Saturday annually is the busiest high school sports day on the MHSAA calendar.
The Spring Finals match began with Girls and Boys Track and Field and Girls Tennis Finals at sites all over both peninsulas. There were Regionals for both boys and girls lacrosse, which finish up this weekend. And, of course, there were Districts galore for softball, baseball and girls soccer.
Here's our sampling of some of the highlights:
Girls Track and Field
19 records fall: It was quite day across the seven MHSAA Girls Track and Field Finals, with 19 records broken, and two athletes – Reed City’s Sami Michell and Norway’s Dani Gagne – winning four individual events apiece. (Second Half)
Coast to coast: The Grosse Pointe South 3,200 relay was responsible for one of two all-Finals records, and ran a time of 8:48.29 that also surpassed the national record for that event (but may or may not stand as the national record, depending on what other times were run and will be submitted after this spring.) (Detroit Free Press)
Boys Track and Field
LP filled with first-time champs: Lake Orion in Division 1, Auburn Hills Avondale in Division 2 and Lansing Catholic in Division 3 won their first MHSAA team championships. Also, nine records fell across the state. (Second Half)
Quite a comeback: Marquette trailed Gladstone by 27 points at the Upper Peninsula Division 1 Final with four events to run. But the Redmen outscored Gladstone 42-0 over those events to win their third straight championship. (Marquette Mining Journal)
Southeast sweep: Detroit suburban schools claimed all four MHSAA Lower Peninsula team championships – Grosse Pointe South in Division 1, Birmingham Seaholm in Division 2, Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook-Kingswood in Division 3 and Bloomfield Hills Academy of the Sacred Heart in Division 4. (Second Half)
Freshman reigns: Utica freshman Davina Nguyen beat both the first and second seeds on her way to claiming the individual championship at No. 1 singles in Division 1. Nguyen was seeded fifth. (Macomb Daily)
Cranbrook comes out on top: Cranbrook-Kingswood, ranked No. 3 in Division 2, emerged from a Regional that also included No. 4 Haslett/Williamston and No. 5 East Grand Rapids, beating the latter 8-4 in the Final. (Bloomfield Patch)
EGR plays to top ranking, again: Rivals East Grand Rapids and Grand Rapids Catholic Central met in one of the multiple close Regional Finals, with the top-ranked Pioneers downing No. 2 GRCC one more time, 11-9. (Grand Rapids Press)
It’s Holt, again: The Rams claimed their second championship in a week over rival Grand Ledge – both have been ranked in Division 1 this season. Two weeks ago, Holt split with the Comets to win the Capital Area Activities Conference Blue. Standout Justin Alleman gave up two hits and struck out 18 as Holt also won Saturday to claim a District title. (Lansing State Journal)
In the end, it’s Mattawan: The season-long battle for statewide Division 1 and Kalamazoo-area supremacy was decided in part at Saturday’s District at Portage Central. Reigning MHSAA champion Mattawan emerged as the winner from a field that included top-ranked Portage Central – which was upset by Kalamazoo Loy Norrix in a semifinal. (Kalamazoo Gazette)
AAGR moves on: Ann Arbor Gabriel Richard, No. 8 in Division 3, shut out No. 7 Jackson Lumen Christi 3-0 in the Division 3 District final at Brooklyn Columbia Central (AnnArbor.com)
Over the last decade, media days have begun to emerge as a way for some of the state’s largest leagues to kick off their sports seasons. The Kensington Lakes Activities Association, for example, hosts them in a variety of sports.
To get this winter rolling, the KLAA for the first time added bowling to the list – highlighting one of its strongest but often less visible sports by welcoming bowlers and coaches from all 16 of the league’s schools Nov. 8 to Westland John Glenn.
The KLAA is one of the top bowling conferences in the state – a combined five teams made the MHSAA Team Finals last season for girls and boys, and Wayne Memorial’s boys won the Division 1 championship. That actually was the third season in a row that a KLAA team won Division 1 boys – Livonia Franklin was the champ in 2022 and Salem in 2021 – and Belleville’s girls finished Division 1 runners-up in 2021. Franklin and John Glenn both have produced a Division 1 singles champion over the last three seasons as well.
The media day celebrated that success – while looking ahead to possibilities for more to come this winter.
The event was organized by John Glenn athletic director Jason Malloy, the league’s commissioner for that sport (and also a member of the MHSAA Representative Council). Interviews and the video below were compiled by Westland John Glenn senior Lizzy Fall. Photos are by Olivia B. Photography.