Did you see that?

April 30, 2012

By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor

It's only the end of April. But a number of Michigan's contenders already are in championship form.

Check out our best of results, news and notes from the week that was April 23-28.

Boys Track

What a toss: Walled Lake Central junior Cullen Prena tossed the discus an incredible 187 feet, seven inches, to win the event at the Oxford Invitational by nearly 36 feet. In fact, the toss would've won every MHSAA Final dating back to 2003. Earlier in the week he broke the Oakland County record as well. He also won the shot put at Oxford. (Oakland Press)

Girls Track

South still on top: Reigning MHSAA Division 1 champion Grosse Pointe South earned a strong early win at the Michigan State Spartan Invitational ahead of a field that included annual powers Rockford and Williamston and a strong DeWitt team. Bay City Western won the boys meet. (Playmakers.com)


Flint Final set: Goodrich’s Bob Foreback and Davison’s Timm Rye will bring more than 1,000 victories worth of experience into this season’s Greater Flint Area Baseball Tournament championship game when their teams face off on Memorial Day. The two will meet after emerging from the field this weekend. (Flint Journal)

How do you score that: Most telling lines from the Kalamazoo Gazette’s story about Comstock turning a triple play and three double plays in one game came from Comstock coach Rich Bailey: “We have not played particularly good defense. In fact, our defense has been a problem. The skill is there; the execution hasn’t been.” (Kalamazoo Gazette)

Girls Soccer

Poll position: Rochester Adams continued to affect the Division 1 rankings while moving up itself. Adams likely helped to knock rival Rochester out of this week’s honorable mentions with a 2-0 win Thursday. The Friday before, Adams downed then top-ranked Troy 4-1. The Highlanders have opened 7-0 and are ranked No. 3 in Division 1. (Oakland Press)

Boys Basketball

Flint Powers coach moves on: Tim Herman led the Flint Powers Catholic boys basketball program only seven seasons, but they were seven of the Chargers’ most memorable. Herman resigned his post last week after more than 100 wins and the team’s only MHSAA championship, in Class B in 2009. (Flint Journal)


Michigan's finest take next step: At least nine former MHSAA athletes were drafted by NFL teams (by my count) over seven rounds Thursday through Saturday. They were:

  • DE Nick Perry (Detroit Martin Luther King/University of Southern California) Green Bay, first round
  • DT Mike Martin (Detroit Catholic Central/University of Michigan) Tennessee, third round
  • QB Kirk Cousins (Holland Christian/Michigan State University) Washington, fourth round
  • WR Keshawn Martin (Westland John Glenn/Michigan State University) Houston, fourth round
  • CB Chris Greenwood (Detroit Martin Luther King/Albion College) Detroit, fifth round
  • S Trenton Robinson (Bay City Central/Michigan State) San Francisco, sixth round
  • LB Audie Cole (Monroe/North Carolina State University) Minnesota, seventh round
  • RB Edwin Baker (Oak Park/Michigan State University) San Diego, seventh round
  • K John Potter (Grand Haven/Western Michigan University) New York Jets, seventh round

Editor's note: Did we miss something? Comment below and tell us about it. Is there an event coming up that we should make sure to note? Comment or e-mail [email protected].

Hackett Catholic Prep's Baldwin Carrying Hopes from Home to Paris

By Pam Shebest
Special for MHSAA.com

July 12, 2024

KALAMAZOO — Heath Baldwin studied Spanish at Hackett Catholic Prep, but he will need to brush up on some French as he heads to Paris to compete in the 2024 Summer Olympics.

The recent Michigan State University grad, who earned a master’s degree in marketing and research analytics, will compete in the decathlon, a two-day event Aug. 2-3 at the Stade de France.

While the Olympics will be televised in the United States, because of the time difference, Baldwin’s events will take place locally during the early morning hours.

Wishing him a Bon Voyage, more than 200 former classmates, friends, family and well-wishers plus six television crews congregated Thursday for an impressive sendoff, starting with the Hackett “Summer Ensemble” playing the school fight song.

A 2019 Hackett grad, Baldwin led the track & field team to three Regional championships, two MHSAA Lower Peninsula Division 4 titles, was an individual five-time Finals champion, holds four school records and was named track & field Athlete of the Year for all divisions his senior season by the Michigan Interscholastic Track Coaches Association.

“I went through a lot at Hackett, obviously, with my dad (Roger)  passing away (in 2016) and I always had a great support system of people who took care of my family and made sure we were doing good,” Baldwin said. “They’ve stuck with me through college, too, following me in all my events and to this point, so it’s cool that I’m doing well now and they’re along for the ride.”

Hackett clears a hurdle during the 2019 MHSAA Finals.The ride will begin Tuesday when Baldwin travels to Germany to train before heading to Paris.

“Everything’s starting to feel more real,” he said. “I think once I get to Germany and start to train with other people, we’ll be able to get a little competitive. I think it will be fun training in Paris.”

Facing a huge crowd in Paris should not be a problem, he said.

“The more people will only help me. I’m a big adrenalin guy. I feel like I get more nervous talking at an event like this than I do for the Olympic Games.

“Once I get out on the track, everything just feels natural to me.”

Naturally a no-brainer

Baldwin’s Finals championships for Hackett had come in high jump, long jump and both hurdles races. Tackling the grueling decathlon was a no-brainer.

“I was good at the hurdles, high jump, long jump, which are three very technical events in the decathlon, so if you’re good at those three, you usually can pick up the other ones pretty easily is what they say,” he said.

“Also, I played baseball as a pitcher, so that correlated with the javelin. A lot of college coaches recruited me off that, I think.”

Baldwin said knew 2024 was an Olympic year, “so I thought it was something I maybe could do. After last year, when I scored above 8,000 points (in the decathlon) for the first time and came in sixth at the USAs, it became a little more realistic for me.”

The personable athlete not only qualified for the Olympics at this year’s U.S. Track & Field Trials in Eugene, Ore., but won the decathlon with a personal best 8,625 points.

He finished first in the shot put (54 feet, 2½ inches), high jump (6-11¾), 110 hurdles (13.77 seconds) and javelin throw (218-9). 

MHSAA trophies Baldwin helped win decorated the stage for his sendoff.Other decathlon events are the 100 dash, long jump, 400 run, discus, pole vault and 1,500 run.

Baldwin earned Great Lakes Region Indoor and Outdoor Field Athlete of the Year honors and was named first team Academic All-American with a 3.8 GPA.

"We were awestruck at his athletic achievements (at Hackett),” said Judge Paul Bridenstine, the “Voice of the Irish.” 

“While he continued to play football, basketball, baseball exceptionally at Hackett, his athletic life was transformed when he was introduced to (former HCP track & field coach Simon Cholometes).”

Cholometes said Baldwin’s success is something that didn’t come out of nowhere.

“Heath put the wheels in motion a long time ago and worked harder than most people can even fathom,” he said. “I can remember 5:40 in the morning, Heath running sprints up that hill over there,” he said, pointing. “A foot of snow, running sprints up that tall hill.

“In college, he’s a Big 10 champ, three-time All-American, Great Lakes Region Indoor and Outdoor Field Athlete of the Year, MSU’s Athlete of the Year twice, holds five school records plus Big 10 records in heptathlon and decathlon.”

Family won't be far

Baldwin plans to be in Paris for the opening ceremonies and will be cheered on by his mom Suzann, sister Hope and brothers Aiden and Gowan.

The Olympian also will have a remembrance of his late father with him. He has a tattoo of his dad’s signature on the inside of his upper left arm.

A hurdle that was gifted to Baldwin on Thursday.Losing his father “was a big part of my life and obviously changed my perspective in the way I train and the way I live in a way he’d be proud of,” Baldwin said.

“We set some big goals going into this year and it’s been a dream. I love representing the Kalamazoo community and Michigan, Hackett and Michigan State.

“I like to remember everybody I compete for, and I think that gives you a bigger purpose when you go out there. That’s definitely something I’ll be doing at the Olympics in Paris. I’m excited to represent there and hopefully go for a medal.”

PHOTOS (Top) Health Baldwin, seated, signs a hat during his sendoff Thursday at Kalamazoo Hackett Catholic Prep. (2) Baldwin clears a hurdle during the 2019 MHSAA Finals. (3) A hurdle was gifted to Baldwin on Thursday. (4) MHSAA trophies Baldwin helped win decorated the stage for his sendoff. (Sendoff photo by Pam Shebest.)