Track and field, tennis and lacrosse teams have begun their marches toward MHSAA championships, but a number of sports are making offseason news as well.
Here's our sampling of some of the most intriguing from all over the state last week.
Track and Field
Setting up a showdown: In perhaps the most notable race of last week’s Regionals, Birmingham Seaholm’s Aubrey Wilberding edged Southfield’s Latipha Cross in the 400-meter dash in Division 1 at Farmington. Wilberding ran the race in 56.48 seconds, 19 hundredths of a second faster than Cross, who set an all-Finals record in the race in 2011. Click the link next to each Regional site for results. (MHSAA)
Shooting for 67: Lake Fenton sophomore Jordan Newman scored a combined eight goals in the semifinal and championship games of the Genesee Area Conference tournament to lead her team to the championship. She has 54 goals this season – only 13 shy of the MHSAA single-season record with Districts beginning next week. (Tri-County Times) (Flint Journal)
KVA belongs to Kalamazoo Christian: The Kalamazoo Valley Association soccer championship came down to two of the top teams statewide in Division 4 – and No. 2 Kalamazoo Christian edged No. 3 Kalamazoo Hackett Catholic Central 1-0 in the final. The two were flip-flopped in the rankings heading into the game. (Kalamazoo Gazette)
Athletes of the Year
Pinning down a major award: St. Johns wrestler Taylor Massa and Rochester Hills Stoney Creek's Gabby Yurik received the annual Michigan Student-Athlete of the Year Awards from the Detroit Athletic Club, from a group of nominees including Holland's Courtney Bartholomew, Birmingham Marian's Jaynie Pulte, Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett's Madison Ristovski, Plainwell's Lauren Saar and Charlotte's Raychel Wolever, and Grand Blanc's Zachary Carroll, Saginaw Heritage's Evan Chiplock, Bay City Western's Matt Costello, Lowell's Gabe Dean and Oxford's Prescott Line.
Plymouth rocks: The Wildcats topped a field that included 17 state-ranked teams in claiming the East Lansing Invitational with a two-round score of 595. The tournament was played at Michigan State University’s Forest Akers West and East. Scroll to the bottom of link for full results. (Michigan Interscholastic Golf Coaches Association)
Match points: Five of the top seven ranked teams in Division 2 emerged from two suburban Detroit Regionals to advance to the Division 2 Finals: No. 1 Birmingham Marian, No. 2 Bloomfield Hills Andover, No. 3 Birmingham Seaholm and co-No. 7s Bloomfield Hills Lahser and Farmington Hills Marcy. Click next to each Regional site to see who qualified for their respective Finals. (MHSAA)
Perfect, again: Breckenridge’s Sam Willman threw her fifth perfect game this season, striking out 18 and 64 for the day as her team won the Montrose Snowball Tournament on Saturday. She also threw a perfect game two days before. (Midland Daily News)
Stacking numbers: Decatur senior pitcher Erika Southworth won her 100th game last week, then notched her 1,000th strikeout two days later. (Kalamazoo Gazette)
Detroit mourns coach: Southeastern High girls coach Lisa Blackburn died Saturday at the age of 52. She was a former Detroit Pershing star who went on to play at the University of Detroit. (Detroit News)
Stolz legacy ends: Longtime Okemos boys basketball coach Dan Stolz retired with a record of 428-99 and a winning percentage of .812 in 18 seasons at Okemos and five at Williamston. Stolz took over the Chieftains program from his father Stan, who coached the varsity from 1968-93. (Lansing State Journal)
New coach at St. Johns: The reigning three-time Division 2 MHSAA team champion now will be coached by assistant Derek Phillips, who was promoted last week to take over for the recently-resigned Zane Ballard. (Lansing State Journal)
Longtime editor announces retirement: The state’s print media will wave good-bye to another valuable member when longtime Escanaba Daily Press sports editor Denny Grall retires in two months. He’s been putting pen to paper for 42 years and is especially legendary across the Upper Peninsula. (Escanaba Daily Press)
Editor's note: Did we miss something? Comment below and tell us about it. Is there an event coming up that we should make sure to note? Comment or e-mail Geoff@mhsaa.com.