At Zeeland High School in Zeeland, twelve Notre Dame athletes competed at the MHSAA Division 2 Track and Field State Finals. The atmosphere and the weather were perfect for racing and the Irish didn’t disappoint. By the end of the day, six Irish runners had stood on the podium to claim their medals and All-state recognition in four different events.
Senior Nathan Mylenek led the team with a second straight, State Finals runner-up performance in the 1600m run, while breaking his week-old school record with a time of 4:15.84. He would follow that with a fifth place finish in the 3200m run in 9:30.79. Mylenek leaves Notre Dame as perhaps the most accomplished distance runner in modern Notre Dame history; a six-time All-stater (including cross country), a state champion, school record holder in four different track and field events, and with numerous regional and CHSL championships and honors.
Seniors Aidan Schurig, Brendan O’Sullivan, Patrick Anger, and Matthew Durkin also earned a spot on the podium in the 4x100m relay to claim All-State recognition. The group’s time of 43.79 was good for eighth place. Earlier in the day, the same team participated in the 4x200m relay and placed 18th in 1:32.41. The group ends their Notre Dame careers as school record holders in the 4x100m and 4x200m relays. Schurig, O’Sullivan, and Durkin also have their names tagged to the school’s 4x400m relay record and Schurig is a member of 4x800m record holding team. Earlier in the season, Durkin matched the school’s high jump record. Anger also participated in the long jump and just missed getting out of the qualifying round. Anger would ultimately place 10th with a jump of 20’ 4.75”, just over an inch shy of his own school record. Also competing for the boys, junior Brendan Fraser ran in the 3200m run and placed 10th in 9:40.82 and making his State Finals debut, junior John Paul Terzano threw the discus and placed 18th with a toss of 124’ 7”.
For the girls, sophomore Lauren Neiheisel was a huge bright spot with an All-state performance in the 800m run. Neiheisel reached the podium via a win in the first of two heats and a time of 2:19.88, easily a new personal record. Neiheisel would then join senior Lauren Kavanagh, senior Claire Bolden, and sophomore Maddie Scherle in the 4x400m relay were the team was 22nd in 4:19.91. Bolden also participated in the 200m and 400m dashes. After reaching the final in the 200m qualification round, Bolden had to scratch due to an unfortunate mishap in the 400m dash. She would later bounce back, though, to participate inthe 4x400m relay. Still, Bolden leaves Notre Dame as the school record holder in the 200m dash and a member of the record holding 4x800m relay squad. Lastly, making her State Finals debut, freshman Lexi Case placed 18th in the 1600m run with a time of 5:29.79.
“Overall, this was a very good day for these kids. Having six athletes reach the podium to earn all-state honors makes me so proud of not only these athletes, but also our school and our program. I’m really sad to see the seniors perform for the last time in an Irish uniform, but that’s the way it has to be. The good news is that there is a lot of young talent in the program and I can’t wait to see what they will accomplish,” said head coach John Barbee.