's just an eighth grader.

Burns won the 60m in the middle school division at last year's state championships, but she'll bump up to compete with the high schoolers at the longer 200m and 400m distances in 2023.

She won't be just competing with the high schoolers, either. Burns enters as the solid favorite in the 400m with her 55.65 season best, followed by Motor City teammates Taryn Henderson and Nonah Waldron. She could likely crack into the top eight for a scoring position in the 200m as well, as she's currently the 10th-best seed in the race with a mark of 25.44.

It's safe to say Burns is the next young star for the talented Motor City Track Club, and the 2023 MITS Indoor State Championships likely won't be the last time we see the middle schooler competing as one of the state's best.

* Jones talks after his mile win at the CYUP Misfits Invite earlier this month.
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Hunter Jones, Benzie Central

Events: Boys 1,600m and 3,200m

It could potentially be a record-breaking weekend for Michigan's top distance talent.

In his final indoor state competition, Jones could chase after a variety of feats as he contests the distance 1,600m-3,200m double. He'll look to win his second-straight indoor title in the 3,200m and will compete for the first time at states in the 1,600m, but don't be surprised to see Jones go for even more.

Look for Jones to try and add another state record to his name in the 1,600m, which would mean surpassing Grant Fisher's 4:04.46 time clocked eight years ago in 2015. He already has the Michigan all-time 3,200m best of 8:45.46 under his belt from the MITS - SVSU Distance Festival earlier this month, and perhaps a 1,600m record could be the icing on the cake.

Jones has clocked 4:07.36 for the full mile this indoor season.

Realistically, this will serve as a solid tune-up for Jones before he heads to the Armory for NSAF Nationals in the coming weeks. But he could potentially put together an impressive double over the weekend to end his final Michigan indoor state meet on a high note.

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Aiden Harrand, The RIOT

Events: Girls 800m and 1,600m

Harrand leads Michigan in the girls 1,600m this season with a 4:58.31 best from the MITS - GVSU #4 meet last month, and she'll be a favorite to win not just a title at that distance, but in the 800m as well.

The junior seemingly entered 2023 with an objective in mind: improvement.

Last indoor season, Harrand went sub-5:15 for 1,600m and placed seventh at the state championships in the 800m in 2:20.33,  but she's shaved significant seconds off those previous PRs a year later. Earlier this month, Harrand clocked a lifetime best of 2:14.60 in the 800m and has taken nearly 20 seconds off her sophomore year 1,600m time.

Now, she'll look to win the first Michigan indoor titles of her career.

Completing the 800m-1,600m double won't be a cake walk, though. Five additional girls enter the 1,600m with seed marks under 5:03, and the 800m field features five other competitors with entry times at 2:14 or better. 

But with the significant gains she's shown on the track this season, expect Harrand to fight for both of the event titles this weekend.

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Jaiden Reed, Unattached

Event: Boys 60m


That's the time Reed could likely hunt down this weekend to become the fastest Michigan boy ever over 60m.

Reed, a senior out of Detroit, will take to the blocks in the 60m where he could improve on his 6.77 current state lead and run away with a Michigan indoor title.

Currently, Reed's 6.77 PR from the University of Michigan High School Invitational in January ranks among the top 20 60m performances in the nation and third all-time in Michigan indoor history. He's also clocked 21.98 in the 200m and 49.08 for 400m this season, but will focus solely on his premiere 60m event at this weekend's competition.

And he's no newbie to 60m state title races, either. He finished as the runner-up in 2022 in 6.88 and fourth during his sophomore year.

The only difference now is that Reed isn't the one doing the chasing -- he's the one being chased.

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Milena Chevallier, Michigan Racers Track Club

Event: Girls High Jump

Put the girls high jump Michigan state record on notice this weekend at the LAB.

Chevallier could likely be the one to topple the current 5-10 all-time best, a record that has stood since 2014.

The junior from the Michigan Racers Track Club enters the state championships with momentum in her favor. A couple weeks ago, she set an all-time best of 5-8 in the high jump, which holds as the top mark in Michigan and the eight-best clearance in the country in 2023.

It also ranks her near the top of the record books in Michigan, tying for No. 5 all-time.

Chevallier will look to upgrade her high jump bronze medal from last year's indoor state meet to gold, as well as realistically shoot for that 5-10 mark.

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Kellen Kimes, Unattached

Events: Boys Weight Throw, Shot Put and Discus

Talk about throwing dominance.

Kimes leads the state in the weight throw in 2023 and enters the championships as the top seed in the discus and No. 2 entry in the shot put as he looks to complete the throws trifecta.

If he continues on the upward trajectory that he's followed throughout the course of the season, three state titles won't be out of the question for him.

Within the two months, Kimes has logged indoor PRs in all three events -- 153-5 in the discus, 56-2.25 for the shot put and 72-11 in the weight throw, the latter of which ranks at MI No. 2 all-time.

Surpassing the weight throw Michigan record of 74-3 set last year by Zane Forest could certainly be within reach for Kimes.

However, it's the shot put where he could face a challenge from current state leader Andrew Berryhill, who has thrown 58-7 this indoor season and enters as the top returner from last year's championships. Kimes finished jsut behind Berryhill in fourth in the 2022 shot put state final.

If all goes according to plan, Kimes could end his senior indoor season with three state titles to his name.

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Nonah Waldron, Motor City Track Club

Events: Girls 60mH and 400m

Waldron has long been a star for Motor City Track Club.

And she'll look to close out her final indoor state championships with more title wins.

The Southern California signee will try to earn her third-consecutive 60mH MITS indoor state title, as well as grab her first-ever gold medal in the 400m this weekend.

Waldron will be the heavy frontrunner in the 60mH thanks to her 8.46 60mH season best from the University of Michigan High School Invitational in January. It's an effort that also ranks among the best in the country, coming in at US No. 8.

But don't doubt her 400m endurance. She holds the sixth-best performance in Michigan this season of 57.76 and has clocked under 57 seconds multiple times in her career.

Titles aside, it'll be a fitting sendoff at the LAB this weekend for one of the great hurdlers in Michigan history.