Track and field: Area athletes garner 11 medals

Track and field: Area athletes garner 11 medals

Provided by Petoskey News

Area athletes captured 11 medals in three Michigan High School Athletic Association State Track and Field meets on Saturday.

Seven area athletes finished second in their respective events.

— Charlevoix senior Eric Buday was second in the boys’ 800-meter run in the Division III competition at Comstock Park High School.

— Harbor Springs senior Jay Lechner was second in the discus, and the Rams’ Patrick Frank, Nick Cooper, Charlie Dryer and Ben Kloss combined for a runner-up finish in the boys’ 3,200 relay in the Division IV meet at Jenison High School.

— Pellston junior Tayler Friend was second in the girls’ high jump in the Division IV girls’ meet.

The top eight finishers in each event medaled and earned All-State honors.

Division II

Two Petoskey athletes, Cory Starkey and Carly Searles, medaled in the Division II meet at Houseman Field in Grand Rapids.

Starkey, who is headed to Bucknell (Pa.) University to play basketball, finished third in the boys’ high jump with a leap of 6 feet, 6 inches, tying his own school record.

“Top three is pretty good in the state,” Petoskey boys’ coach John Goble said. “It was good for him to finish out his high school career with that finish. He really excelled at it this year.”

Searles, who will play volleyball and softball beginning next year at Trine (Ind.) University, finished eighth in the girls’ 400-meter dash in 59.25 seconds.

Kendall Baisden of Detroit Country Day won the girls’ 400 in 55.12, while Dartis Willis of Country Day captured the high jump at 6-11, a Division II meet record.

Country Day won the girls’ team title with 58 points, while Dearborn Divine Child was second with 44. East Lansing won the boys’ championship with 56 points. Chelsea, 48, was second.

Division III

Charlevoix’s Buday was nipped at the tape in the boys’ 800 by Frankenmuth’s Luke Bade.

Bade finished in 1:54.32, Buday in 1:54.48. Last year at the state finals, Bade was second and Buday third.

Buday moved out from the pack with about 60 meters remaining and passed Bade, who was running out front. Buday held the lead until the final meters, when he was edged by Bade.

“Bade took him right at the tape,” Charlevoix coach Ken Plude said. “He was just a little bit taller and his strides were a little bit longer. It was a phenomenal race. There was just a pack coming . It looked like a (400-meter race), it was that close. It was fun to watch, we were just on the wrong end of it, that’s all.”

Buday held the school record in the event, 1:56.33, he set in last year’s state meet. He shattered that mark on Saturday and became Charlevoix’s most decorated state-meet track and field/cross country runner by earning his seventh and eighth All-State honors in the two sports

He also ran the anchor leg on the Rayders’ 3,200 relay squad, which placed fifth.

Buday would “do the work, perform, and do anything you asked him to do,” Plude said. “That’s hard to have all that. Some of (the athletes) can do the work and have a hard time performing at that level. He just loves it, eats it up. He lives for this.”

With his eight All-State plaques, Buday passes former Charlevoix standouts Jason Whitley and Mike Bush, who earned seven each in the two sports, Plude said.

Andrew Plude, Vinnie VonLau and John Shea joined Buday in the relay. They finished in 8:15.02. Frankenmuth, with Bade running the anchor leg, won in 8:02.49.

Charlevoix senior Molly Jeakle won two medals in the girls’ meet, and Boyne City freshman Kylie Hicks finished fourth in the 100 hurdles.

Jeakle finished sixth in the 800 with a school-record 2:23.28, and she ran the anchor leg on the Rayders’ 3,200 relay, which placed eighth.

Olivia Certa, Hilary Way and Annie Dipert joined Jeakle in the relay, finishing in 10:03.85. Benzie Central won in, 9:22.71, a Division III state record.

“It was a great day for those four girls,” Charlevoix coach Mary Plude said. “They came to race and the results showed it. I was very proud of how they handled themselves in their first track state meet, and proud that they are All-State for their efforts. It is very fortunate for us that all four of those girls will be coming back next year to help lead the team farther.”

Jeakle broke her own record in the 800, which was 2:23.8. Michaela Carnegie of Benzie won in 2:16.96.

Hicks’ time, 15.68, in the 100 hurdles broke Nicole Kurtz’s school record of 15.73 set in 2000.

Frankenmuth won the boys’ meet with 44 points, while Union City was second with 38. Benzie nipped Frankenmuth, 54-53, to win the girls’ championship.

Division IV

Friend entered the Division IV state meet sharing the top seed at 5 feet, 4 inches, and she lived up to that height, reaching 5-4.

But Mendon’s Amanda Lovell went 5-5 to place first, while Phoenix Duncan of Morenci finished third at 5-3.

“The girl from Mendon had a better jumping day,” Pellston coach Maria Fabro-Pelaccio said, adding that Lovell had never surpassed 5-3 before Saturday’s event. “She (Friend) was disappointed with second, but she took it in stride.”

Friend was second in the high jump as a freshman and third last year.

“She jumped her best on Saturday,” Fabro-Pelaccio said. “She put forth everything she had. Her motivation for senior year will be first place.”

Harbor Springs’ Elena Ongaro cleared 4-11 to finish tied for sixth in the event.

It was the second straight year that Harbor’s Lechner finished second in the discus. Jacob Patrick of Litchfield was first with a toss of 164-9, while Lechner came in at 155-8.

Frank, Cooper, Dryer and Kloss combined to finish the 3,200 relay in 8:18.08. Big Rapids Crossroads Academy was first in 8:13.39. Dryer is a sophomore; Kloss, a junor; while Frank and Cooper are seniors.

“To come away with three state medals, that’s more than we were seeded to,” Harbor coach Emily Kloss said. “We were pretty pleased. For Elena to get one, that was a bonus. If you can do more than you’re expected, that’s always good.”

Albion and Big Rapids Crossroads Academy both had 48 points to share the boys’ team title, while Muskegon Catholic Central was third with 46. Harbor finished in 14th place with 16 points.

Fowler won the girls’ team championship with 89 points, while Pewamo-Westphalia was second with 81.5.

Division I

East Kentwood scored 72 points to win the Division I boys’ state title going away at Rockford High School. Ypsilanti, 28, was a distant second.

Grosse Pointe South won the girls’ title, edging Detroit Cass Tech, 54-50.