Williamston, the defending Division
3 boys team champion and the team ranked at the top of
the polls for most of 2001, had their sights set on another
last year's runner up, Hemlock, had a different ending
planned. In 2000 Williamston claimed not only the team
state title, but they also produced the overall individual
winner, Jason Stover.
year, it was Hemlock's turn to experience the team championship.
The Hemlock boys, ranked second coming into the finals,
used a strong showing up front by placing two runners
in the top 10.
by Juniors Steven Czymbor who finished 3rd overall, and
Nicholas Puchacz who finished 7th, Hemlock rolled to the
title, finishing with 137 points.
and third places in the team race went to a pair of northwest
Michigan schools with great running traditions, Benzonia
Benzie Central (2nd with 161) and Charlevoix (3rd with
162). Between 1982 and 1991 the only two teams to hold
the boy's title in this division were Charlevoix and Benzie
Central. Charlevoix took the title in 1982, 1983 and an
amzaing five in a row from 1987-1991.
Central won three in a row from 1984-1986. Most recently,
Benzie also produced the overall individual winner as
Jake Flynn took home the division 3 boy's title three
years in a row from 1997-1999. Flynn also holds the D-3
course record of 15:12, which he set in 1997.
pre-race favorite, Williamston, finished in 4th place
with a total of 178. Jackson Lumen-Christi, the second
ranked team coming into the finals, capped off a great
season by placing fifth.
year's race for the boy's d-3 individual title was as
much up in the air as the team competition. Even after
two miles, it was anyone's race. Just after two a group
of 5 runners were together fighting it out for the state
Creek Pennfield senior Aaaron Nasers lead that group after
the two mile. However, that's about the point that Stockbridge
senior Brandon Grybas decided that he wanted it more.
Grybas pulled away from Nasers and Hemlock's Steven Czymbor
to finish in first in a time of 15:57. Nasers ended up
in the runner up spot in 16:02, while Czymbor took third
Grybas was happy with his win, at this point, the team
competition was still up in the air and he was concerned
how his fourth ranked team had done. "I'm more worried
about the team right now. I want to know how we did,"
he commented soon after the race. Grybas used a smart
race strategy for his victory attempt. Going out at the
first mile in a cautious 5:04, he moved up to the lead
pack right around the mile and a half and then made his
move at two.
caught up to them at the mile and a half and then I started
pusing after that. We were going back and forth for the
did what he had to and hold off Nasers, whose talent he
respected. "I knew that he (Nasers) had a hard kick and
I was just waiting for it." Grybas, however, had enough
to hold Nasers off and take home the D-3 state individual
Bills of defending champion Williamston ended up fourth
in 16:12 and Dan Campbell of Grand Rapids Baptist took
fifth place just one second back in 16:13.