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Off and running for regionals



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Austin Yarger runs in the 3,200- meter relay on Friday. Photo by Wendi Reardon (click for larger version)
May 18, 2011 - CJ Gozdor looked at the bar and ran towards it in his high jump event at the OAA Red Track meet on Friday.

As opponents kept narrowing down, he kept soaring above each height, finishing in first place at 6'3" as teammate Mike Schwartz finished in sixth place.

The boys finished in fourth place out of the seven teams with 71 points.

"We did a tremendous job," said John Bennink, head coach for the Clarkston Boys Varsity Track team. "I knew we would have some good individuals that would score high at the meet. They performed really well. All of our guys that competed did their best performance of the season and that's what you look for this time of season."

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For field events, Matt Wright finished third in the discus event, 130'4"; Brian Benway finished in fourth in long jump, 19'11".

The Wolves had two relay teams finish in as league champs after taking first place 3,200-meter relay team of Mike McCord, Austin Yarger, Spencer Pawlik and Adam Bruderick, at a time of 8:08.97; and the 1,600-meter relay team of Bruderick, Schwartz, Alan Kamieniecki and Rawley Hallman at 3:26.89.

"Our 4x800 relay team ran their best time of the season," said Bennink. "They are really starting to come around and they are getting ready for this week. I was really happy to see seniors like Mike McCord and Rawley get a league championship under their belt. It gives them good confidence for Friday's meet."

For the track events, the Wolves dominated the 800-meter dash, Bruderick finished in second, 1:58.5; McCord, in third, 2:02.88; and Pawlik, in fourth, 2:03.24. Schwartz finished in fourth in the 200-meter dash, 22.71 and Dan Byrne finished in fourth in 3,200-meter, 10:08.39.

"Schwartz ran a good race in the 200-meter dash," said Bennink. "It was the best performance we have had in a long time in the event. Byrne only ran three races all year and finished in ten minutes."

The boys finished fifth place overall in the OAA Red, with Farmington taking the league title, scoring 122 during the league meet and undefeated in dual meets.

The Lady Wolves finished in fifth place overall in the OAA Red. They finished in sixth with 50 points at the league meet.

For field events, Kayle Sherwood finished in second 34' and 3 1/2", Anna Manilla took third in high jump, 5'1", and fifth in long jump, 15'5".

For track events, Franziska Loetzner finished in third in the 300 hurdles, 48.18; Caitlin Post, fifth in 100-meter dash, 12.88; Natalie Smith, fifth in the 1,600 meter run; Megan Peterson, sixth in the 100 hurdles, 16.29; and Kaitlyn Catania finished fourth in the 3,200 meter run and Lindsay Fantin finished in sixth.

The girls finished in the top six in four relay events. In the 3,200-meter relay, they finished in second, 9:41.75; third in the 800-meter relay, 1:54.02; and fifth in the 400-meter relay, 54.76, and the 1,600-meter relay, 4:12.18.

Both teams head to the MHSAA Regionals at Brandon High School on Friday.

"We are concentrating on finishing the season strong and getting a couple of guys qualified for the state finals as many as possible," said Bennink. "Then, have fun at Rockford."

He added they have two relay teams running at the time they need to qualify to get to the state finals.

"All we have to do is run that time and that is what we are hoping for," he said. "We could possibly get ten guys in four or five different events on Friday. We will see, but I think we have a good shot."

The event begins at 1:30 p.m. at 1025 S. Ortonville Road in Ortonville.

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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