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TRACK AND FIELD: Balance highlights girls All-County squad
Speed, endurance and strength — area had it all
Detroit Country Day's Brittany Mann went undefeated in the shot put and discus throw this season.
Notre Dame Prep's Sarah LewAllen (from left), Taylor Timko, Sara Barron and Candice Mack formed the area's top 1,600-meter relay squad.
Birmingham Seaholm's quartet of Brooke Callaghan (from left), Rachel DaDamio, Aubrey Wilberding and Tess Wilberding were tops in the 3,200-meter relay.
Novi's Jasmine Ward capped her high school career with another all-state effort in the 400-meter relay.
Tiffani Owens proved to be a dynamo of speed, winning Oakland County, regional and Flint Metro League titles in the 100-meter dash and placing second in the 100 at the Division 1 state meet before winning at the Midwest Meet of Champions in Indiana. She had a hand-timed best of 11.7 in the 100. Owens, headed for Tiffin University, was also regional and Flint Metro League champ in the 200, where she had a best of 24.8.
An indoor season injury kept Kendall Baisden of Detroit Country Day off the track most of the outdoor season until the last month. Still, she was a regional champ in the 400 and set a Division 2 state meet record in the 400 with a 54.58 clocking, erasing her old state meet mark of 54.91 set last year. She clocked 52.6 at the national junior championships, making the U.S. team which recently competed in Barcelona, Spain, and also had a best of 24.94 in the 200.
Teammate Sydney Cureton won her second straight Division 2 state title in the 100 with an 11.90 performance. Cureton, who will compete at Yale, was Oakland County meet runnerup in the 100.
Southfield’s Latipha Cross was Oakland County champ in the 400, regional runnerup in the 400 and Division 1 state meet runnerup in the 400. Cross, who signed with Eastern Michigan, had a best of 55.61 in the 400.
Notre Dame Prep’s Sara Barron completed a standout season in the 1,600 and 800, joining the top high school individuals in the Midwest. The Vanderbilt University recruit won Catholic League and regional titles in the 800 and 1,600, was Oakland County champ in the 800 and Division 2 state meet champ in the 800 and 1,600, events where she established state meet records. She added the Midwest Meet of Champions title in the 800. Her best of 2:09.05 in the 800 and 4:47.08 in the 1,600 are top five all-time best efforts among Oakland County athletes.
West Bloomfield’s Erin Finn, one of the nation’s top high school distance runners, was undefeated in the 3,200 and set a Division 1 state meet record with a time of 10:17.86. She was regional champ in the 1,600 and 3,200 and OAA White champ in the 800, 1,600 and 3,200. Her best of 4:45.42 in the 1,600 (converted from 4:47.08 at the adidas Dream Mile) is No. 5 on the Michigan all-time list.
Oxford’s Brooke Kovacic was another distance runner with staying power. She was Oakland County meet champ in the 1,600, regional and OAA Red champ in the 1,600 and 3,200, and placed fourth in the 3,200 at the Division 1 state meet. Also ran on the regional champion 3,200 relay, the area’s second fastest unit (9:16.33).
Jamie Morrissey of Rochester Adams was one of the area’s most durable runners, qualifying for state in two relays and two open events, the 800 and the 1,600. She was regional champ in the 800 and 1,600, was Division 1 state meet runnerup in the 800 (2:10.80), was Oakland County runnerup in the 800, OAA Red champ in the 800 and OAA Red runnerup in the 1,600. Also anchored the Highlanders’ state runnerup 1,600 relay (3:58.45).
Oklahoma-bound Laticia Sims of Farmington Harrison ended her high school career with a runnerup finish in the 100 hurdles at the Division 1 state meet. She was OAA White champ in the 100 and 300 hurdles and Oakland County champ in the 100 hurdles. Had bests of 14.1 (100 hurdles) and 44.9 (300 hurdles), both leading efforts in the area.
Aaron Howell of Farmington was as versatile as they come, qualifying for state in four open events — the 100 hurdles, long jump, 300 hurdles and high jump. She was regional champ in the 300 hurdles and long jump, OAA White champ in the high jump and long jump, OAA White runnerup in the 100 and 300 hurdles, and Oakland County champ in the long jump. She had a best of 19-feet in the long jump, placed second at the Division 1 state meet, and won the New Balance Outdoor Nationals title in the heptathlon.
Rachel Domagalski of Holly was the area’s top pole vaulter, earning league and Oakland County titles. She was regional runnerup, team MVP and had a best clearance of 10-feet-8. She’ll vault at Central Michigan next season.
Keianna Ingram of Southfield Lathrup added the long jump and sprint relays to her repertoire. But her main event remains the high jump, where she won Oakland County, regional and OAA Gold titles. Her winning height of 5-9 at the Division 1 state meet tied a meet record.
Brittany Mann of Detroit Country Day was queen of the throws for the second straight year. She won regional, Oakland County and Division 2 state titles in the shot put and discus, with dominating efforts, especially in the latter. The previous Oakland County best of 140-2 last year was smashed by Mann, the only Oakland County athlete with two tosses past 160-feet. The University of Oregon-bound senior was Oakland County champ by nearly 40 feet with her toss of 157-8, and won the Midwest Meet of Champions title with a throw of 165-2.
Novi’s Sam Pavlika capped a solid season by winning the Division 1 state title in the shot put. She placed fourth at state in the discus throw after winning regional titles in the shot put and discus throw. She was Oakland County meet runnerup in the shot put and discus throw.
Novi’s quartet of Mariah Smith, D’Mya Davis, Janee Hood and Jasmine Ward were at it again this season, taking regional, Oakland County and KLAA Kensington Conference titles before placing third at the Division 1 state meet in a county-best 48.66.
Pontiac Notre Dame Prep’s team of Sarah LewAllen, Candice Mack, Sara Barron and Taylor Timko placed third at the Division 2 state meet after winning Oakland County, regional and Catholic League titles. The quartet clocked a county-best 3:56.73 at the Oakland County meet. Timko, a standout soccer player, was a regional and Catholic League runnerup in the 400.
Country Day’s foursome of Sydney Cureton, Ava Nasrollahzedah, Jonell Nwuebezze and Kendall Baisden got faster as the season progressed, earning regional and Oakland County titles before landing the Division 2 state meet title. They had a best of 1:41.97.
Seaholm’s 3,200 relay quartet of Brooke Callaghan, Rachel DaDamio, Tess Wilberding and Aubrey Wilberding debuted with a winning effort at the Oakland County meet (9:17.84). The Maples shaved 11 more seconds at the state meet, coming in at 9:06.62 to earn second place with a time which is No. 3 on the Oakland County all-time list and among the top 10 all-time in Michigan.
400 RELAY — Novi (D’Mya Davis, Mariah Smith, Janee Hood, Jasmine Ward) 48.66
800 RELAY — Detroit Country Day (Sydney Cureton, Ava Nasrollazehdah, Jonell Nwuebezze, Kendall Baisden) 1:41.97
1,600 RELAY — Pontiac Notre Dame Prep (Sarah LewAllen, Candice Mack, Sara Barron, Candice Mack) 3:56.33
3,200 RELAY — Birmingham Seaholm (Rachel Dadamio, Brooke Callaghan, Tess Wilberding, Aubrey Wilberding) 9:06.62
All-Oakland County Second Team
Sarah Hillebrand, Oxford, pole vault; Jessica Howell, Rochester Adams, sprints and jumps; Berrion Berry, Stoney Creek, sprints; Karen Blake, Cranbrook Kingswood, sprints; Josephine Jackson, Walled Lake Central, throws; Elena Miller, Bloomfield Hills Lahser, distances; Jackie Feist, Birmingham Groves, distances, Brittany Johnson, Oxford, distances, Rachel Barrett, Milford, distances; Gabrielle Thivierge, Rochester Adams, distances; Allyson Goff, Waterford Mott, hurdles; Kelly McCloskey, Novi, hurdles; Anna Haritos, Avondale, hurdles;
400 RELAY — Southfield (Jewel Hampton, Breanna Varner, Daijah Thomas, Krashawn Willis) 49.54
800 RELAY — Southfield (Latipha Cross, Jewel Hampton, Lacey Jones, Crystal Abernathy) 1:43.66
1,600 RELAY — Rochester Adams (Jessica Howell, Sophie Smith, Amber Jamison, Jamie Morrissey) 3:58.45
3,200 RELAY — Oxford (Brooke Kovacic, Jessica Murphy, Chelsea Johnson, Brittany Johnson) 9:16.33
TROY — Gabbi Ellis; TROY ATHENS — Sinclair Russell; LAKELAND — Reighan Fisher; MILFORD — Whitney Mergens; ORTONVILLE BRANDON — Anna Fochesato, Maddie Pierce; BERKLEY — Shelby Allen; FERNDALE — Danielle Hawthorne; WEST BLOOMFIELD — Valerie Johnson, Sydni Davis; FARMINGTON HARRISON — Chelsea Savage, Tiera Parker; WALLED LAKE CENTRAL — Gabrielle Edwards; WALLED LAKE NORTHERN — Katelyn Cliff, Rebecca Quaintance; WALLED LAKE WESTERN — Julia Valencia; NOVI — Taylor Pavlika, Jackie Mullins, Kerri McMahan; ROCHESTER — Jessica Goethals; ROCHESTER ADAMS — Heather Johnson; CLARKSTON — Erin Billette, Natalie Smith; BIRMINGHAM SEAHOLM — Liz Vermoesen, Audrey Belf; BIRMINGHAM ROEPER — Briana Ratchford; FARMINGTON MERCY — Heather Smith; WATERFORD MOTT — Samantha Saikalis, Courtney Munley; SOUTH LYON EAST — Rhiannon Pavlinac; SOUTH LYON — Brady Covert; PONTIAC NOTRE DAME PREP — Andrea Pangori; BIRMINGHAM MARIAN — Kilyn Bulluck
Coach of the Year
Team was the main focus for Novi’s Wildcats, as coach Marsha Reid led her squad to KLAA Association, Oakland County, Kensington Conference and regional titles. But Reid, who also coaches the boys squad, is quick to attribute the Wildcats’ success to an experienced coaching staff.
“I think the key to having individuals in every event is the faith and comfort I have with my coaching staff,” stated Reid, in her 11th season as head coach. “I think we do an excellent job of preparing the kids for meets. In addition, we have been very blessed to have strong group of girls working together for the same end goal.”
Reid indicated that balancing injuries, and other commitments, including graduation being on the same day as the state meet, gave the Wildcats more challenges this season. “It will be interesting to see how we are able to respond after graduating as many as we have this past year,” she stated.
Last Updated: 7/16/2012 4:05:19 PM EST