Michigan Division 4 track and field finals a record-setting affair

HUDSONVILLE — For high-school freshman Blake Dunn, life, at this point, can be covered in one of three categories beginning with the letter “S.”

“School, sports and sleeps, that’s about it,” Dunn, a ninth-grader at Saugatuck said Saturday afternoon after the Division 4 track and field state finals at Hudsonville High School.

Add a fourth “S,” state champion, to Dunn’s list. He won the 300-meter hurdle race with a school-record time of 40.22, breaking the previous mark by an estimated four-tenths of a second and beating Peck’s Kyle Abrego by 9/100th of a second.

Not bad for a guy who pitched six innings of a tournament baseball game earlier in the day.

“I just wanted to get out as fast as I possibly could and have those other kids try to catch me,” Dunn said. “I was able to keep my pace the entire time and I finished that last hurdle without stuttering on any of them.

“That helped me at the end when (Abrego) stuttered on the last hurdle and I got him right at the end there. I’m very happy as a freshman to get that (title). Getting the record was another thing I was happy with.”

That Dunn won the state championship as a freshman is a testament to his speed and stamina — two more S’s! That he was running hurdles is a credit to his coach.

“I started off with hurdles in seventh grade, but I didn’t like them so I stopped doing them,” Dunn said. “I’m a very competitive young man and I got second place in a race and I didn’t like that so I got made about it and quit hurdles.

“I was just going to do running events this year, but I did hurdles in practice and liked them and was able to win this race at state. It’s kind of crazy that I went from quitting hurdles in seventh grade to doing what I did today.”

Dunn also medaled in the 1,600 relay, teaming up with Wes Webbert, Andrew Poolman and Joe Brown to finish runnerup in that event in 3:27.68, trailing winning Concord’s Lower Peninsula record 3:24.19.

The Indians trailed Concord by about 4.5 seconds in that event. They also finished second to Concord in the team standings, 78 points to 46 points. Southfield Christian was third with 36 points.

Jacob Pettinga, Webbert, Clayton Springer and Joe Brown took third in the 3,200 relay in 8:14.26; Poolman, Dunn, Brown and Webbert were fifth in the 800 relay in 1:33.21; Poolman took fourth in the 400 in 50.90; Webbert was fifth in the 800 in 2:00.33; and Springer and Pettinga finished fourth and fifth in the 3200 in 10:05.99 and 10:06.70, respectively.

The Saugatuck girls finished ninth with 18 points keyed by three medalist finishes by Lauren Jenkins. The senior, in her final meet for the Indians, was eighth in the 3200 in 12:00.43. Jenkins also teamed up with Cammy Garvelink, Kit Huffman and Piper Harris for a runnerup finish in the 3200 relay in 9:55.94 and with Jessica Francis, Garvelink and Kalie Lavery to take seventh in the 1600 relay in 4:19.42.

The girls in the 1600 relay posted their time in the second of three heats, so that was a big move up from their qualifying effort.

The Saugatuck girls of coach Angelina Bauer also got points from Kaylyn Perry in the discus (4th, 109-05) and Audrey Flood in the pole vault (T-6th, 8-09).

Reading won the girls team title with 81 points.

Concord’s championship effort was keyed by Grand Valley State University-bound senior Nolen Bright-Mitchell. He set Lower Peninsula records with a 10.70 100-meter dash and a 21.62 in the 200-meter dash. He also ran legs on the winning 800 relay (a non-record 1:31.46) and the 1600 relay (a record 3:24.19).

Likewise, on the girls’ side, sophomore Holly Bullough made a splash for runnerup Traverse City St. Francis (56 points). Bullough, younger sister of Michigan State University linebacker Max Bullough, won the 800 in 2:15.52, the 1600 in 5:01.34 and finished second in the 400 in 58.40.

Other Lower Peninsula boy’s records set Saturday included Coleman’s Curtis Bell in the pole vault (15-01), Marion’s Tyrell Hall in the long jump (22-11.75),

Lower Peninsula girls’ records set Saturday included New Buffalo’s Jade Madison in the shot put (43-08.25), Ottawa-Whiteford’s Miranda Johnson in the long jump (18-06.50) and the 200 (25.15), and Reading’s Michelle Davis in the 100 hurdles (15.05) and the 400 (57.33).

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