By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor
This week’s report of the best from the previous seven days is decidedly slanted toward the action of Friday and Saturday’s MHSAA Finals, Regionals and District competitions.
And as always is the case after this incredibly busy first weekend in June, there is plenty to tell.
Here’s a look at some of the biggest headlines, many of which were published on Second Half.
Girls Track and Field
Saluting the seniors: This class of 2013 has to be considered one of the strongest groups of seniors in MHSAA girls track and field history. For the second straight spring, Reed City’s Sami Michell won four MHSAA championships, and this time set the Lower Peninsula record with 12 career Finals titles. Grosse Pointe South’s Meier twins, West Bloomfield’s Erin Finn and Detroit Country Day’s Kendall Baisden are just a handful of the other incredible talents who ran their final high school meets. Click below for coverage from all seven, both Lower and Upper Peninsula.(LPD1) (LPD2) (LPD3) (LPD4) (UPD1) (UPD2) (UPD3)
Boys Track and Field
First in a while, first ever: Wyoming Kelloggsville in LP Division 3 and Saugatuck in LP Division 4 celebrated their first MHSAA championships in this sport – and Manistique in UP Division 2 won a team title for the first time since 1960. (LPD1) (LPD2) (LPD3) (LPD4) (UPD1) (UPD2) (UPD3)
Re-joining the powerhouses: Birmingham Marian, Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook-Kingswood and Bloomfield Hills Academy of the Sacred Heart all won MHSAA Lower Peninsula championships to add to long runs of dominance. This season, Port Huron Northern joined them with a two-point win in Division 1 that gave the Huskies their first Finals team title since 2002. (LPD1) (LPD2) (LPD3) (LPD4)
Raising the bar: Houghton won its third straight MHSAA championship and in the process also lowered its team score at the Finals for the third straight season – this time 18 strokes from 2012. But the most incredible number came from Marquette’s Avery Rochester, who carded a U.P. Finals-record 69, 10 strokes better than the previous low mark. Click below to read also about Iron Mountain’s dominance and Munising’s first team title. (UPD1) (UPD2) (UPD3)
Winning at the right time: Hancock’s first victory of this season came in last week’s MHSAA U.P. Division 3 Final. All three tournaments were filled with their shares of surprises – see the links. (UPD1) (UPD2) (UPD3)
Count ends at 60: Kingsford won its first outright MHSAA team title in 60 years, in Division 1, while Iron River West Iron County rode motivation of a second place in 2012 to finish first this time in Division 2. (UPD1) (UPD2)
Clinton continues title streak: Reigning Division 3 Finals champion Clinton needed a 7-4, eight-inning win over Manchester and a 6-5 title-clincher over Brooklyn Columbia Central in the final to win its District for the sixth straight season. (Adrian Daily Telegram)
Jackson hoists first District trophy: The Vikings downed Battle Creek Lakeview and Grand Ledge to claim their first District championship. (Jackson Citizen-Patriot)
Surprise winner in Portage: A Portage team was favored to win the Division 1 District in its hometown, but unranked Portage Northern will be moving on after scoring three runs in the seventh inning to down No. 3 Portage Central 3-2 in the final. (Kalamazoo Gazette)
Cougars survive: No. 2-ranked Lansing Catholic had to face No. 5 Bath, at Bath, in their Division 3 District Final. But the Cougars rode a sixth-inning rally to claim a 2-1 victory. (Lansing State Journal)
Oilers win battle of ranked in D2: No. 4 Mount Pleasant had 15 hits and pulled away quickly in ending the season of No. 6 Bullock Creek in a Division 2 final. (Mount Pleasant Morning Sun)
Record-breaking run continues: Charlevoix has set a school record with 27 wins this season, the most recent coming Saturday to give the team its first District title since 1988. (Charlevoix Courier)
Hartland lives on: Eventually, either Hartland or Brighton would be alone emerging from Livingston County this season. Hartland won this final battle between the two top-10 Division 1 teams, 17-15. (Livingston Daily Press & Argus)
Oakridge shuts District down: Muskegon Oakridge won its first girls soccer District championship with its third shutout of the tournament, 5-0 over Muskegon Orchard View. (Muskegon Chronicle)
Caledonia emerges from crowded field: Three of the top 10 plus two more honorable mentions in the final Division 1 coaches poll played in the District at Grand Rapids Forest Hills Central, and honorable mention Caledonia claimed the title after defeating No. 6 East Kentwood in the final. (Grand Rapids Press)