Evart track team reflects on another championship season

EVART — Santana Scott realizes he’ll have big shoes to fill next season as a distance runner for the Evart Wildcats.

But he and his returning teammates will be giving it their best shots.

It was a remarkable season for an Evart boys track squad that won the MITCA team title for second straight season and finished third in the MHSAA meet.

The distances were again a key weapon for Evart, David Zinger won the 3,200-meter run in 9:51.94 while Scott was third in 10:25.32 and Zach Douglas eighth in 10:51.57.

The Wildcats went two-three-four in the 1600-meter run with Logan Hammer in 4:40.51, Max Hodges in 4:41.4 and Santana Scott in 4:43.5

Scott was in his freshman season.

The distance runners “always tried our best,” said Scott, noting that the distance runners played a key role in the Highland, regional and MITCA victories.

Scott has been in the 1,600-meter, 3,200-meter and 3,200-meter relay.

“I wish I would have done better in the two mile,” he said.

Scott likes the other distance runners, were in cross country. He said he liked cross country more. He was pleased with the progress he made in track.

Scott said he’ll miss the senior leadership of Logan Hammer and David Zinger. “They helped me along,” he said.

He’s planning on doing a lot of 5Ks during the summer to be ready for the 2013 cross country and 2014 outdoor track season. Another key distance runner back will be Max Hodges, the MHSAA 800-meter champ.

VanBuren, a junior, will be back next year. It was fun for him to be on a Highland, regional and MITCA state championship teams.

Personal highlights for VanBuren were throwing in the 120s for the discus and 42-0 in the shot put. VanBuren has improved 21 feet in the discus. He didn’t throw the shot last year.

At MITCA, Miller won the pole vault in 13-10 while Chapman Long was seventh in 11-6 and Gavin Chupp was 10th in 10-6.

In the MHSAA state meet in the pole vault, Rick Miller was fifth with an effort of 12-10. Chapman Long tied for eighth in 11-10.

Miller entered the MHSAA event hoping to be all-state for the first time and he accomplished that feat.

“I just have to jump my full potential,” he said prior to the MHSAA meet.

As for the MITCA win, “I don’t know what to think about it still. It’s just so exciting. It seem so unbelievable. I placed first in pole vault. That was cool feeling I made a difference for the team.”

“It was fantastic, excitement, accomplishment, just doing your time right,” Long said. “It was awesome.”

Long also fulfilled a goal at MHSAA by finishing in the top eight for all-state honors.

“I have to keep my mind in it,” he said.

But winning another MITCA trophy was very special.

“I felt great,” VanBuren. “It’s a great feeling to come home with it.”