Michell earns nomination as state's top track athlete

REED CITY – Reed City junior Sami Michell was recently a nominee for the Michigan Gatorade State Girls Track & Field athlete of the year award based on her four state championships on June 2 in the state meet.

The award went to junior middle distance runner Hannah Meier of Grosse Pointe South, which won the Division 1 state team championships. Meier won two individual events with the 800-meter run and 1,600 meter run in times of 2:08.57 and 4:43.05 and anchored two winning relay teams. The 1,600-meter time ranked fourth in the nation.

Meier also won it last season.

The 1,600-meter relay team won in 3:59.89 and the 3,200-relay team had an 8:48.29 for the fourth-fastest time in U.S. prep history.

“The week after the state finals, we were contacted that she was nominated for it,” said Mitchell's mother and Reed City girls coach Vikki Mitchell. “It's an honor to be nominated.”

Sami Michell won the 100- and 300-meter hurdles at the state meet, plus the long jump and 200-meter dash and set three Division 3 state records. She became only the second girl athlete in state history in all classes to win four individual events.

Her mother recalls that Sami started doing the Hershey track meets at age 8.

“She really didn't start running the AAU stuff until she was in middle school, then she did middle school track,” Vikki Michell said. “I knew she was very fast all of her life. She was so tiny for so long, you didn't know what she could do. But when she finally grew up to her potential and was freshman …

“She had incredible leaping ability, she won the standing long jump at the state finals for the Hershey meet. She placed in the sprints but she never won the sprints. Once she got to middle school and started running hurdles, I knew she had the potential to be very good. You still never know.”

With Michell's senior year coming up, Vikki Michell noted that her daughter can't be contacted by Division I schools until July 1. Division II schools could contact Michell by June 15.

“She's been contacted so far, for Division II, by Grand Valley and Hillsdale,” said Vikki Michell. “She was at the junior championships last weekend and the South Florida coach talked to us. He wants to come up to talk with her. We know that Stanford is interested, plus Michigan and Michigan State, so is Clemson. We're hoping, but you never know.”

The summer schedule has mainly focused on USTA track for Michell, who is also playing volleyball this summer.

As for the Gatorade award, “that's pretty exciting to be nominated,” she said. “That was a surprise.”

In the recruiting process, “I'm looking forward to it now,” Michell said, while anticipating a decision on her college future by winter, sometime prior to the 2013 track season.