By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor
We’re missing spring sports big time. So we’re kicking off our next string of #MHSAAMoments with one of the most big-time performances in state track & field history.
Grosse Pointe South’s girls dominated during the start of last decade, claiming consecutive Lower Peninsula Division 1 championships in 2011, 2012 and 2013. Leading the surge was an athlete who still holds three all-MHSAA Finals records and anchored the fastest 3,200-meter relay in U.S. high school history.
Hannah Meier, who already had set all-Finals records in the 800 and 1,600 in 2011 as a sophomore, was joined on the record relay in 2012 by Kelsie Schwartz, Ersula Farrow and younger sister Haley Meier. Together they ran the race in 8:48.29 – 17 seconds faster than the previous MHSAA all-Finals record and the fastest in National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) history by 1.59 seconds.
The following season in 2013, the Meier sisters, Farrow and Christina Firl won the 3,200 relay championship in 9:01.98. Hannah Meier then went on to earn the sixth and seventh individual Finals titles of her career –while also breaking both of her previous all-Finals records.
She claimed the 1,600 title for the third-straight season, three seconds ahead of runner-up Haley Meier in 4:39.23, which remains the ninth-fastest time in that race in NFHS history. Hannah Meier followed by winning her fourth 800 championship in 2:07:37, 1.02 seconds faster than her previous all-Finals record and 1.56 seconds ahead of second-place Farrow. The Meiers and Farrow then teamed up with Lily Pendy for a second-straight Finals title in the 1,600 relay.
Hannah Meier started her college running career at Duke and finished it at University of Michigan, where she won individual and team Big Ten championships. Haley Meier also went on to a championship career at U-M. Farrow began her collegiate track career at Clemson and finished at Louisiana State, earning All-America in the 800 as a senior. Schwartz also went on to the Big Ten, enjoying success at Michigan State University.
PHOTO: From left: Kelsie Schwartz, Ersula Farrow and Haley and Hannah Meier join Grosse Pointe South coach Stephen Zaranek for a photo during the 2012 LPD1 Finals. (Click for more from RunMichigan.com.)