Sumner Sets Pace in Breckenridge Sweep

November 2, 2019

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.

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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/

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.

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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/