Speedy Pair Help Negaunee Pass Rival

By John Vrancic
Special for MHSAA.com

June 2, 2018

KINGSFORD — Sophomore Emily Paupore and senior Clara Johnson provided the Negaunee girls with a potent 1-2 punch in the distance races Saturday, helping them earn their first Upper Peninsula Division 1 track title in eight years with 115 points.

With the win, the Miners also broke the seven-season championship streak for Marquette, which came in second this time with 89½ points. Kingsford was third with 84.

“This was a very exciting day,” said Negaunee coach Vickie Paupore. “At the beginning of the season we knew this was a special group of girls, and our seniors were excellent leaders and role models. They fought real hard. It was exciting to see Emily and Clara go 1-2 those races. It’s so inspiring to see the way they care about each other.”

Emily Paupore and Johnson helped the Miners open with a victory in the 3,200-meter relay in 10 minutes, 4.56 seconds. Paupore then captured the 800 (2:23.7), 1,600 (5:15.23) and set the U.P. meet record in the 3,200 (11:25.52), shaving 86 hundredths of a second off the previous record by Marquette’s Lindsey Rudden (11:26.38) in 2013.

“I’ll take anything if it’s a U.P. record,” said Emily, who also owns the school record in the 3,200 (11:11). “Being my fourth race, I knew it’d be tough.

“The past two years I’ve had so much support from Clara. It’s really sad to see she’s going.

“I always get butterflies before a race, which probably helped me in the 800. You can always build off that energy. I’m going to keep myself busy this summer with weight training and local road races to get ready for cross country. I love cross country. That’s my favorite.”

Johnson, who plans to play basketball at Michigan Tech next winter, was runner-up in the 800 (2:24.44), 1,600 (5:16.7) and 3,200 (12:01), all in personal-best times.

“It was nice having somebody to train with the last two years,” said Johnson, who like Paupore was nearly overcome with emotion after their last high school race together. “There was a lot of pressure being the second seed because I knew there would be a lot of people coming after me. I did what I had to do to get second. I PRd, which is what you hope to do at the Finals, especially with this being my last one. In my junior year, I led Emily and pushed her to get better. This year she led and pushed me to get better.”

Sophomore Chloe Norman, also part of the winning 3,200 relay, added a first in the 300 hurdles (47.78), second in high jump (4-8) and third in long jump (15-2½).

“Last year we set our school record in the 3,200 relay (9:46.91),” said Norman. “This time we just wanted to get a good place and conserve energy for other events.”

Marquette’s Rachel Hunt won long jump (15-2½), edging Houghton junior Anabel Needham by a half-inch. Hunt also helped the winning 800 relay (1:49.2) and was runner-up in the 200 (27.35).

Kingsford junior Olivia Allen took the 100 (13.09), retained her 200 (27.07) and 400 (59.51) titles and helped the Flivvers repeat as 1,600-meter relay champions (4:19).

“I’ve been working pretty hard on my starts, and I think I had one of my best starts in the 100,” said Allen. “It wasn’t perfect, but it gives me something to work on for next year.

“We had a great bunch of seniors who helped us so much. The weather was definitely on our side today. The breeze helped cool us off a little on the back stretch.”

Click for full results.

PHOTOS: (Top) Negaunee’s Emily Paupore checks to make sure teammate Clara Johnson will finish second to her in a race Saturday; they came in first and second, respectively, in three events. (Middle) Kingsford’s Olivia Allen breaks across the line first in the 100-meter dash. (Photos by Cara Kamps. Click for more at RunMichigan.com.)

Freshman Rewriting Whitmore Lake Record Book, Eyeing More Finals Success

By Doug Donnelly
Special for MHSAA.com

May 21, 2024

The COVID-19 pandemic was a different, often difficult time for student athletes.

Greater DetroitIt also gave aspiring young athletes a little free time. Whitmore Lake’s Kaylie Livingston didn’t waste it.

Livingston, then in grade school, got serious about running – and it grew into a passion.

In the fall, the Whitmore Lake freshman finished second at the Lower Peninsula Division 4 Cross Country Final. She’s gearing up for the LPD4 track & field championship meet June 1 and enjoyed a remarkable day just over a week ago at the East Jackson Dome Classic when she set school records in the 1,600, 3,200 and as part of the 3,200 relay – the three longest races – all in the same day.

“She has the motor to do both (the 1,600 and 3,200),” said her coach and father, Casey Livingston. “She was really focused that day and posted a couple of really good times.”

Livingston won the 3,200 with a time of 10:46.29. She was second in the 1,600 with a time of 5:03.24. The 3,200 relay team finished second with a school record 9:43.57, which has since been lowered.

“It was a normal day for me running those events,” Kaylie said. “It’s a lot of fun to run as many races and run as fast as I can. I had a pretty good day.”

Livingston started running in elementary school. Her dad was the head cross country coach at Whitmore Lake, which was then a member of the Tri-County Conference. After the regular TCC meets had finished, the league held an “open” race where anyone could run. Most times, Kaylie would join the fun.

Livingston has qualified for the MHSAA Finals in two individual races and two relays.“That’s really the first time she ran competitively, if you can even call it competitive,” Casey Livingston said. “She really enjoyed running, especially with the older kids. She liked that.”

During the pandemic, Livingston said the family began running together.

“When COVID hit and we were shut down, we were outside trying to get exercise,” he said. “Obviously, track season was canceled that spring, but our league did some COVID games, where you would do different events and you would record it. She did that.

“Then, that summer, we started our summer training, and she would have been in fifth or sixth grade and started running our workouts. She kind of just took off with it.”

And then some.

“She’s been running times that had rivaled our records when she was in middle school,” added Livingston, who has coached basketball, cross country and track & field at Whitmore Lake. “I remember her saying, ‘I can’t wait to be a freshman so I can set some of those records.’”

This past weekend at her team’s Regional, Kaylie qualified for the Lower Peninsula Division 4 Finals in four events – the 1,600, 3,200 and as part of the 1,600 and 3,200 relays. She was the Regional champion in three of those races. Overall this season, she finished outside first place only five times – with four runner-up finishes and a third place in a relay.

She said those records have remained on her mind.

“I beat them by a pretty decent amount,” she said. “It was definitely one of the goals for the track season.”

The three-sport athlete (cross country, basketball, and track) enjoys track & field but says cross country is her favorite sport. She runs anywhere from 30 to 40 miles a week. Her individual runner-up finish in cross country helped Whitmore Lake win the LPD4 team title, and she has similar aspirations for her track & field team in two weeks.

“My goals are to continue to grow and always get faster,” she said. “Hopefully we could come in with a state title too.”

Doug DonnellyDoug Donnelly has served as a sports and news reporter and city editor over 25 years, writing for the Daily Chief-Union in Upper Sandusky, Ohio from 1992-1995, the Monroe Evening News from 1995-2012 and the Adrian Daily Telegram since 2013. He's also written a book on high school basketball in Monroe County and compiles record books for various schools in southeast Michigan. E-mail him at [email protected] with story ideas for Jackson, Washtenaw, Hillsdale, Lenawee and Monroe counties.

PHOTOS (Top) Kaylie Livingston runs one of her races this season as a freshman for Whitmore Lake. (Middle) Livingston has qualified for the MHSAA Finals in two individual races and two relays. (Photos courtesy of the Whitmore Lake athletic department.)