By Ben Murphy
The Jack Pine Conference track championships were held at Clare’s Brookwood Stadium on Tuesday, with the Clare boys winning their 10th straight league title, claiming a co-championship with Farwell. The Clare girls finished second, behind Gladwin.
The Clare boys won the meet with 184 points, but Farwell finished in second and combined with the regular season dual record, the Eagles and Pioneers are co-champions. Harrison finished fifth with 82 points.
“It was a great way to end the season from one of the youngest and banged-up teams I’ve ever coached,” Clare boys’ head coach Adam Burhans said. “I couldn’t be more proud of the senior leadership, the underclassmen strength and just the overall need to live up to a tradition that doesn’t enjoy losing. We were hurting most of the season and the kids just battled through with guts and determination. I couldn’t be more proud.”
Top-three finishers for county athletes were Keegan Rhody of Farwell with a second place finishes in the 100 meter dash (11.70) and 200 meter dash (24.14).
In the 400 meter dash, Tanner Touchtone of Farwell was conference champion (52.68) with Clare’s Anthony Whitehead coming in second (53.97).
Touchtone won his second league championship of the night in the 800 meter run, timing in at a school record 2:02.31. Clare’s Hunter Nivison ran to a third place finish in the event, with a time of 2:07.63.
County athletes swept the top three spots in the 1600 meter run, with Nivison winning the event (4:38.91), Brandon Frank of Farwell came in second (4:45.78) and Luke Schultz, also of Farwell placed third (4:47.71).
Nivison won another conference championship in the 3200 meter run, timing out at 10:18. Frank placed second (10:28.32) and Kyler Phillips of Clare came in third (10:40.54).
Harrison’s Jacob Stuhr won top honors in the 110 meter hurdles (15.86) with a pair of Clare athletes finishing second and third, those being Devin Ayers (17.27) and Jordan Hales (17.46).
Stuhr also won the 300 meter hurdles (42.55) with Ayers coming in second again (42.65).
In the 4×100 meter relay, Farwell came in second (46.42) behind a team of Jacob Gross, Cameron Disbrow, Kyle Hurley and Damon Scheidt.
Farwell’s team of Damien Brown, Brenden Buccilli, Bryce Cutler and Disbrow won the 4×200 meter relay (1:35.34) with a Clare team (members unavailable) coming in third (1:36.7).
Farwell won the 4×400 as well (3:39.28), on the efforts of Chris Herndon, Schultz, Trevor Staley and Rohdy.
In the 4×800, Farwell’s team of Gross, Staley, Schultz and Herndon took second (8:50.87). A team from Clare (members unavailable) took third (8:55.81).
Stuhr added another first place finish in the high jump (6-04), Taylor Meixner of Clare was second (6-02) and Harrison’s Trenton Searight was third (6-00).
Staley won the pole vault (13-00), while Clare’s Zach Merchant placed third (11-00.75) and Meixner added a third place finish in the long jump (18-07.75).
Clare took the top two spots in the shot-put, getting a first place performance by Jake Boynton (49-05) and second place finish by Patrick Hughes (42-02). Boynton also had a second place finish in the discus (127-10).
On the girls’ side, the Lady Pioneers finished in second place with 104 points, with Gladwin winning with 196. The Harrison girls finished fifth with 77 points and Farwell was sixth with 50.
In the 200 meter dash, Jenna Hamming of Farwell came in second (27.78), though no county athlete finished in the top-three in the 100 or 400 meter runs.
Clare’s Victoria Harper swept the distance events, winning the 800 (2:30.30), 1600 (5:51.72) and 3200 (12:42.29). Contessa Hammond of Farwell added a third place finish in the 3200 (13:33.76).
Harrison’s Brooke Colville won both hurdle events, winning the 100 with a time of 16.07 and the 300 with a time of 48.52. Krysten Kruskamp placed third in the 300 hurdles (51.74).
In the relays, a team from Clare (members unavailable) placed third in the 4×100 (56.73). In the 4×200 a Harrison team of Colville Stephane Prince, Erica Heckman and Katelyn Sherrick took first (1:51.47) and a team from Clare (members unavailable) took third (1:56.49). Another team from Clare (members unavailable placed second in the 4×800 (11:08.19).
Colville continued her dominating day by winning the long jump (16-09.50) with Jenna Hamming placing third (16-05).
Olivia Sharp of Harrison took third in the shot put (29-06) and April Painter of Clare came in third in the discus (89-0).
County teams compete in regional’s.
All three county teams also competed in regional’s at Mason County Central on Friday, May 17 with several area athletes qualifying for the state finals.
For Clare, Jake Boynton won the shot put (48-10.50) Nivison came in third in the 3200 (9:55.60) and Harper took third in the 3200 (11:53.30).
For Harrison, Stuhr qualified in the high jump (6-01) with a second place finish and in the 110 hurdles (15.70) by coming in third place. Colville qualified with a third place finish in the 100 hurdles (16.40) and by winning the long jump (16-04.50). The Lady Hornet 4×200 meter relay team of Heckman, Sherrick, Prince and Colville took second (1:53.30) took second to make it in as well.
For Farwell, Staley made it in by winning the pole vault (12-00) with Touchtone winning the 400 (50.90). The 4×800 team of Frank, Schultz, Staley and Touchtone made it in as well with a second palce finish (8:23.40). Jenna Hamming also qualified in the long jump with a second place (16-02) finish.
The Division 3 state finals are June 1 at Comstock Park.