Local Oakland County athletes shine at track and field state finals

By: Mike Moore | C&G Newspapers | Published June 11, 2013

 Walled Lake Central senior Cullen Prena was all smiles at the state track and field finals on June 1. Prena took home state titles in the shot put and the discus.

Walled Lake Central senior Cullen Prena was all smiles at the state track and field finals on June 1. Prena took home state titles in the shot put and the discus.

Photo provided by Nebojsa Stojkovic

The state’s top track and field athletes converged for the final time June 1 in an attempt to separate the best from the exceptional.

In the Division 1-4 finals, guys and girls using speed, power and endurance as their spring calling card did just that.

The 2013 track and field state championships highlighted greatness for athletes everywhere, and those calling Oakland County, and the C & G Newspapers coverage area, home were well-represented.

Here’s a look at our state champs
In the Division 1 boys championships, Walled Lake Central’s Cullen Prena had a day to remember. The University of Oregon-bound senior won the discus event by setting a state-finals record toss of 210 feet, 1 inch.

Moments later, in the shot put, he claimed a state title with a heave of 60-11.

“He really couldn’t have gone out any better,” Central coach Nebojsa Stojkovic boasted. “The night before the event, we talked about throwing with emotion. We talked about going out, putting every piece of emotion into his final meet as a Central athlete. It was a great day for him, and a real proud moment for the entire program.”

Prena said last week his performance hadn’t really sunk in yet.

“It was one of those days where everything worked out,” he said. “The weather, the wind, everything was great. … I think the shot put gave me some momentum going into the discus. When I (won both), I couldn’t even take it in. I was getting congratulations from strangers and people I had never met. It was something I’ll never forget.”

Also in D-1, Auburn Hills Avondale’s Joshuwa Holloman won the 100-meter dash in a time of 11.11 seconds.

T.J. Carey, of Lake Orion High, won the 1600 run in 4 minutes, 15.76 seconds.

Ross Williams, of Beverly Hills Groves, claimed the title in the 300 intermediate hurdles in 37.96, while Lathrup Village Southfield-Lathrup’s Brandon Wilks won the 200-meter dash in 21.93.

In D-3, Southfield Bradford Academy’s Alize Champion won the 100 in 11.03.

In the girls D-1 race, Oak Park High’s Anna Jefferson won the 400 in 55.44.

West Bloomfield High senior Erin Finn capped her career with a win in the 3200 run in a time of 10 minutes, 8.23 seconds. The time was a state-finals record, beating the 10:17.86 record she set in 2011.

“Erin has been the epitome of the coachable athlete,” West Bloomfield coach Richard Mickley said of Finn. “She has trained long and hard to get where she is today, and is so very deserving of all the accolades she has received.”

In the D-2 event, Beverly Hills Detroit Country Day picked up two state titles, both by Kendall Baisden, who won the 200 in 24.65 and the 400 in 54.99.

“We knew she wanted to do something profound,” coach Davis Wilson said. “It was a windy day, but she ran superior times in both events. Those were the fastest times of all divisions that day (in those events). It was an awesome experience for her.”

In the girls D-4 event, the 800-relay team from Royal Oak Shrine, comprised of Julia Liggett, Irene Peaslee, Autumn Washington and Taylor Kilgore, won a state title in 1:48.79.

For complete results of the prelims, the semifinals, and All-State recipients, visit www.MHSAA.com.