Orchard Lake St. Mary's reels in Catholic League title
Eaglets show heels to opposition; Brother Rice finishes third
St. Mary's used a balanced attack to trump the field, scoring 112 points to finish ahead of Warren De La Salle, who was second with 88.5 points, and Birmingham Brother Rice (74.5) and Novi Detroit Catholic Central 76.
For the girls, Dearborn Divine Child ran away with the title with 122 points while Regina was second (85.5) and Farmington Hills Mercy was third (79).
The Eaglets won all four relays and scored in the majority of the events they entered. "Our goal all year was to take those relays and to do that was awesome," said St. Mary's coach Sean Clouse. "(And) we got contributions from field events, distances, sprints … it was a great team effort."
Ross Moore, Kahlee Hamler, Ky'Ren Cunningham and Ryan Johnson contributed on the 4 x 200 relay (1:30.0) and Justin Myrick replaced Cunningham on the 4 x 100 relay, which set a meet record with a time of 42.74. Brother Rice clocked 42.77, which was also under the previous meet record set 14 years ago.
Johnson had to overtake Rice anchor Riley Maher on the final leg. "I was behind him, I had to catch him," said Johnson. "Pretty exciting."
Carson Eby, Harrison Coe, Augustine Lau and Joe Gallagher comprised the winning 4 x 800 relay (8:17.02).
Richard Bowens and Shermond Dabney, who joined Lau on the winning 4 x 400 relay (3:28.26), finished 1-2 in the 300 hurdles, Bowens was also second in the 100 dash.
Bowens and Dabney dueled in the 300 hurdles as if it was practice. "We do it every week," said Bowen, who clocked 39.27. "We compete," added Dabney, who came in at 40.11.
The Eaglets even left some points on the sidelines as Tyler Cochran, a regional 400 dash champ and a major contributor to the sprint relays this season, sat out to deal with injury issues.
Even so, St. Mary's was in good hands. Brian Agomouh finished third in the discus throw and second in the shot put, and Trey Bryan and Moore were fourth and fifth, respectively, in the long jump.
Brother Rice couldn't match St. Mary's in speed depth but had some highlights of its own. Cheibuka Onwuzurike won the 100 and 200 (22.54) dashes, the latter holding off Hamler (22.74) at the end, and ran on Warrior 4 x 100 and 4 x 200 relays which finished second to St. Mary's.
John Pennington broke away from the pack midway through the 3,200-meter run to win in 9:49.64, winning by 10 seconds over Pontiac Notre Dame Prep's Brendan Fraser, and Ryan Washeleski won the 400 dash (51.74).
Onwuzurike repeated his four-event effort at regionals and stayed strong. "Little cold and windy, but got to do your job," said the junior sprinter.
Pennington threw in a 68-second fifth-lap in the 3,200 and separated himself from the field and Washeleski is just getting acquainted with the 400. "It's been a lot of hard work, my first year running the 400," he said.
On the girls side, Mercy's Allysen Eads won the 1,600 and 3,200 to pace the Marlins. She led virtually from wire-to-wire in both races, but concentrated on the 1,600.
"I was just looking to break 5:20, tried to stay smooth and work on my third lap," said Eads, a senior.
Marian's Maya Bulger won the 100 dash, was second in the 300 hurdles and joined Jacqueline Caserio, Emily Balow and Gabby Paulina-Hamill on the winning 4 x 400 relay. Christina Montalbano replaced Caserio on the winning 4 x 200 relay as the Mustangs, who were a half-point out of fourth place and finished with 60 points, had one of their better showings.
Bulger savored the victory in the 100.
"It feels good, the wind was a little bit of a factor, but had to breathe and go," she said.
Notre Dame Prep's quartet of Dana Pangori, Lauren Neiheisel, Lauren McGrath and Claire Bolden won the 4 x 800 relay and Bolden won the 400 dash."It's something I've been aiming for so very (gratifying)," said Bolden.
Novi Detroit Catholic Central's Lance Yassay won the high jump with leap of 6-feet-3. Ike Marchie, who was third in the high jump (5-10), was second in the long jump (20-10 3/4), and Mike Misiak was second in the shot put (46-9 1/2) for the Shamrocks. (MIPrepZone.com, May 20, 2015)