Michell takes fourth in Junior Olympic meet

REED CITY -- This past weekend was a big one for Reed City four-event state track champion Sami Michell.

The Coyote senior ran the 100 hurdles at Morgan State University (Baltimore, Md.) in the Junior Olympic AAU Festival on Sunday and finished fourth in 14.25 seconds.

The festival, which was conducted on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, brings in some of the top athletes from the country. Michell won the 100- and 300-meter hurdles plus the long jump and 200-meter dash at the Division 3 state finals in June to become only the second female athlete in state history to win four individual events.

Michell’s mother and coach, Vikki Michell, noted that her daughter clocked a time of 14.02 seconds in the 100 hurdles semifinals.

“She also qualified for the 400 hurdles but dropped out of the finals and decided to run only the 100 hurdles,” Vikki Michell noted. “To place higher than fourth (in the 100), she would have had to run her best time ever.”

“I was OK with it,” Sami  said. “I feel like I could have done better. But it was all right.”

Michell qualified from her preliminary and semifinal heats to get to the finals of the 100 hurdles.

“I heard from one of the workers there were 8,537 kids there and I can believe it,” said Vikki Michell. “The first day of the meet, it was packed.”

Athletes ranging from ages 7 to 18 were at the event. Sami Michell, at age 17, was in the young women’s division.

Michell had automatically qualified for the AAU finals by her accomplishments in previous meets, which limited the number of other qualifiers she would have to attend,

Because that factor gave Sami a chance to be less tired going into the nationals, “that made a different,” Vikki Michell said. “She was excited. It was a good meet.”

Michell has qualified in the past for the Junior Olympics but this was the first time she was able to attend.

Temperatures were usually in the 90s.

“I don’t really like it all that much; it’s hard to get out and train when it’s so hot,” she said.

Michell’s summer track schedule has ended.

Michell will be a senior this fall in the Reed City volleyball team which officially begins fall practices next week.

“I played in one scrimmage,” said Michell, noting that her track schedule limited her time for other sports.

As for her track future following high school, Michell indicated she’s starting to get contacted by colleges. She anticipates making a decision by the early February signing date.

“I’m pretty sure I’ll know by then,” Michell said, adding that college coaches were present at the AAU meets.