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Record-breaking day at regionals

Ian Eriksen outruns the competition in the 200-meter dash. Photo by Wendi Reardon (click for larger version)
May 22, 2013 - It was close as Blake Sutherland and Rochester Adams' runner Jordan Shive were inches away from the finishing line at Brandon High School last Friday for the MHSAA Track and Field Regionals.

Sutherland crossed the finish line as his teammates in the 1,600-meter relay were waiting to celebrate - he finished .54 seconds ahead of the Highlanders to win the regional championship title in the event.

"It was a great day," said John Bennink, head coach for the boys team. "We had a great time at the regional meet. Our kids performed beautifully."

Sutherland with Scott Cousino, Ian Eriksen and Joey DeFinis finished the relay event at 3:21.87, breaking the school record.

Eriksen also finished as regional champion in the 200-meter dash and broke the school record with his 21.81 time. Mark Chapman from Port Huron took second place, finishing at 21.96. Caine Watlington won the long jump, finishing at 20'06."

Austin Draving also heads to the state meet after finishing at 9:34.70 in the 3,200-meter run.

The boys finished in fourth place with 53 points as Lake Orion won the meet with 104.5 points.

The Wolves took third place in the 3,200-meter relay, 8:08.08; Sutherland took fourth in the 400-meter dash, 50.57; Merrick Canada, fourth, long jump, 20'; Nick Matich, fourth, shot put, 47'02.50"; and Mitchell McCord, eighth, 300-meter hurdles, 42.14.

The girls team also broke school records - three set in the late 1980s in the 400-meter relay, 800-meter relay and the 1,600-meter relay.

The team of Alyssa Bey, Kayla Russell, Taylor Mullins and Madison Wilson finished the 800-meter relay in 1:45.06, taking first place and the regional title.

Russell, Mullins, Wilson and Maicey Peterson finished in second in the 400-meter relay to set the new school record to 49.94 - they also finished in second to qualify for the state meet.

Russell, Wilson, Erin Billette and Megan Nicholson finished in second place in the 1,600-meter relay to set the new school record at 4:00.55.

Mullins was regional champion for the 300-meter low hurdles, 46.05 while Nicholson claimed the championship in the high jump at 5'4".

Also qualifying for the state meet were the 3,200 relay team of Billette, Nicole Hanson, Molly Jeffers and Kaitlin Catania with their second place finish, 9:35.53.

Billette also qualified for the 1,600-meter run, finishing second in 5:00.12. Nicole Hanson qualified for 3,200-meter run finishing in 11:22.48, before the cut off time and in fifth place. Kaitlyn Cavallo finished in eighth place.

The Lady Wolves finished in second place, scoring 70 points while Rochester Adams took first with 161 points.

Jeffers took eighth in the 800-meter run, 2:28.12; Courtney Roland tied for eighth, high jump, 4'09"; Peterson, eighth, pole vault, 9'.

The Wolves head to the Division 1 MHSAA State Finals on June 1 at East Kentwood High School.

"It really depends on the rest of the state and how they are running that day," Yorke said about how the girls will finish. "If we run those kinds of times we could possibly place in the top eight for a few individual races."

Bennink added they will use the next few weeks to prep.

Both teams head to the Oakland County Meet this Friday at Holly High School where they will use it to tune up for the state meet, Bennink and Yorke said.

"It is better competition than regionals," Yorke added. "It is the second toughest meet outside the state championships. Over 30 schools from around the county are there and the competition gets tougher."

Wendi graduated from the University of Michigan-Flint with a degree in communications. She wrote for the Michigan Times college paper and Grand Blanc View before joining The Clarkston News in October 2007.
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