Evart, Pine River athletes shine at D3 state finals

Evart and Pine River track athletes had successful performances in the Division 3 track and field championships at Comstock Park.

Athletes had to brave hot and humid conditions.

For the Evart girls, Jessica Tea of Evart was fourth in the high jump at 5-3.

Tea, a freshman, said she was hoping to hit the school record of 5-4, which was cleared only by the first-place finisher, Tyler Penzien of New Haven.

“I almost got it,” Tea said, adding that the key in almost getting a state title, “was liking it and wanting to do better.”

Looking ahead, the key to doing well in the high jump “is you have to work on your form and speed and how high you jump,” Tea said.

Also in the girls meet, Devyn Powell of Pine River was fourth in 59.03 in the 400-meter dash. Her teammate, Haley Russell, took a pair of seventh places by throwing the discus 116-0 and the shot 37-0.

“The discus was good, I PRed for the year, that makes me happy,” Russell said. “The shot was normal.”

Russell finished fourth in the state in the shot put last season.

Powell said she was happy with fourth place.

“I haven’t ran for a few weeks because of an injury in my foot,” she said. “I didn’t know if I could run a strong quarter.

“I ran it normal and at the end I gave it what I’ve got to get where I ended.”

Evart’s David Zinger was fifth in the 3,200-meter run in 9:53.07 and sixth in the 1,600-meter run in 4:27.93.

It was his first state appearance.

“It went pretty well,” Zinger said. “I made all-state in both. In this heat, I’ll take the times. I exceeded my expectations for the day. They were both pretty good races for me. I got PRs in both events.”

Staying hydrated, resting and seeking shelter in the shade was a key for beating the heat, Zinger indicated.

He was also in the 3,200-meter relay that placed 11th.

“I had my second fastest split of the year,” Zinger said.