Sunday, May 31, 2009

Boys Division I Coverage

You'll have to wait a day more for the girls. This is more work than I remembered! But I strongly feel it's worthwhile. Other sites were faster with the results and photos, but no one covers a meet like this more comprehensively. You'll find key splits, series, and all kinds of information that won't show up anywhere else. Plus, as an added treat, you get my unvarnished opinions on all things under the sun. (Pray for me, the how-dare-I-call-something-windy people are out to get me...)

The link to the coverage.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

State meet shatters records

What a day! At Division I, despite nasty winds, the athletes came through big-time. We saw two all-time state records: Sarah Birkmeier vaulted 13-0, and East Kentwood's boys blasted 41.47 for the 4 x 100. [Note: this is the time of year where you hear people using the term "state records" very loosely, or when you hear it stated as a rule: "state records can only be set at the state meet." Nonsense--state records can be set at any legit meet. State meet records can only be set at the state finals.]

I also noticed at least two other class records, in addition to Birkmeier's (an 11th grade state record). Drake Johnson of Pioneer clocked 14.44 into a headwind for a 9th grade hurdle record, and Nick Kaiser's 1:52.13 in the 800 is the new 10th grade record. There may be more, but I have a lot of results to sift through. Surprisingly, Mike Atchoo's 4:07.71 is not an 11th grade record--Dathan Ritzenhein was a junior when he clocked his state record 4:05.9.

I'll have more on the state finals tomorrow--right now I am far too tired to make any sense at all. Tune in tomorrow for more of the story behind the results. We have tons of photos, and athlete interviews by David Mitchell.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Goethals blasts 4:47.04 at Oakland County

But the Rochester junior wasn't the only star at the 50th running of the Oakland County Championships. Full report here, with photos:

Also, much more news to come, along with list updates. More than a little significant: Ashlyn Gulvas of Standish Sterling, after only finishing third in her regional, won the Northeast Michigan Conference shot put on Wednesday at 47-0.5, moving to No. 7 in Michigan history.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Regional Highlights

More as they filter in--keep checking back...

Zack Hill breaks state record in shot: 67-11.25 at Grand Rapids West Catholic on Friday. Series--
62-11.75, 67-11.25, scratch, 64-10.25, 65-0.5, scratch...

Best team? I haven't done any math on this, but East Kentwood won its regional (boys) by 89.5 points, and girls by 57.5. Check out the boys relay times: 42.2, 1:26.8, 3:24.0, 7:57.9. The EK staff has developed one of the best-rounded teams I have ever seen, on the track and on the field.

Sprints: Paris Horgrow blazes at Saline: the Pioneer senior won the 400 in 48.7, and he demolished the host school with a blazing anchor on the 4x4 (3:22.8)...

Distances: Mike Atchoo anchored an 8:01.6 for Troy, then won in 4:13.7 and the same regional, Ben Miller of DeLaSalle ran 9:23.8... Reed Kamyszek ran a 9:13.0 at Caledonia... Pinckney's Matt Wines won at Milford in 4:18.7... Kyle Roche of Walled Lake Central clocked 1:55.2... Shannon Osika hit 4:54.1 and 10:45.2... There are reports that Bedford soph Nick Kaiser won his regional at 1:53; the sophomore state record is 1:52.87...Sara Kroll (Churchill) topped Courtney Calka (Stevenson) as both timed 4:57.4... Stephen Walker cruised a 4:16.1, 9:21.9 double... Becca Addison put together a monster double: 4:53.8 & 2:10.6; however, there's no sign of Grand Haven in the 4x8 results. I assume there's a story there... DQ? Injury? In any case, it means Addison will be be fresh to race Megan Goethals & Company in the 1600 at the state finals...

Hurdles: Drake Johnson of Pioneer blitzed a 14.2--he's a 9th grader, and that's the fastest hand time we've ever seen for a frosh. We've heard a report that Saline used FAT... just the camera for sorting the finish, or are the times actually FAT?... Ali Arastu of Northville ripped a 37.9...

Jumps: Keyandria Rohelia of Saginaw leaped 17-7 at Cadillac... Chanel Payne of Westland Glenn flew to an 18-5.75...

Throws: Andrew Evans of Portage Northern threw a 58-1 /192-7 double. That discus is a state leader that takes him to No. 5 in Michigan history... 9th grader Brittany Mann (Country Day) threw 137-5 at Seaholm Friday. She's 10-feet away from the class record of 147-9 set by Alana Robinson of Grosse Ile... Alex Rose of Ogemaw Heights hit 56-10 at Cadillac... Victoria Buhr of Cheboygan threw 42-5... Lindsay Karpowicz of Grandville extended her state leader to 144-5...

Friday, May 15, 2009

Fire, Barbed Wire & Tacks

Whew! Three years of hard work and my novel is done: Fire, Barbed Wire & Tacks. The first thing my track buddies say is, "It's about running, right?"

Yes and no. It's about a runner in his last semester of high school. But he's no champion. And there are races in it, but they're not exactly triumphant celebrations of the human spirit, a la "Running Brave."

You see, someone has to be the guy who goes home without the medal. Perhaps I wrote that part from experience :) Anyway, it's a humorous novel about high school, and the things we dream about--we may not get what we want, but sometimes we learn some cool things along the way.

Here's the jacket blurb: "A victim of the barbarous social scene at Shiawassee High School, Riley Matthew dreams only of a normal home life, a decent mile race, and perhaps a date. Instead, Riley’s final semester is marked by a mom on the brink of a breakdown, a school stunned by the bloodthirsty Kult of Fatality, and a collection of the scariest misfits in the school: mutant halfwit wrestlers, jailbirds, emo porn girls, slashers... not to mention his usual assortment of geekish friends. Can he make it to the finish line in one piece?"

Available at click here.

Or if you see me in person anywhere, you can save yourself the shipping cost, and maybe get a snazzy, inspirational, signed copy.

Please DON'T send regional marks!

What's this? Hollobaugh's asking you not to send results?! That's because it's that one special time a year when virtually every athlete on the lists--as well as hundreds of others--will produce seasonal or lifetime bests. And I'll be drowning in a flood of amazing track results.

The only sane way for me to get through it (and it will take days--be patient!!) is for me to process complete regional results, one by one. So only send me the results if you are sending official results of the entire meet. They'll all be on the MHSAA site by Monday or Tuesday anyway, but getting some of them early will help.

However, I am anticipating throwing many of the regional sprint/hurdle/LJ marks on the wind-aided list. Let's not get too stoked about some of the 10.2s and 10.3s we might be seeing. Legal wind is 4.4 miles per hour. The weather reports for this evening in my part of the state are for winds 7-15mph, gusting to 21mph. And with Google Earth I can tell how the sprint straightaways are aimed at any track in the state (dang, I love technology sometimes!). So if you want to give me a heads-up on any crazy wind situations, or bad timing, please do so.

And coaches and athletes--good luck this weekend. I think it's going to be a great one.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

The Weekend Update for May 8-9

Great weather on Friday gave us a slew of great marks. Saturday meets weren't so lucky. Here, in somewhat random order, are the individual marks that stood out. I'm sure much is missing from the lists, since the conference meets have in general been horrible in reporting results. It's not hard. Just submit them to the Michigan Cross Country and Track and Field forum.

Tec Adams may have been having a great outdoor season all along, but track fans and newspapers of the region have all taken a vow of silence this season. Finally, our spies have gotten some information out (though we fear one has been captured and maple-syrup-boarded). This week the Harbor Springs senior ran a 9:26.0 in a quad meet on Monday, then came back at Thursday's East Jordan Invitational to run a 4:16.5/9:24.9 double. He's ready.

Megan Goethals ran 4:52.2 & 10:40.3 at a dual meet on Tuesday. I'm 99% sure that 1600 is the fastest dual meet time in state history. The 3200 would have been, if Becca Addison hadn't have run 10:37.0 the week before. In any case, the Rochester junior can probably claim the best dual double of all-time. Then she came back at the OAA Red meet on Friday to clock 4:51.9 & 10:37.9.

Avery Evenson scored a notable double on Friday. Running at the Pinckney Middle School Invitational, the Hartland eighth grader won the 3200 in 11:22.4 and came back with a 5:22.6 in the 1600. The state records for 8th-graders are 5:04.00 (Shannon Osika) and 10:59.4 (Bekah Smeltzer).

Ali Philman of East Lansing took over the state lead in the 100 with a 10.74 at the Nugent Invitational in Bath. That's FAT, our reports say, and far superior to the weekly 10.4s and 10.5s that are being reported by the overexcited on MLive.

Bridgette Owens-Mitchell of Southfield is stamping herself as the hurdler to beat. At the OAA White, the junior won the hurdles in 14.4 & 45.2. Meanwhile, at Flint's wind-blown Coca-Cola Classic on Saturday, Jillian Sledge of Flint Southwestern edged Grand Blanc's Brittany Calhoun, 44.7 to 44.8.

Mike Atchoo came out on top in a 1600 duel with Joe Reynolds at the OAA Red meet. The Troy junior hit 4:14.0 to Reynolds' 4:16.9. Earlier, Reynolds' relay squad from Rochester Adams got the best of the Troy foursome, 7:54.6 to 7:59.2.

Becca Addison had a great OK Red meet on Friday. First she anchored a 9:30.7 state leader. Then she ran 5:05.24, 2:13.23, and anchored the winning 4x4 for Grand Haven.

Sarah Birkmeier's been quiet for a while, but a 12-1 pole vault clearance at the OK Red meet reassured her fans... Zack Hill won OK Silver with throws of 65-1 and 185-0...

Correct times, please!

What's going on all of a sudden with people reporting marks in round seconds? This isn't cross country here. One major conference reported its 800m relay times as such (1:30, 1;31, etc). More and more I'm seeing distance times reported to the papers that way: 2:00, 4:16.

I'm not the only one getting frustrated. Marvin Goodwin of the Oakland Press, arguably the best track reporter in the state, says, "I've noticed at many of the dual track meets I've covered that timers, officials and even coaches appear to be lackadaisical about the 10ths of a second when recording or reporting times. It's worse this year than any I've seen..."

Of course, a stat geek like me will get frustrated. But consider the unfairness of the situation, and a lot more people should be upset. Usually, something reported as 1:29 will actually be 1:29-point-something... even maybe 1:29.9. And that team just jumped ahead on regional seedings, and perhaps qualified additional people to the regional meets unfairly. Whether the intention is bad or not, when the rules aren't followed, it often creates an unfair advantage.

Remember: the rules are FAT times get reported to the hundredth. Hand times get rounded up to the next tenth, in all cases. [Coaches, the Nate Hampton/MHSAA 2009 rule is that everything gets reported to the hundredth for regional qualifying purposes, even hand times. Of course, that is an insane directive, one that hopefully will be gone by next year. Please do not pass those numbers on to the newspapers, and on your official results sheets, please be kind enough to indicate if the meet was hand timed or automatically timed.]

Saturday, May 2, 2009

The Weekend Update for May 1-2

West Ottawa Relays on Saturday: Zack Hill finally nailed it, throwing 67-0.5 to break the all-time Michigan state record in the shot put. The big one came on his fourth and final attempt, after a 63-10, 64-3.5, and a foul. The mark he broke was TJ Duckett's 67-0 from the Big 8 meet in 1999. On hand at the meet was Loy Norrix coach Ted Duckett, TJ's father, who congratulated Hill afterwards.

Allegan Invite, Friday: Tommy Brinn wanted to try a dry run of a possible 400/800 double at the state finals. So he blasted one lap in 47.9. Then 31 minutes later he ran a 1:53.1 in the 800. As if that weren't enough, he anchored a 3:23.3 relay with a 49.4. According to his father, the double is on. Not to be overlooked: Jeff MacMillan of Mattawan ran on an 8:12 4x8, then put together two more wins (4:20.2 & 9:24.1). (Kalamazoo Gazette article link)

Golden Triangle, Saline, Friday: Monroe and Pinckney tangled in the boys distances, and points-wise, Pinckney came out on top, winning the DMR (10:36.3 to 10:39.5), the 1600 (Wines 4:23.2, Whitelaw 4:29.3) and the 800 (Lotz 1:57.8). Whitelaw came back and won the 3200 in 9:36.4. Best field events went to Quinn Dawson (53-4 & 187-7) and Tyler Grob (15-0.25). Ypsi Lincoln did damage on the women's side, winning the sprints (Jefferson 12.7 & 25.9) and three fast relays (49.3, 1:43.1, 4:03.4).

Other highlights...
Mike Atchoo
ran an interesting double against Troy on Tuesday: 51.4 and 9:38.0.
Becca Addison tried her first-ever 3200 in an effort to get the school record. She did, pacing 5:26 and 5:10 to end up at 10:37.0 in a dual vs. Grandville. GH coach Katie Kowalczyk-Fulmer told the local Tribune, "She's never run two miles on the track. Obviously, with how well she did, she has a chance to do things, but I'm sure she'll run the mile, the 800 and the 3,200 relay at state."
Nick Kaiser, the sophomore 800 star at Bedford, further enhanced his credentials with a great day at the Knights Relays in Toledo. He jogged in a 4:24 anchor on the DMR--they timed 10:31.42, the fastest outdoor time in the state this year. Then he lost on the lean in the 1600, clocking 4;16.64, again, the fastest outdoor time of the year. Then he ran 49-point to anchor the 4x4, nearly winning (3:29.36).
Jeff Burd of Vermontville-Maple Valley--talk about range. He's on the lists at 22.24 and 49.8 in the long sprints, and this week he added a 4:25.5 in the 1600. He's sounding like he might be a scary prospect in the 800.