By Ben Murphy
The Clare girls’ varsity track team made a name for itself at the state level on Saturday, coming in sixth place in the division three state finals meet at Comstock Park.
“We are ecstatic with the performance of our team today,” Clare girls’ head coach Kyle McKown said. “The girls ran as hard as they possibly could and we are very proud of the work that they have put in the entire season. This team exceeded expectations all season and finishing sixth in the state was even a higher finish than we could hoped for. I am happy for our seniors who could not have finisehd their final season of track and field any better.”
Freshman Jasmine Harper took second place in the 1600 with a time of 4:59, becoming the first girl in school history to break a five minute mile. She also came in second in the 3200 with a time of 11:01.
“Jasmine’s performance is special,” McKown said. “Any time that you have an athlete break the five minute mark in the mile, that is incredible. She ran a very smart race from start to finish, and this is a culmination of the hard work that she has put in throughout the entire season and beyond.”
Senior Victoria Harper also had a good day, taking all-state honors in the 3200 with a fourth place finish and career best time of 11:22.
“Victoria ends her career as one of the most decorated athletes in school history,” McKown said. “She has topped things off by dropping 21 seconds and ending with a career best time in the two mile. She has been an awesome teammate and role model for four years and though we are sad that she will be leaving, we are also excited to see her compete for Spring Arbor University next fall.”
The mile relay team of Kodi Humphrey, Paige Gould, Madison McPhee and Lindsay Winter ran a time of 4:15, the 3200 relay team of Holly Pummell, McPhee, Makenzie Harmon and Robyn Stanley had a time of 10:52.
“We’d also like to say a big thank you to all of the athletes, parents, assistant coaches, fellow teachers and staff for all their help in making this season a success,” McKown said.
The Clare boys also had a strong showing, coming in 15th.
“I couldn’t be more impressed with the boys as the pressure is always the greatest at the state finals,” Clare boys’ head coach Adam Burhans said. “We did everything we needed to do to keep them hydrated and healthy on a very hot day.”
Chase Field took second in the pole vault with a 13-09, senior Hunter Nivison took fifth in the 3200 with a time of 9:45 and Devin Ayers took 13th in the 300 hurdles with a time of 42.5.
“Chase’s performance was simply outstanding,” Clare boys’ head coach Adam Burhans said. “To go from a virtual unknown in the event to a state runner-up in a matter of one season goes to show how much hard work he put in to be better. Nivison, who leaves as the most successful runner I’ve ever coached, ran a very smart and tactical race, an obvious sign of a veteran competitor. Ayers is the sixth best returning 300 hurdler in the state next year after running a career personal record. Again, this was a great day for not only the track team but Clare athletics as a whole.”