Evart, Reed City athletes set for track and field state finals

REED CITY — Brothers sister Brian and Sami Michell are among the local athletes competing this weekend at the Division 3 state finals in Comstock Park with hopes of earning all-state honors.

The Michells both have state championships on their minds.

Sami, as a freshman, won the state 100-meter hurdles a year ago and was second in the 300 hurdles. She’ll also be in the long jump and 200-meter dash this season as she was a year ago.

On Friday at the Pioneer Track & Field championships, Sami was female athlete of the meet for the second season, winning all four of her events and setting school records in the 100-meter (14.73) and 300-meter hurdles (44.8). On the long jump, Michell went 17-9 and she clocked the 200 in 26.7 seconds.

She also was a regional titlist in all four events.

“I want to win the 100 hurdles again and I really want to win the 300 hurdles and get the state record,” she said. “I broke it last season (as did the first-place finisher) but took second. I kind of want the 100 hurdles (state) record too. I already ran faster than the state record in both of them. I’m seeded first in both events by 2.5 seconds (in the 300) and a second and a half second in the 100.”

But being seeded first, Michell cautioned, doesn’t automatically mean success.

“You never know what anyone else ran, they could have had a bad day at regionals,” she said. “They might run faster than that but haven’t yet.”

Michell is also seeded first in the long jump.

“I’d like to jump well and win that too,” she said. “I jumped 18 feet at the beginning of the year and jumped 17-9 on Friday. I think 18 could win.”

Competing in four events at the state finals definitely presents its physical and emotional challenges, Michell agreed.

“It’s hard to run your fastest in the finals for the 200 when you’ve already had to run fast to make it to the finals in the prelims and semis,” Michell said. ‘I feel I’m stronger than I was last year.”

This week, “I want to work on my long jump form a little bit and the hurdles form, my 300 hurdles, where I use my left leg, I use it but I have horrible form. I’d like to work on that,” Michell said.

Kristin Forman will be running for the RC girls in the 800 meters.

Brian Michell is bidding for a state title in the pole vault.

“I feel really good going into it,” he said. It’s expected to be a battle between Michell and Isaac Austin of Kent City, who took first at regionals with Michell second at 15-0.

Michell at the Pioneer meet set a meet record of 15-6 ¼ and hopes to keep getting good height on his vaults at the state meet. He will be at state his fourth time took third last season. Michell was the Pioneer athlete of the meet.

The temperatures shouldn’t really matter, Michell indicated.

“I’ve got plenty of poles to move around with,” he said. “I’ve got poles for different positions pretty much.”

It’s Michell’s last high school track meet before going on to Olivet Nazarene.

“I’m really excited for state,” he said.

Joe Oehrli in the 800-meter run is going to the state finals as is 1,600-meter relay foursome of Reed, Michael and Eric Bradford and Oehrli.

For Evart, distance runner David Zinger also is looking to have a big day.

At the Highland Conference meet on May 24, Zinger was first in the 1,600-meter run at 4:35.5 and the 3,200-meter run at (10:05.4) and the 3,200-meter relay in 8:42.90.

At state finals, a 9:40 time would be a goal for Zinger, who hopes for the top eight in the 3200.

I’ll need a stronger last lap,” said Zinger, who has hopes of placing in the 1,600-meter run and is looking for a 4:24 and maybe the top five.

Zinger ran the state finals in cross country.

“I always get nervous before every race so I’ll have butterflies no matter what,” said Zinger, who will be the anchor in the relay with Jesse Lang, Logan Hammer and Antonio Militello.

Evart’s Ricky Miller placed fifth in the long jump at the regionals at 12-6 to qualify for the state finals.

Militello was the conference winner in the 800-meter run.

“I want to go something like 14 feet or 14-6 at state,” he said. “Something around that is my hopes.”

His personal best is 13-0. “In practice I’ve been doing pretty good so I’m hoping for the best,” Miller said.

A sophomore, Miller is in the state finals the first time.

“I’m pretty sure I’ll be nervous but I’ll try to hide it,” he said.

Tyler Tracy threw the discus 137-1 for second place at regionals to qualify for state.

Evart’s Jessica Tea is going to the finals in the high jump.