L’Anse Creuse sophomore Londyn Hollins earns first in the 100-meter hurdles at the Macomb Area Conference Blue divisional meet on May 14 at Warren Mott High School.

L’Anse Creuse sophomore Londyn Hollins earns first in the 100-meter hurdles at the Macomb Area Conference Blue divisional meet on May 14 at Warren Mott High School.

Photo by Erin Sanchez

Lancers reprise role as team to beat in girls track and field

By: Jonathan Szczepaniak | Mount Clemens-Clinton-Harrison Journal | Published May 17, 2024

 Harrison Township L’Anse Creuse freshman Emma Paige gives it her all in the long jump.

Harrison Township L’Anse Creuse freshman Emma Paige gives it her all in the long jump.

Photo by Erin Sanchez


HARRISON TOWNSHIP — The L’Anse Creuse track and field program has used just about every surface to practice on this season — except its own track.

Back in November 2023, the school tore out the track in an effort to resurface it. But because of the Michigan winter, that never came to fruition.

On top of having their home field ripped away from them, the Lancers were also making a jump from the Macomb Area Conference Gold, which they won last year, to the MAC Blue.

“It was difficult to start off with because in previous years, we were able to get out on the track early because we had our own,” junior Moriah White said. “We were a lot more conditioned and a lot more prepared with the ways of the track compared to this season where we were running inside the hallways. It just doesn’t give the same feel. It was a lot more difficult going from the hallways to another school’s track meet and having to adjust to what you like and learning your strides and stuff like that.”

Regardless of the setbacks of practicing in narrow hallways or on uneven fields, L’Anse Creuse girls track and field dominated its new division, posting a 5-0 record in dual meets and winning the MAC Blue division championship meet on May 14 at Warren Mott High School. The L’Anse Creuse boys team, which won the MAC Gold last year, finished in a three-way tie with Warren Mott and Marine City for the MAC Blue dual league title and won the divisional meet.

It’s been a community effort for the girls team as throwers, jumpers, sprinters and long-distance runners have all contributed.

“It’s amazing that we have done as well as we have without having a track to practice on,” L’Anse Creuse girls track and field head coach Ken Render said. “We have practiced in the hallways of the school, we have practiced in the gymnasium, and we’ve practiced a couple days over at Middle School South. To practice hurdles and to practice relay exchanges with marked relay zones and things like that, we haven’t done that. The only kind of real-life practice we get is at meets. It’s been an incredible challenge.”

The Lancers could point to just about anybody this year as an impact player with junior Shelby Stabile (long distance), sophomore Londyn Hollins (hurdles), senior Toni Brooks (hurdles), senior Kamryn Pitts (400/800), senior Raine Redding (thrower), junior MaKenzie Johnson (thrower), and junior Cameron Krause (high jump) leading the way.

Stabile has taken the league by storm this year, putting on a clinic at the divisional meet with first-place finishes in the 800 and 1600-meter race.

Render called upon Stabile to become more confident in her abilities, and Stabile said she’s done just that.

“I definitely improved in strategy more,” Stabile said. “I’ve never been as aggressive, and this year I’m learning how to race and actually be competitive and take it seriously.”

Hollins (first) and Brooks (second) finished back-to-back in the 100-meter hurdles at the divisional meet while Hollins would tally another league win in the 300-meter hurdles.

Krause added a first-place finish in the high jump while Redding earned first in discus and second in shot put with sophomore Leah Kern earning second. L’Anse Creuse earned runner-up in all four relays at the divisional meet.

Redding has had her eyes on the state finals all season after coming up just short of qualifying last year, but she should have no problem punching her ticket with the way she’s performing.

“Last year, I missed going to states by a foot,” Redding said. “I’m trying to go to states this year. Also, it was raining last year, so it was like, ‘How would I have done if it wasn’t raining?’”

L’Anse Creuse has also received noticeable contributions from its underclassmen group consisting of freshman Emma Paige (sprinter), freshman Tamara McCall (sprinter), sophomore Breanna Davis (sprinter/long jump), sophomore Addisyn Welles (sprinter), and sophomore Mya Wallick.

The Lancers needed a motivated and fired up group to make the transition to the MAC Blue, and Render said the efforts from every girl in the program have been immeasurable.

“We thought it was going to be a pretty stiff challenge for them, but our girls have done what we’ve asked them to do, and they’ve developed throughout the season,” Render said. “We’ve seen times drop, we’ve seen jumps increase and distances increase, and that has positioned us well for the MAC Blue. We wanted to come in and be competitive, and obviously you want to win the division championship, but we wanted to be competitive, and our girls rose to the task.”

Render wanted to see where his team matched up with the division heading into the season, so his team competed in the Grosse Pointe North Invitational on April 13 at Grosse Pointe North High School.

Grosse Pointe North, which competes in the MAC Red, is two divisions ahead of L’Anse Creuse, so when Render and company walked out of Grosse Pointe North with a first-place finish, he knew the potential of his squad for the season.

“It was a huge confidence builder,” Render said. “It absolutely was. We were ready to compete. The Macomb indoor meet at Macomb Community College was canceled this year, so we really didn’t get a barometer of where our girls were and a feel for where they were. The Grosse Pointe North Invitational allowed us to do that.”

L’Anse Creuse will compete in the Michigan High School Athletic Association Region 10 Championship on May 17 at Romeo High School (after the Journal went to press) in efforts to punch its ticket to the Division 1 state finals.

The region carried a slew of MAC Red teams with Macomb Dakota, Clinton Township Chippewa Valley, Romeo and New Baltimore Anchor Bay alongside the best of the MAC White in Utica and Fraser.

The top team at regionals will qualify for the team state finals while individuals can qualify by finishing in the top 2 in their respective event or by reaching the additional qualifying times or mark for field events, which can be found on the MHSAA website under the boys/girls track and field section.

State finals or not, the Lancers girls track program is evolving, and sweeping the league for the first time since 2013 is a huge building block for the future.

“We have a group of dedicated girls, and I think that feeds the track program because people know the reputation that we’ve had,” Render said. “We’re a smaller school in Macomb County, and we can develop talent. There’s some genetics involved in it, but the development of our talent is kudos to our coaching staff and our girls because they work hard.”