Two Vikings qualify for track and field state finals
Two Grayling Viking track and field athletes finished high enough at the Michigan High School Athletic Association’s Region 29-3 meet on Friday to qualify for the upcoming state finals. The Brookwood Athletic Complex in Clare hosted regionals.
Ellie Carr’s second place finish in the shot put earned her a spot at the state finals. Carr, now a two-time state qualifier as a junior, posted a throw of 32’6” at regionals on Friday.
Jacopo Bersellini, a foreign exchange student from Italy, finished third in the 110-meter hurdles event with a time of 15.66. It was a strong enough finish to earn a place at the state finals.
The top two finishers at regionals qualify for the state meet, and it is also possible to qualify by meeting certain times or distances in events.
Coach Justin Andre said Carr did not have her best throw at regionals, but had a strong enough performance to earn a place in the state finals.
“Ellie, this was her second year qualifying. She threw far enough to qualify,” Coach Andre said. “Jacopo, pretty cool. He’s a foreign exchange student. He’s going to be competing with some of the state’s best runners. Neat thing for him.”
Coach Andre said the track group competed well overall and had a few others get close to qualifying for the state finals.
“Good, good meet. Brianna (Martin) was close in the mile and the two-mile. Allie Moffit ran real strong; she’s a freshman. Some of our young runners, you’ll see them be state qualifiers in the next year or two,” Coach Andre said.
Other placements for Grayling at the Region 29-3 meet included: (girls) 200-meter dash, 3rd, Moffit, 28.40; 800-meter run, 10th, Megan Oppermann, 2:50.09; 1600-meter run, 5th, Martin, 5:48.27; 3200-meter run, 5th, Martin, 12:18.30; 4x400-meter relay, Sarah Rakoczy, Kaya Preston, Oppermann, Moffit, 4:37.49; 4x800-meter relay, 3rd, Rakoczy, Carlee Miller, Oppermann, Martin, 10:55.40; long jump, 8th, Preston, 13’7.25”; discus, 5th, Carr, 93’6”; (boys) 400-meter dash, 4th, Felix Vivet, 54.44; 800-meter run, 4th, Zack Osga, 2:07.98; 1600-meter run, 15th, Kendall Tomczak, 5:18.62; 4x100-meter relay, 7th, Beau Dutton, Gabriel Nano, Flynn Powers, Chase Walker, 49.25; 4x200-meter relay, 4th, Bersellini, Vivet, Dutton, Nano, 1:38.87; 4x800-meter relay, 10th, Dutton, Tomczak, Logan Joseph, Osga, 9:57.06; long jump, 11th, Max Halstead, 16’7.75”; shot put, 20th, Eli Jackson, 34’9”, 22nd, Justin Bodkins, 32’0”, 24th, Nicholas Bluemlein, 64’1”.
Region 29-3 featured athletes from 13 teams: Beaverton, Clare, Farwell, Grayling, Harrison, Houghton Lake, McBain, Oscoda, Pinconning, Roscommon, Sanford-Meridian, Standish Sterling Central, and Tawas. In the team rankings, Grayling’s girls took sixth place and the boys finished 11th.
“Overall, we had a pretty good regional. So far, a good season,” Coach Andre said.
The 2017 Division III State Track Finals will be held at Comstock Park High School on Saturday, June 3.