Chippewa boys track and field claims regional title

Team finishes second at state finals

By: Jonathan Szczepaniak | C&G Newspapers | Published June 15, 2023

 Senior Jonas Morris, left, and junior Noah Morris, right, teamed up with juniors Shamar Heard and Chris Estell to win the state title in the 4x200 relay on June 3 at Rockford High School.

Senior Jonas Morris, left, and junior Noah Morris, right, teamed up with juniors Shamar Heard and Chris Estell to win the state title in the 4x200 relay on June 3 at Rockford High School.

Photo provided by Chippewa Valley Track and Field


CLINTON TOWNSHIP — Chippewa Valley boys track and field has progressed in every phase each season as they inch one step closer to a state title.

Finishing 28th at the Michigan High School Athletic Association Division 1 state finals just two seasons ago in 2021, Chippewa Valley was seeking their second-straight top-three finish behind junior sensation Shamar Heard this year.

Moving up one spot from their 2022 finish, Heard’s state title in the 400-meter and Chippewa Valley’s first place 4x200 meter relay finish led by Heard, junior Noah Morris, junior Chris Estell and senior Jonas Morris propelled Chippewa Valley to a state finals runner-up finish on June 3 at Rockford High School. The 4x200 relay squad also earned third in the 4x400 relay.

“I was really pleased with how our kids performed,” Chippewa Valley coach Terry Wilson said. “They were really unified and they set some goals for themselves. For the most part, they achieved their goals.”

Heard continued his state finals dominance this season following state titles in the 100 and 200-meter in 2022. Only in his junior season, Heard will look to be a state champion for his third-straight season next year.

Heard was also regional champion this season in the 400-meter and led the 4x200 state-title-winning relay team to a regional title as well.

“He’s cut from a different cloth,” Wilson said. “He’s very technical in what he does. Let’s say we’re running a 200, and we want to get at a 24 and he comes in at a 23. He’ll come back and say before we even tell him the time, ‘I felt like I was a little fast.’ We’re like, ‘Yeah, you were a little fast.’”

With Heard running the 400-meter, Noah Morris made his mark this season in the 100 and 200-meter events.

Taking first in both the 100 and 200-meter at the MHSAA Region 10 championship on May 19 at Macomb Township’s Dakota High School, Morris’ progression this season played a vital role in Chippewa Valley’s regional title win.

Wilson said Morris, who finished seventh and fifth in the 100- and 200-meter, respectively, at the state finals, has improved this season due to his work ethic.

“He made extreme steps this year,” Wilson said. “He qualified for the 100 and finished seventh, he qualified for the 200, and he ran on both relays. He’s been working his butt off since the last state meet up to this past weekend. It’s really paid off and it showed for him.”

A memorable finish for Jonas Morris, the senior, a Purdue University Fort Wayne commit, was able to end his high school career as a state champion alongside his brother Noah. It was a moment the two will never forget.

“That’s a memory I will always hold onto because that might be the last time, and we don’t know that and we’re not sure, but it’s really a time I’ll remember,” Noah Morris said.

Jonas Morris finished second in the 400-meter, junior Jack DeWaele finished third in the 3200-meter and senior Kaelin Shaw finished first in long jump at regionals. Chippewa Valley seniors Shaw, Darren Hawkins and Justin Parker teamed up with sophomore Jailen Thomas to take second in the 4x100.

Chippewa Valley’s impressive 2023 campaign also included their second-straight Macomb Area Conference Red league meet title, edging Macomb Dakota by one point on May 16 at Grosse Pointe South High School.

Inching one step closer to a state title, Chippewa Valley hopes consistency is key as their loaded senior class enters the 2024 season with one goal in mind.

“I think they’re looking pretty good going into next season even though I’m not going to be there,” Jonas Morris said. “You got Noah, Shamar and Karol. You got a lot of good assets to the team that’s going to be running people down.”

One 2024 senior with something to prove is Karol Kozlowski, who was a part of Chippewa Valley’s 4x400 relay team that finished sixth at the 2022 MHSAA state finals.

Sidelined by injury this season, Wilson said he expects Kozlowski and the rest of the squad to come into next season extremely motivated.

“I’m looking for him (Kozlowski) to do big things,” Wilson said. “He struggled all winter trying to figure out what was wrong with him, and I think within the last two and a half weeks they narrowed it down to what his issue was. I think once he gets back, he’ll have a huge year next year. I think our kids will be a little more hungry next year because we came so close.”