SAC Sound-off: It's not the Win, But the Race

February 8, 2012

All I ever wanted from my high school athletic career was to be an all-state runner in cross country.

My sophomore year, our cross country team won the MHSAA Division 3 title at Michigan International Speedway, but we didn’t have any all-state runners! I was so excited because our top five consisted of four seniors and me. I was our number three runner, and placed 44th overall. It seemed like just the start of big things.  

Track season was a blast that year, even though I didn’t qualify for the MHSAA Finals in any events. But when I got back into cross country in fall 2010, I really wanted to be all-state. (The top 30 individuals in each race receive the honor.)

I trained really hard, but I couldn’t get any faster than when I was a sophomore. In fact, I was running slower than I did the year before. I ended up placing 47th in my division at the MHSAA Finals. I was extremely disappointed. But, the season was over. I decided it was time to focus on track.

I ran all winter and attended a few indoor meets. The training paid off when the season started. I was running as fast as I did the year before, and I was able to make our 3200-meter relay team. I qualified for the MHSAA Division 3 Final only with my relay team, but we placed third – and I finally was all-state.

But I wanted more. I wanted to earn the honor by myself.

I ran nearly 500 miles over the summer to prepare for the 2011 cross country season. I ran faster than I ever had before. I thought I had all-state in the bag this year.

And again, I fell short. Again, I placed 47th at MIS.

Yes, I was very disappointed in myself again. But I learned that getting the all-state medal is not what is important. Having fun is what really matters. And throughout my career, I’ve had plenty.

That doesn’t mean I’m not going to try to get all-state this spring. It just means that I am going to have more fun trying!

Travis Clous, Benzie Central senior

  • Sports: Cross country, track and field, basketball
  • Non-sports activities: Student section, pep band, marching band, concessions worker
  • Favorite classes: Band and AP biology
  • Must-see TV: "How I Met Your Mother"
  • One shining moment: My sophomore year of cross country when we won the MHSAA Finals even though we did not have a single all-state runner.
  • What’s next: I plan to attend either Hope College or Michigan State University to enter the pre-med field, but as of now. I am still undecided. I plan to run wherever I go, though.
  • My favorite part of game day is: ... before the race, I listen to my Ipod. I usually listen to older music to get pumped. I also like to listen to Disney soundtracks; my favorite is the music from "Mulan." The songs usually get stuck in my head, and I end up singing them on the run. I feel like the music helps move me along.

PHOTO courtesy of Travis Clous (front), running at the MHSAA Division 3 Cross Country Final.

Performance of the Week: Grand Ledge's Alaina Yaney

March 17, 2023

Alaina YaneyAlaina Yaney ♦ Grand Ledge
Senior ♦ Gymnastics

After finishing runner-up by just half a point as a junior, Yaney closed her high school gymnastics career Saturday with the Division 1 all-around championship, posting an all-around score of 38.075 and with first places on balance beam (9.475) and vault (9.700). She also tied for second on floor exercise (9.575) and finished third on uneven parallel bars (9.325). Her vault score tied for 16th-highest in Division 1 Finals competition all-time. 

Not surprisingly, Yaney also was her Regional's all-around champion (37.550). She also helped Grand Ledge finish eighth in Friday's Team Final competition, with her 37.475 the highest all-around score that day, before the next afternoon becoming the eighth Comets gymnast to win the Finals' Division 1 individual championship. A gymnast since age 3, Yaney will continue academically at Central Michigan Univerrsity and is considering attempting to walk-on the gymnastics team. 

@mhsaasports 🤸‍♀️POW: Alaina Yaney #performanceoftheweek #gymnast #allaround #beam #vault #firstplace #gymnastics #statechamp #champion #individual #record #grandledge #comets #congrats #MHSAA #highschoolsports #tiktalk #interview #TikTok#mistudentaid #fyp @alaina_yaney ♬ Beat Automotivo Tan Tan Tan Viral - WZ Beat

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2022-23 Honorees

March 9: Braeden Davis, Dundee wrestling - Report
March 2:
Gabriel Sanchez-Burks, Ann Arbor Pioneer swimming - Report
Feb. 23:
Grace Sobczak, Marquette swimming - Report
Feb. 16:
Kaitlynn Demers, Gibraltar Carlson competitive cheer - Report
Feb. 9:
Indya Davis, West Bloomfield basketball - Report
Feb. 2:
Braydon Sorenson, Onekama skiing - Report
Jan. 26:
Shayne Hruska, Iron Mountain wrestling - Report
Jan. 19:
Kayla Tafanelli, Warren Woods-Tower bowling - Report
Dec. 20:
Brenden Paden, Riverview Gabriel Richard hockey - Report
Dec. 16:
Tuff Scott, Holton bowling - Report
Dec. 9:
Macey Fegan, Standish-Sterling basketball - Report
Dec. 2:
Treyton Siegert, Gladwin football - Report
Nov. 24:
Lily Witte, Dexter diving - Report
Nov. 17:
Navea Gauthier, Shelby volleyball - Report
Nov. 10:
Derek Huisman, Holland Christian soccer - Report
Nov. 3:
Thomas Westphal, New Baltimore Anchor Bay cross country - Report
Oct. 27:
Justin Wickey, Colon football - Report
Oct. 20:
Owen DeMuth, Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood tennis - Report
Oct. 13:
Mia Melendez, Ann Arbor Greenhills golf - Report
Oct. 6:
Shawn Foster, Grand Ledge football - Report
Sept. 30:
Hannah Smith, Temperance Bedford swimming - Report
Sept. 22:
Helen Sachs, Holland West Ottawa cross country - Report
Sept. 15:
Nina Horning, Lake Orion volleyball - Report
Sept 8:
Arturo Romero, Muskegon Oakridge soccer - Report
Sept. 1:
Austin King, Midland Dow tennis - Report
Aug. 25:
Olivia Hemmila, Troy Athens golf - Report

PHOTO Grand Ledge's Alaina Yaney competes during Friday's Team Final at White Lake Lakeland. (Click for more from High School Sports Scene.)