Did you see that?

June 11, 2012

Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor

The second weekend of this spring's MHSAA Finals is behind us, with four more champions awarded in girls and boys lacrosse. 

Below is our sampling of what struck us most from last week's many highlights as we kick off the final week of the 2011-12 school year.

Girls lacrosse

Birmingham wins thriller: Birmingham United scored the last three goals in Saturday’s MHSAA Division 1 Final to edge Hartland 12-11 in overtime. (Grand Rapids Press)

East Grand Rapids ends perfectly: The Pioneers won their first girls lacrosse championship –17-6 over Okemos in Division 2 – and finished this spring 28-0. (Grand Rapids Press)

Boys lacrosse

Again, it’s Brother Rice: The Warriors continued their hold on the MHSAA Division 1 championship and handed Ann Arbor Pioneer its only loss this season with a 14-8 win Saturday. (Detroit Free Press)

Rangers come back for more: Grand Rapids Forest Hills Central scored the final four goals of the Division 2 Final to edge reigning champion Detroit Country Day 7-6. (Second Half)

Soccer

14 goals, 2 wins: Grandville Calvin Christian eliminated two other top-10 teams in Division 4 during last week’s Regional. The No. 4 Squires first defeated No. 8 St. Joseph Lake Michigan Catholic 7-0, then No. 2 Kalamazoo Christian 7-2 in the final. (Grand Rapids Press)

DeWitt returns: The No. 4 Panthers earned a Division 2 Semifinal matchup with Plainwell by beating No. 5 Grand Rapids Christian 1-0 in their Regional Final. DeWitt fell to Plainwell in a 2011 Semifinal, but returns a number of players from that team. (Lansing State Journal)

Softball

Decade of dominance: The Gladstone softball team earned its 10th-straight Regional championship with 7-0 and 6-2 wins over Tawas and Traverse City St. Francis, respectively. Gladstone won MHSAA championships in 2009 and 2004, and was ranked No. 7 heading into this postseason. (Escanaba Daily Press)

Fantastic first: Swartz Creek won its first Regional by downing Alpena 2-1 in a Division 1 Final at Saginaw Valley State University. The Dragons are 34-6 and also have set a school record this spring for wins. (Bay City Times)

Baseball

Brighton beat Brother Rice: The unranked Bulldogs downed the top-ranked Warriors 4-1 in the Regional Final at Novi. Brighton rode the arm of pitcher Colin Nash, who moved to 8-0 this season. (Detroit News)

Bears also take out No. 1: The top-ranked team in Division 2 also fell, thanks to No. 10 St. Joseph. The Bears downed Richland Gull Lake 6-5 in eight innings before beating Coldwater for the championship. (St. Joseph Herald-Palladium)

Golf

No 300 here: No. 2-ranked Plymouth and unranked Saline and Canton all broke 300 at the Division 1 Regional at West Shore Golf and Country Club in Grosse Ile. Plymouth won the title with a 296, but Saline was only two behind and Canton came in at 299. Canton’s Donnie Trosper, a freshman, won the individual championship with a 67. Saline had beaten those two teams in the District. (MHSAA)

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.)