State's Fastest Aiming for Record Finish
May 24, 2017
By Dean Holzwarth
Special for Second Half
KENTWOOD – Khance Meyers is widely regarded as the fastest sprinter in the state.
The East Kentwood senior track star will attempt to live up to that billing next weekend when he competes in the MHSAA Lower Peninsula Division 1 Finals.
Meyers is the reigning champion in the 100 and 200.
“I feel amazing going into the state meet as a 100 and 200 runner and defending my title,” Meyers said. “I’m just really excited, and I’m planning on trying to take the state meet record in the 100 and going back for the 200 record and dropping that even more.”
Meyers made a sparkling debut last season at the Finals as a junior, becoming a dual champion while also setting a new meet record in the 200.
He clocked a 21.24, eclipsing the previous mark of 21.30 seconds.
Although he had never competed in the Finals until last season, Meyers had lofty expectations for himself.
He had spent the previous two seasons watching and waiting for his time to shine.
“Last year was just like, ‘wow,’” Meyers said. “I’m here, and it’s time to show them what I have. It’s my time to show them what I can do, and that’s where all the pressure came from. My coaches explained to me how big it was and how important it is to be a state champion and to try my best.”
Meyers also ran the first leg on the victorious 800 relay team.
For Meyers, his final Finals meet is expected to be special for a couple reasons.
Not that he needed extra motivation, but he will be running on his home turf as the Division 1 Finals will be held at East Kentwood High School.
“Being able to run my last year with my team and to run at East Kentwood is making me feel so amazing inside,” he said. “To have that feeling that I have that advantage to run in my home territory.”
Meyers has the top times in the state this season in both of his signature events (10.55 in the 100, 21.29 in the 200), but he knows the competition will be stiff at the Finals.
He isn’t taking anything for granted.
“You get everybody at their best level and everybody is battling for a title,” Meyers said. “There is just going to be a lot of pressure on not only me, but everyone else to get a state championship.
“I’m always looking at other people because someone who isn’t ranked can come out of nowhere. You have to be prepared for that, and being number one in the state you can’t slack off or take your time. You have to be fully alert that anybody can just come up and do anything.”
Falcons boys track coach David Emeott said Meyers remains humble despite his past accomplishments. He doesn’t rest on his laurels, and instead displays a work ethic that is unmatched.
“He’s a pretty amazing athlete, there’s no doubt about that, but he’s an incredible worker and no one outworks him,” he said. “He puts the time in on the track more than anybody and he spends time watching film and studying the sport.
“He does what he needs to do to get better, and it’s pretty rare. Usually you get a kid that talented and he doesn’t necessarily want to put in the time. He comes with some natural ability, but he just trusts the process.”
Meyers didn’t know he was gifted on the track until he was in middle school. As an eighth-grader, people began taking notice of his raw speed.
“I came from nowhere in seventh grade to somewhere the next year,” Meyers said. “I became pretty fast, and everyone was telling me that. I was happy and excited to become better for myself and also help people around me get better.”
Meyers also has displayed his prowess at the national level. He took part in the New Balance Outdoor Nationals and placed second in the 200 with a time of 20.78 seconds.
He said competing against the top runners in the country was beneficial.
“Running in the 200 open on the big stage at the national level was amazing,” he said. “That experience gave me a different thought process. I just wanted to run my race, and do what I can do to get better.”
Meyers, who next will attend Hinds Junior College in Mississippi (which finished fourth at junior college nationals this past weekend), has a ritual before the start of every race.
“I pray before I go, and I try to channel everything,” Meyers said. “I just have my mind go blank and just focus on the race. As soon as I get off the blocks, I know it’s just a straight shot from the starting line to the finish.”
Meyers will be the catalyst of an East Kentwood team that will vie for a team Division 1 title. The Falcons placed third last season.
“I feel good about where we’re at,” Emeott said. “All of the guys who made it through have the opportunity to score. If we step up and do our jobs and focus on what is important, then we have a real opportunity to maybe win another state title. I have no reason to think that we’re not definitely in the conversation.”
Dean Holzwarth covered primarily high school sports for the Grand Rapids Press and MLive for 16 years and more recently served as sports editor of the Ionia Sentinel and as a sports photojournalist for WZZM. Contact him at[email protected] with story ideas for Allegan, Kent and Ottawa counties.
PHOTOS: (Top) East Kentwood's Khance Meyers breaks away from the field during last season's 200-meter preliminaries at the Lower Peninsula Division 1 Finals. (Middle) Meyers stays a step ahead of Oak Park's Miles Daniel (left) and Saginaw Heritage's Sean Beckom II during last season's 100 championship race. (Photos by Carter Sherline/RunMichigan.com.)
Peramaki Adds to Past Finals Fame by Leading Munising to Team Title
By Jason Juno
Special for MHSAA.com
June 4, 2023
KINGSFORD – Munising’s Micaiah Peramaki couldn’t really top last year’s Upper Peninsula Division 3 Finals. He became the eighth male all-time to win four events at an MHSAA track & field championship meet.
“I proved myself last year, so it’s a little more of a fun meet this year,” Peramaki said. “But it’s still important for me just to do good.”
And he was excellent again.
He led the Mustangs to the team title with individual wins in the 100, 200 and 400. He was also a part of the winning 1,600 relay team.
“The 100, I was right next to my brother, Josiah; he ended up getting third. That was really fun actually. We both did really good in that,” Peramaki said. “The 400, I had Aa’Keem (Jackson) from Newberry to watch out for. He pushed it hard in the corner over here, I was prepared for it and I just ran hard from there.”
Josiah Peramaki repeated with a win in the pole vault. Other members of the 1,600 relay were Kane Nebel, Zack Lindquist and Josiah Peramaki.
Munising won the team title with 103.5 points. Newberry was second with 81, Bessemer third with 52 and Rapid River fourth with 44.
Bessemer won the 400 relay (Tommy Trudgeon, Landon Peterson, Daniel Lis and Vinnie Triggiano). Bessemer also finished fifth in the 800 relay – despite being seeded first – and Trudgeon said he had to make a comeback in the 400 relay, which also was seeded first.
He was behind after a shaky handoff, though. But the 100 meters is probably his best race anyway. He finished runner-up to Peramaki, one-tenth of a second behind him.
“I guess I just had to close like a train,” he said of his leg of the relay. “It feels great, glad to win.”
Newberry won the 800 relay (Marco Juarez, Jackson, Matthew Rahilly and Kennedy Depew) and Dollar Bay the 3,200 relay (Joshua Gaunt, Josh Luukkonen, Caleb Kentala and Amos Norland).
Crystal Falls Forest Park’s Samuel McKissack won the 110 hurdles, and Newberry’s Chris Hopson was champion in the 300 hurdles.
In the distance races, Dollar Bay’s Norland won the 800, Forest Park’s Gaven Rintala the 1,600 and Chassell’s Kalvin Kytta the 3,200.
The latter race with Norland was so close – Kytta won by seven hundredths of a second – that Kytta wasn’t sure if he was in fact champion or not.
“I got passed by the leader. I tried to stick on him through the rest of the race,” he said. “He got a little gap on me the last 100 meters. I just felt that juice. I think I passed him.”
It turns out he did.
Whitefish Township, which has just 22 students in the high school, went home with a champion for the first time in school history – Seth Mills in the discus. Newberry’s Rahilly won the long jump, North Central’s Dylan Plunger won the high jump and Rapid River’s Kody Goldi took the shot put.
PHOTOS (Top) Munising's Micaiah Peramaki, center, wins the 400 on Saturday. (Middle) Bessemer's Vinnie Triggiano (4) is able to hold off Lake Linden-Hubbell's Matthew Jokela and Newberry's Kennedy Depew to win the 400 relay. (Below) Chassell's Kalvin Kytta, left, and Dollar Bay's Amos Norland run together until the end of the 3,200. (Photos by Cara Kamps/RunMichigan.com.)