The Frankenmuth girls regained the Division 3 state track and field title that they so dearly wanted, while Lansing Catholic’s boys broke the ice on June 2 at Comstock Park.
In the girls meet, Frankenmuth had 63 points, followed by archrival Benzie Central with 52.
“At the beginning of the season, we put a survey out to see what the girls had in mind,” said Frankenmuth coach Michael Snyder. “What they said was ‘beat Benzie Central.’ Looking at previous years, what that meant was the state championship.”
But it came down to the wire.
“They never gave up,” he said. “It was a whole team effort. They knew going in what they needed to do. They performed the way they needed to. They had a goal from the beginning of the year and they kept it.”
Frankenmuth lost the MITCA state meet to Benzie Central but pulled out the MHSAA win. For the Eagles, the 800-meter relay team of Sydney Bronner, Olivia Shelton, Emily Wee, and Angela Ritter was first in 1:44.61. Ritter was second in the 400-meter dash in 58.15 seconds.
Ritter, Shelton, and Wee were the top point-getters for Frankenmuth. Ashley Frahm was third in the shot put at 39’4.75.”
“It feels awesome,” Wee, a senior, said. “We wanted it so bad. I love my team. Last year was so hard to watch. The key today was giving it all you’ve got.”
The best season for the Eagles, Wee indicated, came when she was a freshman.
“But this team was great too,” she said.
To end the meet, the Frankenmuth 1,600-meter relay team of Lauren Peterson, Olivia Shelton, Angela Ritter, and Emily Wee was first in 4:03.77.
Frankenmuth had won the 2009 and 2010 titles but was interrupted in 2011, when it was runner-up to Benzie Central. Benzie Central was runner-up to Frankenmuth the other two seasons, meaning the two schools have gone one-two the last four years.
For Lansing Catholic coach Tim Simpson, it was a satisfying state title effort.
“I knew we had a good shot,” he said. “We had a lot of good seniors and we were close last year. Everybody was back. The key today was everybody doing what they’re capable of. We had a lot of guys step up, like our shot putter who stepped up and won on his last throw.”
“We have a chance to win it and we’re all very excited,” shot put state champion Dan Liesman said prior to the announcement of the final results.
“One of our sprinters got himself healthy, we didn’t make any mistakes but scored where we should score,” Simpson said. “When you go to a state meet, you can count on at least one negative thing happening. We had one false start on a relay last year that cost us a little. This year, these guys are mostly all seniors, they knew what they could do. They came out and did it.”
The distances came through for Lansing Catholic, which took second place in the state cross country meet last fall.
At the state track meet, Lansing Catholic posted 68 points, followed by Union City with 45 and Frankenmuth with 31.
Besides Liesman, who threw the shot put 54’5″, other firsts came from the foursome of Joe Marrah, Austin Winter, Jimmy Hicks, and Zach Zingsheim in the 3,200-meter relay in 8:01.27; the foursome of Connor Caporale, Zingsheim, Matt Macksood, and Cedric Lee in the 800-meter relay in 1:29.73; the 1,600-meter relay unit of Macksood, Jimmy Hicks, Caporale, and Zingsheim in 3:24.63; and Zingsheim in the 800-meter run in 1:55.97.
The 400-meter relay team of Liesman, Jack Swain, Macksood, and Lee was third in 43.79.
“We had a real good core of distance runners,” Simpson said. “We were second in cross country in the state the last two years. Those same distance runners were here, Zach, as state champ in cross country.
“We lose a lot. A lot of these guys are seniors. We’ve got some younger guys. We had some good younger guys that came here as alternates who could have filled in on a couple of the relays and we still could have won. We had a freshman score in the two mile.”