Northville Sets Pace, Cui Takes Next Step

October 19, 2019

By Tom Lang
Special for Second Half

EAST LANSING – Division 1 girls golf is experiencing a youth movement.

Okemos sophomore Allison Cui won the MHSAA Final individual title in that division Saturday by shooting the second of a pair of 73s for a weekend 146 and three-stroke edge over junior Anci Dy of Traverse City West, who shot 76-73-149 for the 36-hole tournament at Forest Akers West on the Michigan State University campus.

Freshman Kate Brody of Grand Blanc was the first-round leader with a 72 but finished at 150 total, good for third place ahead of two golfers at 151 to round out the top five – Utica Eisenhower junior Ariel Chang and Plymouth sophomore Bridget Boczar.

“I’m just absolutely ecstatic,” Cui said. “I never thought that I’d be able to get this. I knew I had potential to, but for it just to all come together and have it work out in the end is amazing. So, to win it this year means a lot to me.”

Last season Okemos played in Division 2 and Cui tied for first place as just a freshman, but succumbed in a playoff to then-senior Kay Zubkus, who is now playing golf at Oakland University.

Cui said this win could be credited to solid putting, and good course management.

“I was able to pretty much two-putt from a lot of spots, even if I was far away from the hole,” she said. “But I also think it was about course management, playing smart and knowing where to hit the ball in good places to miss. I think that really helped lower my score.”

Cui was a participant in Augusta National’s Drive, Chip & Putt national finals in 2017, and Brody is heading to Georgia in April as the most recent winner of the DCP Regional contested at Oakland Hills Country Club.

When comparing her experience at Augusta National with wearing the Finals title medal around her neck, Cui replied: “Honestly, they’re both such different experiences, but this win and doing that are about the same.”

No. 1-ranked Northville won the team title for a second consecutive season, also with the help of youth like junior Katelyn Tokarz and freshman Samantha Coleman. Led by senior captains Sedona Shipka (who tied for ninth overall) and Sufna Gill, the Mustangs pulled away from the field by shooting 322-324-646. Taking second was Grosse Pointe South, with scores of 336-342-678, followed by Plymouth (352-338-690) in third, and Grand Blanc and Okemos each totaling 692.

“All year one of the challenges has been to meet the expectations the girls set for themselves last year, because almost every tournament we went to people told us we were going to be the state champions again. So maintaining our focus throughout the season,” said Northville coach Chris Cronin, pointing to the reasons for his team’s successful repeat run. “And I think the other thing these girls do is they just compete, from start to finish. Whether it was the first tournament of the year to the last tournament of the year, to 9-hole matches, they always compete. So, I think that’s the one thing that’s made us successful.”

Shipka said she took her role as co-captain seriously as the team prepared for another title run.

“For me this year has all been about the team, all about the girls, just making sure they’re happy,” she said. “And making sure they’re where they need to be to be successful.”

Gill, who placed fifth at the Division 1 Final last year, said the team dynamic is what led to a second season of elite success.

“I think we’ve all worked really hard,” Gill added. “We’ve all played together. We win as one, we lose as one and I think we’ve definitely been consistent and we’re just really proud of ourselves and our teammates for carrying us the whole season.”

An additional highlight was enjoyed by Macomb Dakota sophomore Helen Buk, who sank a hole-in-one on the 155-yard 12th hole.

Click for full results.

PHOTOS: (Top) Okemos’ Allison Cui lines up a putt Saturday on the way to winning the Division 1 individual championship at Forest Akers West. (Middle) Northville’s Sedona Shipka also putts Saturday while helping the Mustangs to the team title. (Click to see more from

Lacrosse Finals Move to U-M Among Headlines as Spring Sports Ramp Up

By Geoff Kimmerly senior editor

April 9, 2024

The Girls & Boys Lacrosse Finals will be played at University of Michigan Lacrosse Stadium for the first time, one of the most notable changes for this season as sports ramp up for more than 100,000 athletes anticipated to participate this spring for Michigan High School Athletic Association member schools.

The MHSAA sponsors postseason competition each spring in baseball, girls and boys lacrosse, girls soccer, softball, girls and boys track & field, boys golf (Lower and Upper Peninsula) and girls golf (UP), and girls (LP) and boys (UP) tennis.

The U-M Lacrosse Stadium opened for competition in 2018 and seats 2,000 spectators. The Girls Lacrosse Finals will be played Friday, June 7, with Division 1 at 4 p.m. and Division 2 at 7 p.m. The Boys Lacrosse Finals will be played the following day, June 8, with Division 2 at 11 a.m. and Division 1 at 2 p.m.

Girls lacrosse also has a significant format adjustment this season, as games will be played with four 12-minutes quarters instead of the previous two halves, in part to allow coaches more opportunities to provide direct instruction during a game. Two more rules changes are expected to improve flow of play – players awarded a free position outside of the critical scoring area no longer must come to a stop and settled stance before self-starting, and false start penalties outside the critical scoring area have been eliminated.

Several more rules changes will be noticeable this spring:

In boys lacrosse, a change was made to enhance player safety. Play will stop immediately any time a player’s helmet comes off, and that player may not return until the next dead ball after play continues.

Fair and legal starts are a continued emphasis for track & field, and a rule change will allow for movement before the start of the race as long as a competitor does not leave their mark with a hand or a foot after the “set” command, or make forward motion before the starting device is activated.

A significant rule change in softball alters pitch delivery mechanics. The pitcher may now have both feet off the ground at the same time when releasing the ball as long as both feet remain within the 24-inch width of a pitching plate and the pitcher does not replant the pivot foot before delivering the pitch.

Another change in softball requires that a playbook/playcard be worn on the wrist or kept in a back pocket to reduce distractions. If worn by the pitcher, the equipment must be worn on the non-pitching arm. Similarly in baseball, a wristband with plays or instructions will be permitted but must be a single, solid color, and for pitchers may not contain the colors white or gray or be otherwise distracting. Baseball players must wear this wristband on the wrist or forearm, and pitchers may wear one only on their non-pitching arm.

Also in baseball, a rule change allows for one-way communication devices worn by the catcher to receive instructions from the dugout while on defense, for the purpose of calling pitches. The coach must be inside the dugout/bench area to use the communication device.

Golfers now are required to participate in at least four competitions for the high school team prior to representing that school team in an MHSAA Regional or Final. Those four regular-season competitions may be 9 or 18-hole events.

In tennis, for the first time in Lower Peninsula play, a No. 1 doubles flight from a non-qualifying team will be able to advance from its Regional to Finals competition. To do so, that No. 1 doubles flight must finish first or second at its Regional, and the No. 1 singles player from that team also must have qualified for the Finals individually by finishing first or second in Regional play.

On the soccer pitch, two officiating-related changes will be especially noticeable. Officials now may stop the clock to check on an injured player without that player being required to leave the match – previously that player would have to sub out. Also, categories for fouls have been redefined: careless (which is a foul but does not receive a card), reckless (a foul with a yellow card) and excessive force (foul with red card). 

The 2023-24 Spring campaign culminates with postseason tournaments, as the championship schedule begins with the Upper Peninsula Girls & Boys Golf and Boys Tennis Finals during the week of May 27 and wraps up with Girls Soccer, Baseball and Softball Finals on June 15. Here is a complete list of winter tournament dates:

Districts – May 23-June 1
Regional Semifinals – June 5
Regional Finals, Quarterfinals – June 8
Semifinals – June 13-14
Finals – June 15

LP Boys Regionals – May 28-June 1
UP Girls & Boys Finals – May 29, 30, 31 or June 1
LP Boys Finals – June 7-8

Boys Lacrosse
Pre-Regionals – May 10-15
Regionals – May 16-29
Quarterfinals – May 31 or June 1
Semifinals – June 5
Finals – June 8

Girls Lacrosse
Pre-Regionals – May 16-18, or May 20
Regionals – May 22-June 1
Semifinals – June 5
Finals – June 7

Girls Soccer
Districts – May 22-June 1
Regionals – June 4-8
Semifinals – June 11-12
Finals – June 14-15

Districts – May 23-June 1
Regionals – June 8
Quarterfinals – June 11
Semifinals – June 13-14
Finals – June 15

LP Girls Regionals – May 15-18
UP Boys Finals – May 29, 30, 31 or June 1
LP Girls Finals – May 31-June 1

Track & Field
Regionals – May 16-18
Finals – June 1