Avondale prevails over foes at rainy double dual

AUBURN HILLS >> After the last track and field event was contested Tuesday at Avondale High, the reality of the situation arose. For Avondale seniors, it was the beginning of the end as high school careers are coming to a close.
“Last home meet,” sighed Alexis Brown, who gathered with teammates Isabella Garces and Brittany Mae to reflect on the moment. “Four years,” chirped Garces, as all three hugged in the cold, treasuring memories and friendships. Avondale girls coach Kim Kutschman joined them for another embrace. “I love you guys,” said Kutschman, who had been busy tabulating scores, but didn’t want to miss the moment.
A few hours earlier, all the Avondale senior track and field members were honored at midfield with flowers and a handshake from coach Shelby Johnson.
Then, it was back to business as Cranbrook Kingswood and Pontiac Notre Dame Prep joined in on the three-team double dual meet, which was hindered by a drizzly rain and dropping temperatures.
Each team had their moments during a meet where team scores were almost secondary as the prepping for league and regional meets continue.
For the record, Avondale’s boys earned an 85-42 victory over Cranbrook Kingswood and a 69-57 triumph over Notre Dame Prep, who beat Cranbrook Kingswood 68-59.
On the girls side, Avondale nipped Notre Dame Prep 64-63 and Cranbrook Kingswood 76-51. Notre Dame Prep nipped Cranbrook Kingswood 65-63.
Among meet highlights was Avondale’s Alexis Brown, who won the girls 100 (16.88) and 300 hurdles (48.97), and Notre Dame Prep’s Brendan Fraser, an all-state cross country runner who locked horns with Avondale’s Ben Zaremba for a fight to the finish in the boys 1,600.
Fraser finally put the stubborn Zaremba away in the final 50 meters as both tore down the stretch with victory in mind.
“My whole strategy was just to stick with him,” said Zaremba, who was a step or so behind Fraser the entire race. “He just edged me out a little bit.”
“It was pretty exciting, I could hear him the whole time behind,” said Fraser. “I tried to start my surge a bit early, with about 600 (meters to go).
Fraser made a bid to win the 800 but Avondale’s Adam Good outkicked him in the end. “It was awesome,” said Good.
Cranbrook Kingswood coach Daniel Russell was enthused with Garrett Powell’s victory in the 400 (52.4), and Notre Dame Prep’s Claire Bolden blazed a 58.8 in the 400, running the final straightaway practically by herself. “I was just thinking about how (Pontiac’s) Infinnatie Rowe and Chloe Abbott (Northville) would push me,” said Bolden, who also won the 200 going away.
Notre Dame Prep distance ace Nate Mylenek found himself in the 300 hurdles, and was third in a respectable 43.57 behind Juan Jimenez of Cranbrook (42.93) and Avondale’s Noah Burton.
“I’ve never done hurdles before, that was fun,” said Mylenek.
But the race belonged to Burton, who also won the 110 hurdles. “I feel good, still coming back from being sick,” said Burton, who had a tonsillectomy and his adenoids erased a few months ago. Burton, who placed second in the 300 hurdles at last year’s Division 2 state meet, is eyeing another confrontation with Orchard Lake St. Mary’s Richard Bowen, the defending Division 2 state champ. “I’m coming for him, believe me,” he said. “We keep dropping times.”
Another all-stater, Avondale’s Jerimiah Evans, won the shot put and discus throws as he looks forward to a strong climax to the season before heading to Michigan State on an athletic scholarship for track and field.
Notre Dame Prep’s Matt Durkin added a victory in the high jump while Cranbrook Kingswood’s Zoe Baxter, oblivious to the cold, easily won the 3,200.
MI Prep Zone

ND Athletics