OAA, Catholic League have their share of top teams
PONTIAC NOTRE DAME PREP, with close to 70 athletes on the squad, coach Jonathan Barbee hopes to find some promising athletes as coach Jonathan Barbee primes for his second season at the helm, Junior Nathan Mylenek, the defending Division 2 state champ in the 3,200, is among the area’s top distance runners and hopes to add the 1,600 to his repertoire as well. Sophomore Brendan Fraser, with another year of distance running under his belt, is looking to take the next step at becoming a contender in the 1,600 and 3,200. “The boys have a good mix of distance and sprints to make a run at their sectional title,” said Barbee, who has eight assistants on the staff. “I have a very young team and the future looks bright for Notre Dame Prep track.”
NOVI CATHOLIC CENTRAL will have a few dependable scorers in its lineup, “but unfortunately not enough of them,” laments Shamrocks coach Tony Magni.
Still, they’ll have enough to be competitive. Lance Yassay, a two-time state qualifier in the high jump, will be pushing for the medal round at state in his specialty and Connor Canavan will lead the sprint corps. Donovan D’Amore will handle the hurdles, and Ike Marchie, a standout football and basketball player, will test his versatility in the jumps and sprints. Avery Felty heads a distance group which includes Scott Smith, poised for a breakout in the 1,600, and sophomores Brendan Canavan and Mark Borek will add distance depth, along with senior Brian Clark. Throwers Michael Misiak and sophomore Chris Bradbury head the field event crew. Experience will be a factor for the Shamrocks. “We probably have 15 seniors, a long time since we’ve had that many,” Magni said.
BROTHER RICE coach Bob Stark has some concerns entering this season. “We are so banged up, so many guys hurt from football season,” said Stark. “We’ve just been hit by a perfect storm.”
Sprinter Delano Madison, who only recently has been cleared to train, will need time to round into shape, as will Riley Mahar, still nursing a football injury, However, Chiebuka Onwuzurike, one of the area’s fastest sprinters is back for his junior season, and John Penington, the returning league champ in the 3,200, should be among the area’s leaders. Gianni Wile is a solid 800 runner who could dip well under 2:00 as the Warriors will work with some 50 athletes. “I don’t we’re going to be good very early,” said Stark. But the Warriors, who won a regional title last year, know when to turn it on when it counts.
ORCHARD LAKE ST. MARY’S continues climbing upward with a young and talented team. “We’ve got some depth we haven’t had in the past,” said Eaglets coach Sean Clouse, who has sprinters, distance runners, hurdlers and throwers.
Tyler Cochran, who broke 50 seconds in taking fifth in the 400 dash at Division 2 state meet last year, heads a sprint corps which includes Ross Moore, Kahlee Hamler and Ryan Johnson. Richard Bowens could be among the area’s best in the intermediate hurdles, and sophomore Shermond Dabney will also help. School-record holder Brian Agomouh (throws) and Trey Bryan (jumps) head the field event crew while Colin Herrmann, Joe Gallagher, Austine Lau and Harrison Coe head the distance corps. The Eaglets won the 4 x 100 and 4 x 200 relays at state last year but now they want more. “This year I think we’re going to be battling for the state title,” Clouse said.
How They’ll Finish
1. Orchard Lake St. Mary’s; 2. Warren De La Salle; 3. Novi Detroit Catholic Central; 4. Birmingham Brother Rice; 5. Detroit Jesuit; 6. Divine Child
1. Lutheran North; 2. Pontiac Notre Dame Prep; 3. Riverview Gabriel Richard; 4. Cranbrook; 5. Ann Arbor Gabriel richard; 6. Royal Oak Shrine
1. Madison Heighs Bishop Foley; 2. Cardinal Mooney; 3. Detroit Loyola; 4. Waterford Our Lady of Lakes; 5. Cabrini; 6. Cristo Rey (MIPrepZone.com, April 20, 2015)