Busy Spring Next for Three Rivers 4-Sporter

By Wes Morgan
Special for MHSAA.com

March 6, 2018

By Wes Morgan
Special for Second Half

For anyone complaining about not having enough hours in the day, meet Three Rivers sophomore Hadley Miller, whose productivity within a 24-hour span is nothing short of stunning.

She’s one of those rare student-athletes who, as if there aren’t enough games to play, seemingly makes it a competition with herself to see how much she can pack into a given day.

After completing varsity seasons with the Three Rivers volleyball and basketball teams, Miller will now start a spring regimen that begins at 4:30 a.m. each day and includes a taxing weight-room workout, a full day of school, track practice, soccer practice, homework, sustenance crammed in between, and then a few hours of sleep to recharge the battery.

Miller is coming off an all-Wolverine Conference first-team performance in basketball after guiding the Wildcats to a 19-4 record this season, which ended in a Class B District Final loss to Edwardsburg last week. 

Miller averaged 18.6 points, 3.0 assists, 8.1 rebounds and 3.6 steals per game, leading the team in scoring for a second straight year. The Wildcats were 17-3 during the regular season and finished second to Edwardsburg in the Wolverine Conference South.

She’s one of the latest in a line of underclassmen at Three Rivers to emerge as a big-time playmaker, particularly at the guard/point guard positions. Teammate Kali Heivilin, a freshman, earned an all-conference second-team nod.

I think it’s a combination of things,” Three Rivers girls basketball coach Jason Bingaman said. “Some is the system we play and our focus at the defensive end that can make the transition easier (for younger players). Specifically, from the individual though, (Miller’s) skill set, basketball IQ, and then how hard a player works has a lot to do with their performance, and I have been very fortunate to coach some players that are individually dedicated to basketball and have families that have invested time in their daughters’ development.”

Both Bingaman and Miller landed on team chemistry as the most important variable when it comes to youngsters integrating well at the varsity level. 

“If upperclassmen understand how the younger player can help us be successful and are great teammates, it makes it an easier transition,” Bingaman explained. “Every player isn’t going to progress at the same rate, and each player is not brought up for the same reason as the next, but if the aforementioned things are in place, it makes it more likely for a player to be successful.”

Miller’s humility and dedication to all four of her teams at Three Rivers is unquestioned, which makes the process of gaining respect from the upperclassmen that much easier. In terms of hoops, she said the team’s success really was a matter of player rapport after losing five seniors from 2016-17.

“We all clicked well,” Miller said. “Since we played a year together and know how we like to play, going into next year we are going to be even more confident.”

Bingaman said confidence is where Miller made a big leap from her freshman year to her sophomore campaign.

“The big thing in general is her confidence level and mental approach,” he said. “I believe she felt she could have an impact last year, but there was an adjustment period, and as she became more comfortable last season, we became better as a team. She has found out how to deal with teams being physical with her and being patient.

“This year I have thrown a lot at her in terms of what she is responsible for. I moved her from the wing to running our offense as the point guard over Christmas break due to injuries and she has run with it, all while increasing her minutes on the floor.”

Miller has proven she can do plenty in a matter of minutes with a mastery of time management. This month she transitions to soccer as a defender for the Wildcats, and to the track & field team, where she hopes to make a return trip to the Lower Peninsula Division 2 Finals. Miller was part of the 1,600-meter relay team with Stephanie McLochlin, Shelby Krawczak and Arionne Fowlkes that placed 17th overall in 2017.

Throw in club basketball in April and Miller will be constantly on the move well into the summer.

“I like to keep in shape and keep busy,” she said. “I really like to do sports. So why not? It all fits in there somewhere.”

Wes Morgan has reported for the Kalamazoo Gazette, ESPN and ESPNChicago.com, 247Sports and Blue & Gold Illustrated over the last 12 years and is the publisher of JoeInsider.com. He can be reached at [email protected] with story ideas for Berrien, Cass, St. Joseph and Branch counties.

PHOTOS: (Top) Three Rivers' Hadley Miller, right, hands off the baton during a track relay last season. (Middle) Miller, far left, readies for a pass during a volleyball match at Vicksburg in the fall. (Photos courtesy of JoeInsider.com.)

Multi-Sprint Champ Racing to Finish Huron Career Ahead of the Rest Again

By Keith Dunlap
Special for MHSAA.com

May 25, 2023

NEW BOSTON – If there was one thing Elizabeth Anderson took pride in elementary school, it was simply showing that she could outrun everyone in sight. 

Greater DetroitIn fact, Anderson has an explanation for all the success she had in those playground races.

“Dominance when you are in elementary school,” Anderson quipped. “I don’t think I ever had a nickname. I just think everyone knew I was fast.”

Years later, pretty much everyone who follows track & field in the state of Michigan can attest to that. 

A senior for New Boston Huron, Anderson has been faster than most other competitors in the state during her three-year high school career (with her freshman season in 2020 canceled due to COVID-19). 

Last year, Anderson won titles at the Lower Peninsula Division 2 Finals in the 200-meter (25.07) and 400-meter (56.28) dashes, and was runner-up in the 100-meter dash (12.23). 

Often, top sprinters focus on one or two of those three races. But Anderson is certainly a different breed of sprinter because she does all three.

In fact, she holds school records in all three of those events, and if all that weren’t enough, Anderson is a part of all three sprint relay teams. 

“It is hard to give her events off,” said New Boston Huron head girls track coach Danielle Lobato.

Despite the different styles the 100, 200 and 400-meter dashes present, Anderson said there usually isn’t much adjusting when she goes from one of those races to another.

Anderson, middle, outpaces the field to also win the 200.The strategy is simply, “Let’s beat the other girls to the finish line.”

“I don’t really go into each race changing up how I would run,” she said. 

While enjoying and succeeding in all three races, Anderson said she actually does have a favorite among them.

“I would say the 400 is probably my favorite,” she said. “Even though it hurts, it’s satisfying to see how much you can get your time down in the 400 compared to any other race.”

Anderson said she started running track in sixth grade, but really got serious about it during the summer after her sophomore season, when she was invited to run for a local club. 

Eventually, that led to her competing over the winter in indoor events.

She lived and breathed track so much that last fall, she decided to not run cross country so she could focus on a weightlifting regimen aimed at developing more leg strength.

“Once I started doing summer track, I realized I wanted to be doing this all the time,” she said. 

Lobato said oftentimes in practice, Anderson is a de facto coach, given there is no better person she can think of for the younger runners on the team to learn from.

“I can’t always demonstrate these things I’m trying to teach,” she said. “You get to see it in real life (from Anderson), not in a YouTube video.”

After winning the 100, 200 and 400-meter dashes at her Regional meet last week, Anderson has her sights set on achieving the same trifecta of titles at next Saturday’s Finals in Grand Rapids. 

Anderson has signed to run track at Michigan State, but has been plenty motivated to keep producing this spring in her final high school season.

“I’m really looking to defend my titles,” she said. “That is what is really motivating me to keep going. I want to keep in shape for the college season. I don’t want to lose any of the progress I have made. Ultimately, I just love running track.”

And since elementary school, Anderson has loved — and succeeded in — outrunning everyone else to the finish line. 

“We knew we were getting something special,” Lobato said of when Anderson arrived in high school. “But you never expect this. All that she has accomplished is amazing.”

Keith DunlapKeith Dunlap has served in Detroit-area sports media for more than two decades, including as a sportswriter at the Oakland Press from 2001-16 primarily covering high school sports but also college and professional teams. His bylines also have appeared in USA Today, the Washington Post, the Detroit Free Press, the Houston Chronicle and the Boston Globe. He served as the administrator for the Oakland Activities Association’s website from 2017-2020. Contact him at [email protected] with story ideas for Oakland, Macomb and Wayne counties

PHOTOS (Top) New Boston Huron's Elizabeth Anderson clears the finish line during last season's LPD2 400 race. (Middle) Anderson, middle, outpaces the field to also win the 200. (Click for more from RunMichigan.com.)