Caro, Albrecht Celebrate D3 Sweep

November 3, 2018

Second Half reports

BROOKLYN — Caro senior Yami Albrecht has secured a special place in Michigan high school cross country history.

Albrecht won a kick to the finish with Jeremy Kloss of Harbor Springs for the second straight year to win his third MHSAA Lower Peninsula Division 3 individual championship with a time of 15:40.8 on Saturday at Michigan International Speedway.

Albrecht tied a record by becoming only the seventh boy in MHSAA history to post the fastest time in a Finals meet three times.

The others are Vicksburg’s Stephan Bishop (1962-64, Class B), Cadillac’s Mark Smith (1978-80, Class B), Central Lake’s Ryan Shay (1994-96, Class D), Benzie Central’s Jake Flynn (1997-99, Class C), Ovid-Elsie’s Maverick Darling (2005-07, Division 3) and Concord’s Jesse Hersha (2012-14, Division 4). Shay won the 1993 Class D individual race as well, but didn’t have the fastest overall time of the meet when there were separate team and individual races.

“It definitely is an accomplishment to have three state titles in a row,” Albrecht said. “I’m definitely going to remember that for the rest of my life, for sure.”

All three championships required a strong finishing kick to overcome a tough challenger.

Albrecht won by three seconds over Brian Njuguna of Bridgman in 2016 and by 2.4 seconds over Kloss last year. Kloss was side by side with Albrecht coming down to the finish before coming up 4.6 seconds short this time.

“We were coming into the stadium, we were next to each other the whole way around,” Albrecht said. “At the three-mile mark, Jeremy stepped in the mud and he got stuck. I saw his leg got stuck in there. I went for it at that point.”

Albrecht wasn’t at all disappointed to see somewhat muddy conditions when he arrived at MIS.

“Honestly, the last two years before this was all sloppy and muddy, so I was kind of happy that’s how it was today, so I could run the same way I did the past two years,” Albrecht said.

A new experience for Albrecht was having the opportunity to celebrate two championships at MIS. Caro finally completed its four-year march to the top of Division 3 by winning its first MHSAA team title since 1980 by a 61-100 margin over Pewamo-Westphalia.

The Tigers were 14th in 2015, fifth in 2016 and second to Hanover-Horton last year.

Backing up Albrecht’s performance for Caro were senior Caleb Cotton (12th,16:38.3), sophomore Logan Brown (15th, 16:42.5), senior Bryden Miller (28th, 16:54.5) and senior Aaron Hulburt (33rd, 17:00.4). It was the fourth Finals meet for Albrecht, Cotton, Hulburt and Miller.

Pewamo-Westphalia was led by seventh-place Hayden Germain (16:21.3), 14th-place Ashton Walker (16:40.6) and 20th-place Mitch Nurenberg (16:45.9).

Click for full results.

PHOTO: Caro’s Yami Albrecht stays a step ahead of Harbor Springs’ Jeremy Kloss at the 2-mile mark of Saturday’s Division 3 Final. (Middle) Bryden Miller (426) leads another pack on the way to helping the Tigers to the team title. (Click for more from

Freeland's Hansen Smashes Longstanding Record, FHE Claims 1st Finals Victory

November 4, 2023

BROOKLYN — On the same day Rockford’s Dathan Ritzenhein set a course record at Michigan International Speedway that has never been approached, Kurtis Marlowe of Richland Gull Lake had a performance that was overshadowed.

But Marlowe’s winning time of 15:02.5 in the MHSAA Lower Peninsula Division 2 Finals in 2000 also stood the test of time.

Until Saturday.

Freeland junior TJ Hansen eclipsed the Division 2 record with his winning time of 14:52.8. Runner-up Solomon Kwartowitz of Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood also nearly broke the previous record, finishing in 15:03.3.

Even though it was apparent from earlier races Saturday that perfect conditions made fast times possible, Hansen didn’t set out to break Marlowe’s record.

“No, my goal was to go out and win,” he said. “Play strategy from the front, let others do the work, then just push it. Whatever time I got, I was gonna get. I knew it was going to take a time like that to win it today.

Henry Dixon sets the pace for Forest Hills Eastern's first team championship.“I usually run close to a (personal record) every year at this meet. It’s one of my favorite courses. It’s definitely unique here at the speedway, so I really like the course, I really like to run it.”

Hansen went through the mile mark tied for 11th in 4:54.3, but you could’ve thrown a blanket over the top 12 runners at that point.

It was a three-man race between Hansen, Kwartowitz and 2022 champion Connell Alford of Chelsea when they reached the two-mile mark in 9:46.

Hansen made sure there would be no drama coming down the stretch.

“I was just trying to stay calm, let them do the work, just sit back,” he said. “When I needed to go, I was gonna go. My goal was to stay relaxed.”

Kwartowitz had no complaints with his race.

“It felt really smooth,” he said. “It was great. I didn’t get a chance to race these guys a bunch this year. I did at Spartan (Invitational, in September). I was really hoping to end it with a victory.”

The boys Division 2 team championship was a toss-up between four teams for the second year in a row, with Ada Forest Hills Eastern coming out on top with 134 points. Pinckney was second with 156, East Grand Rapids third with 175 and Allendale fourth with 176.

Last year, 32 points separated the top four teams.

Junior Henry Dixon led Forest Hills Eastern, placing sixth in 15:16.0. Senior Liam Hinman was 29th, senior Brendan Hoving was 30th, senior Cooper Jacobsen was 38th and junior Tyler Endres was 82nd.

It was the first MHSAA championship for Forest Hills Eastern, which had a program-best finish of fourth in 2007.

Click for full results.

PHOTOS (Top) Freeland's TJ Hansen approaches the finish of his record run Saturday at MIS. (Middle) Henry Dixon sets the pace for Forest Hills Eastern's first team championship. (Photos by Dave McCauley/