This past Saturday saw eight teams and eight individuals crowned MHSAA champions, and this week we feature a few who will be listed among the best for all time.
West Bloomfield senior
Finn won her second straight MHSAA individual Lower Peninsula Division 1 championship, this time in 17:07.9. Her finish was the fastest from any of the four divisions that raced Saturday at Michigan International Speedway, and gave her the victory in hers by 27 seconds. Finn’s time was the fourth-best ever at an MHSAA Final. She has three of the top 15 times ever run at MIS, more than any other runner.
On track for more: Finn also won an MHSAA Track and Field championship last season, setting an all-division/class record in the 1,600 with a time of 10:17.86. That time was nearly five seconds better than the previous best.
Maize and Blue: Finn will run next season at the University of Michigan. The Wolverines cross country team is ranked No. 7 nationally heading into Friday's NCAA Great Lakes Regional.
Scientifically speaking: Finn intends to study biomechanical engineering at U-M. "My junior year, I found out I love physics, and I already knew I loved bio and chemistry. So, what's better than to combine those?"
Runners to chase: “I looked up to Megan Goethals (of Rochester), number one, and Shannon Osika (of Waterford Mott). They’re people I competed with. I know that one day I can be like that. It’s more real to me.”
Erie Mason senior
After dashing to the lead last season and finishing fourth, Nick Raymond dominated the Lower Peninsula Division 3 Final at MIS with a time of 15:05.1 – the second-fastest time for a Division 3/Class C MHSAA Final to only Maverick Darling's 14:52.8 for Ovid-Elsie in 2007. Raymond is the first individual cross country champion from Erie Mason (not counting another who finished first among individuals before team and individual placers were combined for one race beginning in 1997) and also placed in both the 1,600 and 3,200 at the spring's Lower Peninsula Division 3 Track and Field Final.
A long drive: "I've been working hard, since the first time (I ran) in sixth grade. Working hard and training hard over the summer and during mandatory practices too."
Brotherly influence: Raymond began running cross country in the footsteps of his older brother Andrew Raymond, a 2010 graduate. "He told me, 'If you just keep working hard, just look forward at your dream, your goal, you will achieve it.'"
Now the pool, then the track: Raymond swims during the winter, specializing in butterfly and breaststroke. Then it's on to track. Raymond finished fourth in the 1,600 (4:21.84) and seventh in the 3,200 (9:44.91) at last season's Lower Peninsula Division 3 Final.
Looking up to Pre: Like many in the running community, Raymond considers former Oregon and international star Steve Prefontaine a major influence. "I liked how he had a lot of faith in himself."
East Kentwood soccer
The top-ranked Falcons edged Grand Blanc 1-0 at Troy Athens to claim their fourth Division 1 championship in six seasons. They finished 22-1-4, their seventh with at least 20 wins in the last eight years.
Previous 2012-13 honorees:
- Julia Bos, Grand Rapids Christian cross country - Click for more
- Morgan Bullock, Zeeland swimming - Click for more
- Nathan Burnand, Waterford Mott cross country - Click for more
- Aaron Chatfield, Burt Lake Northern Michigan Christian soccer - Click for more
- Billy Heckman, Portage Central tennis - Click for more
- Codi Jenshak, Escanaba tennis - Click for more
- Amanda McKinzie, Battle Creek St. Philip cross country - Click for more
- Connor Mora, Cedar Springs cross country - Click for more
- Kelsey Murphy, Plymouth golf - Click for more
- Dewey Lewis, Rockford soccer - Click for more
- Jacqueline Setas, Lansing Catholic golf - Click for more
- Michael Sienko, Williamston tennis - Click for more
- Beal City volleyball - Click for more
- Grand Blanc boys soccer - Click for more
- Ithaca football - Click for more
- Lansing Everett football - Click for more
- Ludington boys tennis - Click for more
- Muskegon Mona Shores girls golf - Click for more
The addition of limited seeding at the Regional level of the Girls Lacrosse Tournament headlined actions taken by the Representative Council of the Michigan High School Athletic Association during its Fall Meeting on Dec. 2 in East Lansing.
Generally, the Council takes only a few actions during its Fall Meeting, with topics often introduced for additional consideration and action during its meetings in winter and spring. This Fall Meeting saw the Council take only three actions, with additional discussion centered on topics expected to receive more specific consideration at MHSAA sport committee meetings this winter and the Council’s meetings in March and May.
The Council approved a Girls Lacrosse Committee proposal to seed the top two teams in every Regional, and place those top seeds on opposite sides of the bracket beginning with the 2023 season. The two teams to be seeded will be determined by using the MHSAA’s Michigan Power Ratings (MPR) formula, which takes into account success and strength of schedule and is used currently to provide seeding information in boys lacrosse, girls and boys basketball, girls and boys soccer, and ice hockey. Only the top two teams in girls lacrosse will be seeded and separated; the other teams in each Regional will be placed on their brackets by random draw.
The Council also approved a Boys Lacrosse Committee recommendation that will allow athletes to participate in up to five quarters per day between teams at multiple levels – for example, varsity and junior varsity – also beginning with the 2023 season. For boys lacrosse multi-team tournaments, if two school teams (for example, the varsity and junior varsity) are at the same event, athletes may play in no more halves or quarters than what is being played by the school’s highest-level team that day. (Example: if the varsity team is playing three 30-minute half games for a total of six halves, a player playing both varsity and JV on the same day can play in six total halves that day.) The “fifth quarter” rule, by allowing athletes to compete on two levels on the same day, is intended to help programs that are otherwise lacking enough participants to field teams at multiple levels.
Taking into account the wintery weather conditions experienced by athletes during the MHSAA alpine ski season, the Council approved a Sports Medicine Advisory Committee recommendation to adopt the “MHSAA Competition and Practice Guidelines for Cold Weather,” which are specific to alpine skiing. The guidelines include a windchill chart and cold standards for ambient temperature. This proposal also was supported by the Ski Committee and will go into effect for the 2022-23 season.
Remaining discussions focused on results from this fall’s Update Meeting survey completed by administrators during the MHSAA’s annual presentations across the state. The Council considered survey data including on questions related to the out-of-season travel rule. The Council also discussed results of a fall survey completed by member school athletic directors and head varsity football coaches concerning ongoing conversations about scheduling and playoff format. Following the Football Committee meeting in January 2023, an ad hoc committee comprised of members of the MHSAA staff, Representative Council, Michigan Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (MIAAA) and Michigan High School Football Coaches Association (MHSFCA) will be convened for further discussion on these topics, with their report to be provided to the Council during its March 2023 meeting.
The Fall Meeting saw the appointment of Westland John Glenn athletic director Jason Malloy for a first-two-year term to the 19-person Council, and the re-appointment of Bay City Western principal Judy Cox for a second two-year term. Malloy previously was appointed to finish a partial term as one of the two representatives of member junior high/middle schools.
The Council reelected Scott Grimes, superintendent for Grand Haven Area Public Schools, as its president; and Vic Michaels, director of physical education and athletics for the Archdiocese of Detroit, as secretary-treasurer. Brighton High School athletic director John Thompson was elected Council vice president.
The Representative Council is the legislative body of the MHSAA. All but five members are elected by member schools. Four members are appointed by the Council to facilitate representation of females and minorities, and the 19th position is occupied by the Superintendent of Public Instruction or designee.
The MHSAA is a private, not-for-profit corporation of voluntary membership by more than 1,500 public and private senior high schools and junior high/middle schools which exists to develop common rules for athletic eligibility and competition. No government funds or tax dollars support the MHSAA, which was the first such association nationally to not accept membership dues or tournament entry fees from schools. Member schools which enforce these rules are permitted to participate in MHSAA tournaments, which attract more than 1.3 million spectators each year.