Oehrli, Powell take home track state championships

COMSTOCK PARK  — Joe Oehrli and Devyn Powell didn’t have what they would consider to be a perfect day at the state finals Division 3 track and field meet Saturday at Comstock Park.

But taking one state individual title each more than made up for it.

Those two local athletes won state individual titles Oehrli of Reed City winning the 1,600-meter run and Powell of Pine River capturing the 400 meters .

Reed City wound up in fourth place with 27 points in the boys meet. Ironically with Sami Michell winning four events for Reed City, she scored all 40 of her team’s points en route to a fourth-place landing.

Oehrli won the 1,600 in 4:19.14 over Chase Barnett of Mason County Central in 4:19.82 He was hoping to make it 2-for-2 but narrowly lost the 800-meter run to Zach Zingheim of Lansing Catholic who had a 1:55.97. Oehrli’s time was 1:56.29.

In the 200-meter dash,Reed of Reed City was eighth in 22.74.

The Coyote foursome of Eric Reed to Eric Bradford to Michael Bradford to Oehrli was second in 3:25.56, losing first by almost a full second to Lansing Catholic in the 1,600-meter relay.

“I was happy with the 1,600,” Oehrli said. “The 800 I was disappointed with. I got cut off for the win (by Zingheim). I was finishing and the guy cut me off. I got spiked. We filed an appeal and so did the third place guy but (Zingheim)  didn’t get DQed.”

In the 200, Reed netted a personal record.

“Our 4 by 2 could have been a little better but could have been worse,” he said.

The Bradford twins were in the  400, 800 and 1,600 relays.

“We had Eric (Reed) out of the 4 by 1 because his foot was bothering him,” Eric Bradford said. “But the person, Eric Voelker, we put in there stepped up and did well. Our 4 by 2 did about what we expected. Our 4 by 4, we were a little upset we didn’t pull out the win but second is still good, we were seeded third and we set the new school record.”

“It was a pretty good season,” Michael Bradford said. “I felt  that our 4 by 4 could have gotten our time down a little more but the weather wasn’t permitting that.”

Oehrli anchored the 4 by 4 and again failed to catch Zingheim, who was LCC’s anchor.

“I was kind of disappointed we didn’t win,” he said. “I’m happy we ran a new (school record). I was about to pass him with 200 left, but I couldn’t get him.”

“I thought we did really well,” Reed City coach Brent Michell said. “Joe could have done a little better in the 800 but he ran pretty good. You take second in the state finals, that’s pretty good. Our mile relay team ran the best time of the year and when you lose to a team that’s doing a little better,It’s hard to feel bad about that. Joe ran a smart race in the mile. We’re really excited for him.

“Our sprint relay teams, it was probably a long shot we were going to medal. We ran well and had some good exchanges. It was quite an accomplishment to qualify.”

Powell got all of Pine River’s points with her first-place time in the 400-meter run of 57.77. She said at the 100-meter mark is when she was confident of victory. Angela Ritter of Frankenmuth was second in 58.15.

“Two girls were in front of me and I can normally tell once I start getting my kick if I can get them or not,” she said. “At least by the 50 meters, I knew I could get them so I gave it all I had.”

Powell, a sophomore took fourth last season.

“My goal was to break the school record which I ended up doing at the Highland Conference meet,’ she said. “I didn’t expect this, especially being a sophomore.”