High 5s: 6/5/12

June 5, 2012

Each week, Second Half gives "High 5s" to athletes and a team based on their accomplishments the previous week or throughout the season.

A four-time track champion and a longtime state tennis power once again at the top make up this week's list of high achievers.

Sami Michell
Reed City senior
Girls Track and Field

Michell became the first Lower Peninsula four-time champion at an MHSAA Girls Track and Field Final since 1979 when she won the long jump, 100 hurdles, 300 hurdles and 200 on Saturday at the Division 3 meet at Comstock Park. Her time of 42.4 in the 300 hurdles broke the all-Finals record that had stood since 1984, and she also set Division 3 Final records in the long jump (18-6.5) and 100 hurdles (13.84) – breaking the record she previously held in the latter. Total, Michell has won eight MHSAA championships during her three-year high school career. She’s also a setter on the volleyball team and the top-ranked student in her class with a 4.0 grade-point average. Her mother Vikki is the coach of Reed City’s girls track and field team, and her father Brent coaches the boys team.

Fantastic 4: “I wanted to win four; I thought about it, but it was kinda crazy when I actually did it. Really, after I crossed the finish line in the 200, I was pretty happy then. Definitely 200 (was the hardest). It was the last one, and I wasn’t seeded first in that one.”

I learned the most about running from: “Both my parents. They both help me in different ways. It’s pretty cool, but it’s hard sometimes. Sometimes listening to them is harder because I think they don’t know what they’re talking about when they do. But just because they’re my parents it’s harder to listen.”

Up next: All I really know is I’m running track someplace. I have no idea where I want to go. A couple of schools down south really seem interested (including Clemson, plus Michigan State closer to home). Stanford seems interested.”

Fun with numbers: “I’m thinking (I’ll study) accounting. I’m kind of a perfectionist. I like the math part of it.”

Air Michell: Despite standing only 5-foot-8, Michell has a vertical jump of nearly 30 inches and just misses being able to touch the basketball rim. “But I can touch the part connected to the backboard. That would be pretty sweet.”

Click to read more.

Birmingham Seaholm tennis

Birmingham Seaholm won only one individual flight, but also had three runners-up in edging Grand Rapids Forest Hills Northern 27-25 at the top of the Division 2 Final standings Saturday. The Maples won their first MHSAA team championship since 2004, and ended FHN's six-season streak of shared or outright titles. Seaholm had finished runner-up to the Huskies in 2011.

Jackie Meier and Rachel Wilson won what ended up being the deciding match by downing the pair from Forest Hills Northern in the final at No. 3 doubles. Seaholm also gained valuable points by placing seven flights in at least the semifinals.

This spring's previous honorees

Adams' Fu Hoping to Write Championship Headline After Repeat Finalist Finishes

By Keith Dunlap
Special for MHSAA.com

May 23, 2024

ROCHESTER HILLS — An editor for her school newspaper the last two years, Nicole Fu is one who loves to tell good stories and write good headlines. 

Greater DetroitA junior at Adams, Fu enjoys getting to know people around the school and giving them a moment in the sun, so to speak.

“I love being able to talk with so many people and learn the stories behind their accomplishments,” Fu said.

It’s ironic, because come the end of next Saturday’s Lower Peninsula Division 1 Girls Tennis Finals, Fu hopes professional media outlets around the state will talk about her own story of accomplishment, possibly with headlines such as “Redemption Feels Sweet for Fu” or “Third Time is Charm for Adams Tennis Star.”

Both the last two years, Fu has advanced to the championship match at No. 1 singles in Division 1. 

But while quite an accomplishment to do so as a freshman and sophomore, she also left somewhat unsatisfied, losing in 2022 to Reese Miller of Ann Arbor Pioneer (6-1, 6-1) and last spring to Sari Woo of Ann Arbor Skyline (6-3, 6-4). 

“Being in the final both my freshman and sophomore years has shown me that I have what it takes to win a state championship even when it gets tough,” Fu said. “Last year especially has shown me that I’m not far from the title, and staying strong both mentally and physically is going to be crucial to hopefully winning a state title.”

No doubt, Fu should be one of the top contenders, if not the favorite.

She enters with an 18-0 record and has brilliantly handled opponents attempting to give her their best performances.

“Her ability to handle the pressure has improved a lot,” Adams head coach Greg Burks said. “She has matured as a top-level player and competes as well as any player I’ve ever had.”

Fu, left, congratulates Ann Arbor Skyline's Sari Woo after their match.Fu actually said she got her start in tennis a little later than most. After dabbling in soccer and swimming, Fu started playing tennis at age 10 when one of her mom’s co-workers gave her a foam ball and a kids racquet. 

“Then I started hitting against our living room wall, and one day my mom asked if I wanted to take an actual tennis lesson,” Fu said. 

From there, Fu started playing in tournaments, and the tennis bug bit her.

“I really loved competing in matches, so I didn’t stop and it ended up being very rewarding,” she said.

Fu also has an accomplished hitting partner in twin sister Katie, who lost in the championship match at No. 2 singles last year. 

“She’s always a great hitting partner, and it’s really nice to have someone who understands the sport and what it takes to balance that out with everything else,” Nicole Fu said. “She’s basically my second brain too, so having her around during the season is super fun and helpful for keeping me in check.”

Fu has a collegiate future in the sport, having committed in November to play tennis at the U.S. Naval Academy. 

“Obviously the education is extraordinary, and attending a service academy builds your character both physically and mentally and sets you up to make an impact on the nation,” Fu said. 

When it comes to next week’s MHSAA Tournament, Fu obviously is aiming to make another impact at the championship level – but this time finish the quest she fell short of the last two years. 

“This year as a back-to-back finalist and a strong favorite has put a lot of pressure on me to win my matches,” she said. “So there’s definitely a lot of expectations for this season, and managing that was a little bit tough in the beginning of the season. But over time I’ve kind of learned to embrace it, and it’s given me more confidence in my matches knowing I’m the player people are aiming to beat.”

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) Rochester Adams' Nicole Fu returns a volley during last season's No. 1 singles championship match at the Lower Peninsula Division 1 Finals. (Middle) Fu, left, congratulates Ann Arbor Skyline's Sari Woo after their match. (Click for more from High School Sports Scene.)