There’s one high school track meet left on the schedule — the biggest of them all, the MHSAA Lower Peninsula state finals on Saturday.
For Hannah Hollister and a few other Corunna girls track and field members, Thursday was a very short workout under the watchful eyes of head coach Alan Montgomery as the Cavaliers prepared for the Division 2 state finals at Zeeland East/West High Schools
The focus was on practicing hand-offs for the team’s state-qualifying 400-meter relay team, which broke a 38-year-old school record Tuesday during the Greater Lansing Honor Roll Meet. Hollister anchored the 400 relay with Lilly Bower, Elizabeth Norris and Lexi Mort in 49.47 seconds.
Bower said the thrill of setting the school record just four days before the state meet still hasn’t worn off.
“After that meet, we were all pretty excited — especially to win and beat the record,” Bower said. “I think we’re just focusing for tomorrow (today in practice) on good hand offs and just running fast. Today we just practiced our handoffs and our block starts.”
Hollister — who was a regional champ in the 100 and 300 hurdles, the 200 dash and the 400 relay — said she expects a busy and hectic day. She is seeded No. 1 in Division 2 for the 200 and No. 3 in both hurdles races. The 400 relay team is No. 3 as well.
“I’ll be doing the prelims for the 100 hurdles and 200 dash (first) and then the finals in the 100, the 400 relay, the 300 hurdles and the finals in the 200 dash if I make it,” Hollister said.
Hollister said she’s taking things one at a time. After having gone through the experience of the state finals last season, when she finished third in the 300 hurdles, fourth in the 100 hurdles and seventh in the 400 relay, Hollister said she feels ready to go.
“I know how to keep my nerves calm,” Hollister said. “I always know there is going to be nervousness there and the butterflies. But it’s just really exciting to be back again and to experience it all over again.”
Montgomery said there is a really talented group of juniors in the Division 2 hurdles events and any of the top three seeds could win. Kaia Scheffler of Marysville is seeded first both in the 100 hurdles (14.52) and 300 hurdles (46.33).
“We’re doing really well — we just popped off our best time at the Honor Roll and it’s a new school record,” Hollister said. “The other day we had really good hand offs and really good competition to push us so that was good.”
Corunna’s 400 relay team delivered the best time in the state Tuesday and is hoping to replicate that on Saturday. Bower will run the first leg and hand off to Norris, who then will hand off to Mort. Hollister will run the anchor leg.
Mort will also have a busy day. She qualified for the long jump and both hurdle events.
“I would like to be All-State (top eight) in the long jump, the relay and possibly one of the hurdles,” Mort said.
Montgomery believes Corunna is one of three schools that will contend for the team title, along with East Grand Rapids and Holland Christian.
“Things have to go right,” he said. “But they have to go right for whoever is going to win it. It’s definitely an exciting time for sure.”
The Corunna boys team also has high hopes after winning its second regional in three years.
“What’s exciting is that we have a lot of guys going,” Corunna boys coach Bryan Heid said. “Our (3,200) relay team has the top time in Division 2 by five seconds. They just got the school record (at the Lansing Honor Roll)”
That team consists of Mason Warner, Evan Roka, Carter Lovejoy and Ben Jacobs. The quartet ran the relay in 7:56.7 at the Honor Roll meet, nearly 6 seconds ahead of Holt.
“That’s a hard time to beat,” Heid said with a smile.
Jacobs is also seeded No. 2 in the 1,600 run (4:18.79), just behind Alex Comerford of Otsego (4:18.41).
Track and Field State Finals
Seeds in parentheses after events
Division 2 at Zeeland
Area girls athletes: Corunna — Hannah Hollister, 200 dash (1), 100 hurdles (3), 300 hurdles (3); Mariah Dunkin, discus (4), shot put (6); Mort, long jump (4); 100 hurdles (8), 300 hurdles (17); Norris, high jump (5); Lilly Evans 1,600 run (7), 3,200 run (8); Katelyn Feldpausch, 3,200 run (11), 1,600 run (18); Lilly Bower, Elizabeth Norris, Lexi Mort and Hollister, 400 relay (3); Owosso — Lexi Martenis, long jump (3).
Area boys athletes: Corunna — Ben Jacobs, 1,600 run (2), 800 run (5), 3,200 run (6); Carter Lovejoy, 800 run (6); Will Strauch, 400 dash (13); Charlie Bruckman, 3,200 run (9), 1,600 run (412); Evan Roka, 1,600 run (15), 3,200 run (28); Mason Warner, 1,600 run (24); Gabriel Baumchen, 110 hurdles (16); Mason Warner, Evan Roka, Carter Lovejoy, Ben Jacobs, 3,200 relay (2); Carter Lovejoy, Mason Warner, Ben Jacobs, Will Strauch, 1,600 relay (6) Owosso — Jorden Sowash, 1,600 run (8).
Division 3 at Jenison
Area girls athletes: Byron — Sarah Marvin, discus (1), shot put (1); Becky Marvin, shot put (5), discus (12); Allison Glass, high jump (7); Haley Hooley, long jump (9); Allissa Ash, 1,600 run (19). New Lothrop — Alana Wendling, Brooke Wenzlick, Sydney Pope, Caitlyn Bruff, Samantha Kulhanek, 400 relay(6); Bruff, 100 dash (15); Clara Krupp, 3,200 run (17); Samantha Kulhanek, 100 hurdles (20); Wendling, Wenzlick, Pope, Bruff, Alyssa Miller, 800 relay (15). Chesaning — Ralynn Lucio, shot put (14); Claire Greenfelder, shot put(14), discus (16); Julia Skaryd, Karlie Lewis, Preslee Slankard, Lauren Schirle, 3,200 relay (13); Karissa Ferry, long jump (9). Ovid-Elsie — Emme Koutz, 800 run (14). Laingsburg — Emma Kribs, 100 dash (7), 200 dash (9), 400 dash (19); Shaily Baynes, pole vault (23). Perry — Elizabeth Gramza, pole vault (4), 100 hurdles (9), 300 hurdles (11); Hailey Lewis, 200 dash (8), long jump (t-8); Kallei Brown, Gramza, Izzy Miller, Lewis, 400 relay (8); Brown, Grooms, Emma Cochrane, Lewis, 1,600 relay (15).
Area boys athletes: Byron — Logan Zakoor, pole vault (2); Denver Orlando, pole vault (6); TJ Marvin, shot put (11). New Lothrop — Aidan Harrison, 100 dash (1), long jump (11); Will Muron, 100 dash (10); Thomas Heslip, 400 dash (4); Carson Hersch, 1,600 run (10); Carson Mulcahy, Will Muron, Trevor Bishop, Harrison, 400 relay (4); Mulcahy, Muron, Bishop and Harrison, 800 relay (3); Heslip, Gage Ruddy, Micah Poletti, Jacob Black, 1,600 realy (6); Heslip, Ruddy, Hersch and Poletti, 3,200 relay (6). Chesaning — Isaac Zamora, 300 hurdles (15); Jordan Goward, discus (9); Garrett Quakenbush, discus (12); Anthony Aguado, long jump (10); Aguado, Adam Kulhanek, Jaden James, Brady Frasier, 800 relay (18). Ovid-Elsie — Weston Kvalevog, 800 run (13), high jump (17); William Schmidtfranz, 110 hurdles (10); Kvalevog, Schmidtfranz, Hayden Hebeler, Jacob Darling, 1,600 relay (11). Laingsburg — Brady Hawks, 110 hurdles (9); Zach Koonter, discus (19). Perry — Tanner Orweller, 300 hurdles (7); Jeffrey Vanvelzor, pole vault (22).
Division 4 at Hudsonville
Area boys athletes: Morrice — Sam Koresky, discus (9); Sam Shively, 300 hurdles (10), 110 high hurdles (16); Austin Edington, Robert London, Sam Shively and Jarett Wood, 400 relay (14).
Area girls athletes: Morrice — Emma Valentine, high jump (7); Josie Howard, 100 hurdles (12).