Clinton Township, FraserMay 13, 2014
Stars shine in dual meet
By Thomas Franz
C & G Sports Writer
FRASER — With both track teams unbeaten heading into the fourth dual meet of the season, Chippewa Valley’s girls clinched a share of the MAC Blue dual-meet title by defeating Fraser 87-41 on May 6.
Senior Rachel Walny won the 1,600- and 3,200-meter runs, and she also ran legs on the winning 3,200- and 1,600-meter relays for Chippewa. Walny’s time of 11 minutes, 12 seconds in the 3,200 gave her a new personal best, and it broke her own school record.
“I just felt a lot stronger today,” Walny said. “I really wanted it because I wasn’t happy with my 2-mile so far. I think that just really motivated me because I wanted the state-qualifying time.”
Walny will still have to break the 11:25 mark at the regional meet to automatically qualify for states, but her time of 11:12 in the dual meet beat her previous season best by 18 seconds, and it gave her the second-best time in Macomb County this season.
Another Rachel, this one from Fraser, also stood out as one of the top competitors in the MAC Blue dual meet. Senior Rachel Kloski won the long jump with a leap of 16 feet, 1 1/2 inches, and she also won the 100 hurdles with a time of 17.3 seconds.
“At practices for long jump, I’ve jumped a 17-foot, so that’s getting better, and in hurdles, my form is getting better,” Kloski said.
Kloski, who will be running for Wayne State next season, said that she is hoping for a strong finish to her senior season.
“I’m definitely aiming to go to states for hurdles and long jump. I’m aiming for first at regionals, and I think have a chance at it because in long jump at every practice, I’ve been getting a little farther, so I’m definitely hoping for states and to place in the top-five there,” Kloski said.
Other standout performances in the meet came from Chippewa’s Natalie Cizmas, who won the 400 with a time of 61.7 seconds; Fraser sophomore Bridgette Wolf won the 300 hurdles in 48.3 seconds. The performances by Cizmas and Wolf were among Macomb County’s top-five times in each race this spring.
The win by Chippewa gave the Big Reds at least a share of a third consecutive MAC Blue dual-meet title, and it kept alive a dual meet winning streak that now sits at 14 meets.
“I’m happy with how we performed. We had a lot of kids with AP finals today, so we had to rearrange some of our relays, and some kids got to run varsity who normally don’t, but they all performed really well today,” Chippewa coach Terry Wilson said.
Wilson was especially proud of the way his runners have bought in to the Chippewa coaching staff to keep the program improving.
“I told them at the beginning of the season that the true test of a champion is not winning a championship, but it’s how many times you repeat,” Wilson said. “From where we started when I first started coaching here, we’ve been going on an upward slope the entire time, and I’m really proud that our kids bought in with our coaching strategy and our plan for them, and we’ve been successful because of it.”
On the boys side, Chippewa defeated Fraser 95-41. Chippewa’s sprinters stood out for the Big Reds as they swept the sprint events.
Senior Khaleel Haamid won the 100 in time 10.7 seconds, and he anchored the 400 relay that finished in 43.1 seconds. Both times were county-bests for this spring.
“He started off running about 11 (seconds) flat at the beginning of the season, and he’s been getting faster every week, so I’m happy about that also. He should do well in the regional meet,” Wilson said of Haamid.
Sophomore Stefan Claiborne won the 200 in 22.4 seconds, and he anchored the winning 800 relay that finished in 1:30.
Chippewa and Fraser will be competing in a Division 1 regional meet at Warren Mott on May 16. The top-two finishers in each event, in addition to any runners who meet the automatic qualification time, will advance to the state finals at Rockford High School on May 31.