By Paul Costanzo
Special for Second Half
Khance Meyers put on one final show in an East Kentwood uniform Saturday, and did it on his home track.
The senior sprinting star won the 100 and 200 meters for the second straight year at the Lower Peninsula Division 1 Boys Track & Field Finals, and anchored the winning 800 relay team also to a repeat championship.
“Doing all this on my home turf feels amazing,” said Meyers, who also anchored the runner-up 1,600-relay team. “Just knowing that you’re at home, competing against the best, the top in the state, some even nationally ranked, it’s just amazing. Coming out here, giving the fans what they want, giving them a show – all I can say is I thank God that I’m able to do this.”
Meyers’ performance led an all-around remarkable day for the Falcons, who finished with 78½ points to claim their first MHSAA team title since 2014. It was the school’s sixth title under coach Dave Emeott. Rival Rockford was second with 62 points, followed by defending champion Oak Park in third with 44.
“Ultimately it was a full team approach,” Emeott said. “We won a bunch of events, and we set a state record in the long jump and ended up second place; that doesn’t happen very often. Our kids were on fire, every event. I’m so proud of them.”
Meyers set the Division 1 meet record in the 100 meters with his time of 10.53 seconds. He just missed breaking his own 200-meter record, winning in 21.27. He joined teammates Al Jeffries, Jacobie Welch and Stephan Bracey to run 1:26.07, breaking the Division 1 meet record East Kentwood set a year ago.
“People ask me all the time, ‘Khance, how does it feel to be No. 1 in the state?’ or ‘How does it feel to be competing at the top level?’” Meyers said. “Just being No. 1 in the 100, 200 and dropping your times -- all I can say is, I just thank God.”
Meyers wasn’t the only Falcon to take home an individual title, as sophomore thrower Logan Brown won the shot put with a toss of 60 feet, 1½ inches.
He also wasn’t the only record setter on the day. Salem’s Mason Phillips won the long jump with a leap of 24-2¾, the best mark not only in Division 1 meet history, but for all Finals.
Rockford’s 400-meter relay team did the same, as their time of 41.2 seconds is a new top mark in MHSAA Finals history. The team included Melvin Moseley, Noah Stallworth, Josh Patterson and Nicholas Isley.
Like Meyers, Oak Park’s Cameron Cooper came away with three titles and one runner-up finish. He won the 800 in 1:51.22, teamed with Dewan Hawthorne, Bryce Pickett and Javonne Kirksey to win the 1,600 relay in 3:17.58, and teamed with Hawthorne, Kirksey and Michael Campbell to win the 3,200 relay in 7:44.85. He was second in the 1,600 meters, edged out at the line by Rockford’s Cole Johnson.
“I just ran it,” Cooper said of the 800. “I had to come back after all of those events -- I can’t really feel my legs. I’m kind of used to (running four events) because I do it throughout the year, sometimes even doing two meets a week. I’m really strong, so I can come back and still run the same thing.”
For Johnson, his 1,600 win was a redemption story. He stumbled early in the race a year ago, but bounced back to take third. This year, he got out fast and won in 4:08.60, despite a late push from Cooper.
“Since I wanted to run fast, I had to be out there pushing the pace,” Johnson said. “I definitely learned from my fall last year to get out fast. I knew that I could go out in sub-60 (seconds on the first lap) because that’s what I went out at in an MSU meet earlier this year. I definitely wanted to get out fast.”
East Lansing’s Kentre Patterson doubled in the hurdle races, winning the 110 in 13.84 and the 300 in 38.23 seconds despite not running in the final heat. It was the second straight title for Patterson in the 110 hurdles.
“I always love competition, but being in the slow heat, kind of controlling the race was pretty good,” Patterson said. “It let me relax and do my own thing. I didn’t put my clothes back on until after (the final heat).
“I just had it in my head that this is the last race of the season, last time running the 300 hurdles. My coaches had me thinking about it all week, telling me I could do it coming out of the slow heat.”
Ypsilanti Lincoln’s Matthew Moorer won the 400 meters in 47.42 seconds. Fenton’s Dominic Dimambro won a tight 3,200-meter race in 9:07.79.
Randy Prince of Portage Northern won the discus with a throw of 173 feet. Connor Bush of Plymouth won the high jump with a jump of 6-6. Cale Snyder of Macomb Dakota won the pole vault, clearing 15-6.
Click for full results.
PHOTO: East Kentwood's Khance Meyers pushes past his competitors during a sprint win Saturday. (Photo by Carter Sherline/RunMichigan.com.)