Second Half reports
BROOKLYN – Getting beat by Coleman Clark occasionally last year only made Mason Sumner a stronger runner.
Sumner, a sophomore at Breckenridge, competes regularly against Clark, a junior from Carson City-Crystal, because both schools are in the Mid-State Activities Conference.
They took their individual rivalry to the biggest stage in the state Saturday, dueling for the championship in the MHSAA Lower Peninsula Division 4 Final at Michigan International Speedway.
Sumner got the best of Clark this time, winning in 16:07.5. Clark was second in 16:16.8. A year ago, Clark took fifth in 16:22.7, just ahead of Sumner, who was sixth in 16:23.0.
“It’s nice to have that competition there,” Sumner said. “Last year, it was definitely back and forth a lot. He had the edge last year in wins. I built up my experience in racing and was able to win more this year. It’s nice to have that in earlier races and every race in the season, because then you’re used to it by state. You don’t get nervous and stuff.”
Clark, who was the conference champion as a freshman, welcomes the challenge from Sumner.
“It’s really nice having that competition at every meet,” Clark said. “When I was a freshman, he was in eighth grade, so my conference meets were really easy. I didn’t have competition. When he came up last year, I’ve had a lot of competition in conference meets. It pushes me to be better.”
Sumner and Clark sat back while Carlos Gascho of Johannesburg-Lewiston set the early pace. They pulled ahead at the two-mile mark, then Sumner made his move a half mile later.
“It went how I wanted it to go,” Sumner said. “I wanted to just sit there and kick. It was going to come down to who could kick at the end.”
Sumner led Breckenridge to its first MHSAA championship since the Huskies won Class C in 1976.
Breckenridge scored 72 points, while runner-up Unionville-Sebewaing had 131.
Colttion Vine was 10th among team runners in 16:56.9, Trent Carter 14th in 17:07.2, Ashton Gillis 19th in 17:15.4 and Colton Chovanec 28th in 17:33.8 for the Huskies.
PHOTOS: (Top) Breckenridge’s Mason Sumner (585) begins his move ahead of Carson City-Crystal’s Coleman Clark, Johannesburg-Lewiston’s Carlos Gascho and Webberville’s Nathan Lott. (Middle) Colttion Vine keeps pace as Breckenridge’s second runner to earn a top-10 finish. (Photos by Dave McCauley/RunMichigan.com.)