Lady Eagles earn 38 medals at the MHSAA Division 3 regional
by Head Coach Mike Snyder
The Frankenmuth High School girls track and field team traveled to Marlette on Friday, May 19 to compete in a cold, windy Regional Meet with 13 other Division 3 schools and came home Regional Champions.
The regional meet is the only meet during the season where athletes can qualify for the MHSAA State Finals on June 3. The top two in each of the 17 events qualify plus anyone else that meets or exceeds the state standard for that event. With the weather being so cold and windy, meeting the state standard was going to be very difficult (since the state standards are set quite high), so trying to finish first or second was the best way to qualify on this particular day.
There were a lot of strong athletes at this meet, so finishing in the top two was going to be a challenge. Our team showed plenty of depth as they earned 38 regional medals (top eight). We had nine girls qualify for the State Finals in eight events which is very impressive. We had a few events that we were hoping to have state qualifiers in, but it just was not their night to have a good night. We ask the girls to perform at their highest level each time they compete. We understand that this is not always something that will happen. Unfortunately, and sadly for the athlete, the day that they have an off meet is the only meet that they can qualify for the MHSAA State finals (even though previous performances would have won the regional meet). We hurt for them, but we ask them to look forward, not backward, and prepare themselves for the next big meet. They can still have a great season and help the team continue to do well. This is what is expected of the athletes on a championship level team.
The girls that qualified for the MHSAA State Finals include senior captain, Carissa Schurr (800m, 4x400m, and 4x800m); senior Autumn Gentner (4x400m and 4x800m); junior captain Hannah Loucks (1600m, 3200m, and 4x800m); junior Adalee Beller (4x100m); sophomore Lulu Karney (4x800m); sophomore Alexa Cross (4x100m, 4x200m, and 4x400m); freshman Hayleigh Atkin (100m, 4x100m, and 4x200m); freshman Heather Atkin (4x100m and 4x200m); freshman Courtney Palmer (4x200m and 4x400m).
In the Regional meet, we could only enter two athletes in each event plus anyone else as an additional qualifier if they met or exceeded the regional standard for that event. We had several girls that are number three on our team for an event, but exceeded the standard and could compete.
Top performers at the meet (top eight) include:
100m: Freshman Hayleigh Atkin qualified for the state finals finishing second place with a time of 13.46 followed by freshman Heather Atkin (5th / 13.78) and junior Adalee Beller (8th / 14.03). Hayleigh and Heather are strong freshman that are showing promise and will only get stronger and faster as they go through school. We are already hearing comments about “the twins” Frankenmuth has. Just wait! Having three girls in the finals was great to have. This means that all three of our girls ran fast enough in the previous qualifying round to make it to the finals. Three for three and three out of eight in the finals is not bad at all.
200m: We also had all three of our 200m sprinters make it through the qualifying round and into the final eight. Hayleigh Atkin (4th / 28.47), sophomore Alexa Cross (5th / 28.60), and Heather Atkin (6th / 28.95).
400m: Freshman Courtney Palmer (7th / 1:08.10) and sophomore Halia Andrews (9th / 1:09.12)
800m: Senior Carissa Schurr was the regional champion in the 800m with a time of 2:22.06 and earned a chance to compete at the MHSAA State meet where she finished eighth last year with a great finishing kick and earned All-State (finished 14th in 2015). Carissa will be going into the finals this season seeded second, but has the determination and ability to compete for the state championship in the 800m. It will be a race to watch. Senior Autumn Gentner and sophomore Lulu Karney also ran well finishing 6th/2:37.34 and 8th/2:42.15 respectively.
1600m: Junior Hannah Loucks ran a strong race and qualified for the MHSAA State Finals based on time as she finished in third so she had to make the standard in order to earn a spot at the finals. Hannah picked it up in the last 150m and came in at 5:26.45 two seconds under the standard. Hannah was 13th in the 1600m last year in the finals and is currently ranked 16th but certainly has the ability to move into the top eight. Freshman Samantha Rapson and sophomore Gabby Harris also competed in the 1600m finishing 4th/5:53.08 and 12th/ 6:26.56 respectively. Gabby has been having shin problems the last several weeks and has been backing off of her training, so this is a step back into competition for her that she needs.
3200m: Hannah is the regional champion in the 3200m with a time of 11:56.13 and has earned a spot on the MHSAA State Finals team. Last year Hannah also competed in the state finals earning an 18th place finish. She is currently ranked 22nd with many strong runners ahead of her, but Hannah is much stronger this year and has what it takes to move up many positions. Samantha Rapson also competed in the 3200m and earned fifth place points for the team with a time of 12:47.92.
100m Hurdles: This is our first story of the night. All three of our girls made it into the finals round from the preliminary round which is tough to do, but they did it. Junior, Faythe Bergman was our top 100m hurdler going into the finals and had a good chance of qualifying for the MHSAA State Finals. She was right with the second place hurdler until the last hurdle where she clipped it with her lead leg and took a spill taking her out of contention. Faythe was looking great and was pushing so hard at the end as she needed too that her lead foot caught the hurdle and tripped her up. Faythe picked herself up like a true champion and finished the race still earning a point for the team! Senior Megan Ihrig ran a good race and captured 5th place points with a time of 18.27 followed by sophomore Natalie Clark who earned 7th place points for the team with a time of 18.47.
300m Hurdles: Faythe Bergman came back after her spill in the 100m hurdles and captured fifth place points for the team with a time of 54.11 followed by Natalie Clark with a 12th place finishing time of 57.81.
4 x 100m Relay: The team of freshman Heather Atkin, junior Adalee Beller, sophomore Alexa Cross, and freshman Hayleigh Atkin are regional champions in the 4x100m relay with a time of 52.74 and will be heading to the MHSAA State Finals.
4 x 200m Relay: This race was a great example of never giving up. The young team of freshman Hayleigh Atkin, freshman Courtney Palmer, sophomore Alexa Cross, and freshman Heather Atkin went into this relay seeded first with every expectation of making it to the MHSAA State Finals. However, on the second handoff, Courtney tried getting the baton to Alexa but fell just before she could get it to her as the timing was not right. Instead of just shutting down and giving up as a young team like this could have easily done, Alexa ran back to Courtney, grabbed the baton, and got back into the race. I wish I would have taken a split on Alexa’s 200m leg because she came from behind and got us right back into the race – it was incredible to watch. Heather had her work cut out for her as we knew we needed to get first or second in order to qualify. Heather made up more ground and was in third place right up until the last 10 meters where she pushed through and captured second place which would send the team to the state finals. What an example of team work and never giving up.
4 x 400m Relay: The team of Courtney Palmer, Alexa Cross, Autumn Gentner, and Carissa Schurr had a goal to not only make it to the state finals but to beat the team of Bad Axe which beat them at the meet prior to this. The team ran a very strong race and met their top priority goal of making it to the state finals which they did based on time and taking second place behind Bad Axe with a time of 4:17.41.
4 x 800m Relay: The team of Hannah Loucks, Autumn Gentner, Lulu Karney, and Carissa Schurr started the meet off very well with the first of several state finals qualifying achievements. The team captured first place and became regional champions with a time of 10:01.51. Hannah and Carissa were on the 4x800m team last season and finished 8th. The team is looking to improve on that All-State placement and has a great chance of doing so.
Shot Put: Senior captain Kylee Reinert set a new personal record with a 13th place toss of 28’ 10”. It was good to hear Kylee get a personal record at regionals. Junior Kenzie Harmon placed 14th with a toss of 28’ 01”.
Discus: Kylee Reinert finished 13th with a throw of 80’ 00”. Junior Kenzie Harmon had a disappointing night as she scratched in her preliminary throws and did not make it to finals. We know that this was a huge disappointment for her. Kenzie needs to use this experience to propel her back to what she is capable of doing before the next meet.
High Jump: Junior Olivia Schmitt and sophomore Adyson Bryce tied for fourth in the high jump with a leap of 4’ 7”. This height was a PR for Adyson coming at the right time of the year as we head toward MITCA. Olivia is disappointed with her finish but knows what she needs to do to get over 5’ 0” and we will continue working on that this week. She is so close to getting her technique working for her that we are not giving up on it.
Pole Vault: Senior captain Megan Ihrig captured fourth place points for the team in the pole vault with the height of 8’ 6” but did not have a good night vaulting. Megan needed to hit the 9’ 0” mark to automatically qualify which she has easily done the last several meets but unfortunately, she just did not have it today. Megan is very disappointed but knows she needs to pull herself up and get ready for the next several meets.
Long Jump: Junior Grace Kaiser earned fifth place points for the team with her jump of 14’ 5.75” and Courtney Palmer placed 10th with the distance of 13’ 7.75”.
Coach Hayes and I are extremely happy for the team as they earned the Regional Championship and we are looking forward to watching the team improve in the remaining meets of the season. We know that the team did not have a perfect meet, but that simply means that we have room to grow.