By Jeff Chaney
Special for Second Half
COMSTOCK PARK – In track and field, the difference between an MHSAA Finals championship and not being atop the medal stand may be the difference of a step or two.
Marlette's Andrew Storm proved that Saturday at the Lower Peninsula Division 3 Finals at Comstock Park High School.
Two tweaks to his technique paid huge dividends, as Storm won both the 110- and 300-meter hurdles with times of 14.82 and 39.14 seconds, respectively.
"I eliminated a step from my block and found a lot of new drills that helped me win the 110," said Storm, who will take his talents to Oakland University next year. "Then in the 300, I eliminated two steps from that race, which really helped me."
Both were personal-best times, and they could not have come at a better time.
"All year I have been tweaking my runs, and I progressively got better," Storm said. "I didn't hit the first hurdle today in the 110, because I planted the first hurdle at Regionals, and that's why I was not seeded first today in that event. It really comes down to that."
The Sanford-Meridian 400 relay of Monte Petre, Andre Smith, Miles Leviere and Christian Petre set a meet record with a great time of 43.14. That group effort helped the team win its second MHSAA title in three years with 39 points, five more than runner-up Hillsdale.
"This was a group effort," Christian Petre said. "Everyone has put in the work, and we ran a smooth relay. We were peaking at the right time."
"We knew the 4X100 was going to be our strength coming in, and they set a goal of breaking a state record earlier this year and they accomplished that," Sanford-Meridian coach Mike Bilina added. "The kids work really hard, they buy into the weight room and really enjoy improving."
The Sanford-Meridian 800 relay team of Monte Petre, Matt Hoffman, Leviere and Christian Petre also won with a time of 1:29.21, while Christian Petre took second in the 100 and 200 and Monte Petre took sixth in the 100.
The Mustangs’ finish was not a huge surprise. But another thing great about sports is that anybody can have the day of his or her life and make a name just like that.
That's what happened to Wyoming Lee sophomore Thomas Robinson, as he won both the 100 and 200 with times of 11.09 and 22.2 seconds, respectively.
What makes Robinson's story so special is that he did not even play a sport his freshman year, but decided to go out for football this year and played both wide receiver and cornerback.
And after a little nudging from former Lee football coach Carlton Brewster, Robinson decided to go out for track as well.
"Coach said this would help me out for football, and I think it will," Robinson said. "I did expect to win the 200, but never thought I could win the 100, because I was seeded sixth coming in."
An athlete used to the spotlight was Grand Rapids West Catholic senior thrower Carl Myers.
Myers came into Saturday's Finals as the reigning champion in the shot put, looking to break the meet record that Allendale's Zack Hill earned with an impressive toss of 63 feet, 9.5 inches in 2009.
Myers came up short of that, but won his second shot put title with a personal-best throw of 62-9.75. He also won the discus title with a throw of 172-1.
"Of course my goal was to break the record, but I'm happy to get the wins," said Myers, who will be going to the University of Michigan next year to play football and throw the shot put. "My whole team worked hard this year, and it paid off."
PHOTO: Marlette's Andrew Storm (right) clears a hurdle on the way to one of his two individual titles Saturday at Comstock Park. (Click to see more from HighSchoolSportsScene.com.)