Clare boys claim MHSAA State Title

June 8, 2018

by Ben Murphy
Sports Writer

Fresh off their MITCA state championship just a week prior, the Clare boys track and field team added another state title to their historic season, when the Pioneers claimed the MHSAA division three state championship on Saturday at Comstock Park. Clare, which last won an MHSAA title in 2000, scored 44 points, narrowly edging out second place Berrien Springs, which had 42.

The Clare boys track and field team scored two more points than the second place finisher on Friday, giving them their first MHSAA state  championship since 2000. 

The Clare boys track and field team scored two more points than the second place finisher on Friday, giving them their first MHSAA state
championship since 2000.

“I am deeply humbled by the collective effort of this team,” head coach Adam Burhans said. “We were all clearly nervous, but we only changed one thing on the day. We simply had a mindset of wanting to be better than anyone else. Going after 40 points in this scoring format with the most elite athletes in the state was the goal all season. In the end we scored a little more than that against a pretty powerful Berrien Springs team.”

The Pioneers were paced by Xavier Martin getting second place in the 200 meter dash in a time of 22.54. The 4×200 relay of Jake Hawley, Colt Smedley, Brenden

Photo by Scott Sullivan

Photo by Scott Sullivan

Sersaw and Martin were second with a time of 1:29.64 and the 4×100 and 4×400 teams both took third as well. The 4×100 team of Hawley, Smedley, Martin and Sersaw ran a 43.91 and the 4×400 team of Sersaw, Smedley, Justin Tickle and Martin clocked a 3:26.01.

Kolt Lincoln was 18th in the 110 hurdles in a time of 16.56 and the 4×800 team of Aidan Boyd, Brody Allbe, David Good and Tickle was 24th.

Noah Nivison was state champion in the discus with a heave of 156-07 , where Zac Stickler was sixth at 149-01. Stickler was also sixth in the shot put with a throw of 55-03.

“We re-broke the school records in the 400 and 800 relays and ran the number two all-time best in the 1600 relay. Jake Hawley, Colt Smedley, and Brenden Sersaw had their best handoffs and finishes of the year. Our throwers were magnificent with discus state champion Noah Nivison and Zac Stickler going all-state in the shot and discus and gaining major points, and we rode on the long mane and killer socks of Xavier Martin’s four all-state performances to help seal the deal. Our boys represented their uniform, the program, and the community with tremendous pride all day. The entire experience is still sinking in. This was a forever moment for everyone involved.”

The Lady Pioneers tallied enough points to finish 27th overall.

Photo by Scott Sullivan

Photo by Scott Sullivan

Lainey Veenkant was second in the 3200 meter run with a time of 10:52.79, Lexi LaPoe was 10th in the 300 hurdles at 47.83, Kayden Barber was 15th in the 100 hurdles at 16.98 and the 4×100 relay team of Barber, Ellie Johnson, Erin Weeks and Olivia Cook was 13th.

The 4×200 squad of Erin Weeks, Riley Schroeder, Cook and Johnson was 12th and the 4×400 and 4×800 relays were both ninth. On the 4×400 team, which ran a time of 4:12.34 was Katherine Haupt, Schroeder, Veenkant and Johnson and the 4×800 squad, who ran a 9:59.18 was Kameron Haag, Olivia Haring, Veenkant and Haupt.

Grace Ann Gomez was also 17th in the pole vault.

Fresh off their MITCA state championship just a week prior, the Clare boys track and field team added another state title to their historic season, when the Pioneers claimed the MHSAA division three state championship on Saturday at Comstock Park. Clare, which last won an MHSAA title in 2000, scored 44 points, narrowly edging out second place Berrien Springs, which had 42.

“I am deeply humbled by the collective effort of this team,” head coach Adam Burhans said. “We were all clearly nervous, but we only changed one thing on the day. We simply had a mindset of wanting to be better than anyone else. Going after 40 points in this scoring format with the most elite athletes in the state was the goal all season. In the end we scored a little more than that against a pretty powerful Berrien Springs team.”

The Pioneers were paced by Xavier Martin getting second place in the 200 meter dash in a time of 22.54. The 4×200 relay of Jake Hawley, Colt Smedley, Brenden6-8-18 Clare Boys Track  clarebtracknoahnivison Sersaw and Martin were second with a time of 1:29.64 and the 4×100 and 4×400 teams both took third as well. The 4×100 team of Hawley, Smedley, Martin and Sersaw ran a 43.91 and the 4×400 team of Sersaw, Smedley, Justin Tickle and Martin clocked a 3:26.01.

Kolt Lincoln was 18th in the 110 hurdles in a time of 16.56 and the 4×800 team of Aidan Boyd, Brody Allbe, David Good and Tickle was 24th.

Noah Nivison was state champion in the discus with a heave of 156-07 , where Zac Stickler was sixth at 149-01. Stickler was also sixth in the shot put with a throw of 55-03.

“We re-broke the school records in the 400 and 800 relays and ran the number two all-time best in the 1600 relay. Jake Hawley, Colt Smedley, and Brenden Sersaw had their best handoffs and finishes of the year. Our throwers were magnificent with discus state champion Noah Nivison and Zac Stickler going all-state in the shot and discus and gaining major points, and we rode on the long mane and killer socks of Xavier Martin’s four all-state performances to help seal the deal. Our boys represented their uniform, the program, and the community with tremendous pride all day. The entire experience is still sinking in. This was a forever moment for everyone involved.”

The Lady Pioneers tallied enough points to finish 27th overall.

Lainey Veenkant was second in the 3200 meter run with a time of 10:52.79, Lexi LaPoe was 10th in the 300 hurdles at 47.83, Kayden Barber was 15th in the 100 hurdles at 16.98 and the 4×100 relay team of Barber, Ellie Johnson, Erin Weeks and Olivia Cook was 13th.

The 4×200 squad of Erin Weeks, Riley Schroeder, Cook and Johnson was 12th and the 4×400 and 4×800 relays were both ninth. On the 4×400 team, which ran a time of 4:12.34 was Katherine Haupt, Schroeder, Veenkant and Johnson and the 4×800 squad, who ran a 9:59.18 was Kameron Haag, Olivia Haring, Veenkant and Haupt.

Grace Ann Gomez was also 17th in the pole vault.

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