Berkley High track and field athletes are pictured at a recent practice. Coach Les Hale said there are 93 kids in the program.

Berkley High track and field athletes are pictured at a recent practice. Coach Les Hale said there are 93 kids in the program.

Photo by Deb Jacques


Berkley High track and field program has potential state qualifiers

By: Mark Vest | Woodward Talk | Published May 2, 2018

 Berkley High senior Nathan LaFramboise is pictured at a recent track practice. LaFramboise is one of the Berkley runners that coach Les Hale said has a chance to qualify for the state finals.

Berkley High senior Nathan LaFramboise is pictured at a recent track practice. LaFramboise is one of the Berkley runners that coach Les Hale said has a chance to qualify for the state finals.

Photo by Deb Jacques

Advertisement

Berkley High boys and girls track and field coach Les Hale knows what it’s like to help lead a program to the top.

As the coach at Detroit Benedictine, he helped lead three teams to Division 4 state championships between 2003 and 2004, with two coming with the girls squad and one with the boys.

As nice as it would be to also help bring a state championship to Berkley, Hale doesn’t necessarily need an accomplishment of that magnitude to bring a smile to his face.

“I would love to see the whole team make states,” Hale said. “I would love that. (It’s) hard trying to convince them. … I make it a point to never give up on them, no matter what they say or what they do. … I’m always pushing them, always telling them you can do this.”

Although between the boys and the girls, Hale said there are 93 kids in the program, a trip to the state finals could help make Berkley track and field even more popular with the students at the school, including with athletes he thinks could benefit from his tutelage.

“(There’s) so much talent at that school that won’t come out — so many football players that don’t run track,” Hale said. “Everywhere I’ve coached, football and track go hand in hand. … I always tell everyone, ‘You can’t stop what you can’t catch in football.’ … If we could get the football team, the basketball team, to come out (and) run track, you would increase speed, you would increase vertical leap.”

Some of the current athletes on Berkley’s squad who have a chance to qualify for the state finals individually are Justin Harris, Nathan LaFramboise and David Long from the boys team, and Gabrielle Feber, Mackenzie Fields and Emma Murray for the girls.

This year’s Division 1 state finals are set for June 2 at East Kenwood. And although there is some work to do beforehand, Hale can prepare at the place he wants to be.

“I like where I’m at,” he said. “I enjoy being there, enjoy who I work for, enjoy all the kids. I wouldn’t trade it for nowhere else to coach right now.”

Advertisement