State finals produce several champions, All-State honors

By: Jon Malavolti | Online Only | Published June 14, 2011

 Detroit Country Day’s Dartis Willis, pictured during a competition earlier this season, tied the Division 2 high jump record of 6 feet 11 inches at the June 4 state finals. Several area athletes earned All-State honors.

Detroit Country Day’s Dartis Willis, pictured during a competition earlier this season, tied the Division 2 high jump record of 6 feet 11 inches at the June 4 state finals. Several area athletes earned All-State honors.

Photos by Patricia O’Blenes

Several local track and field athletes left the west side of the state with a solid impression of the east side after schools in Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties made their mark across the four state finals June 4.

There were plenty of record-setting accomplishments and All-State finishes throughout the finals — Division 1 was held at Rockford, D-2 at Houseman Field, D-3 at Comstock Park and D-4 at Jenison.

Here is a list of the local boys and girls who won state titles or earned All-State honors by finishing in the top eight at the finals. Visit for complete results.

Division 1
Grosse Pointe South’s girls made the biggest impression, winning the D-1 state title by scoring 54 points.

The Blue Devils’ day was highlighted by Hannah Meier setting new MHSAA all Class/Division and Lower Peninsula Division 1 finals meet records in the 1600- and 800-
meter runs.

Southfield High’s Latipha Cross also set a new MHSAA all Class/Division and Lower Peninsula Division 1 finals meet record in the 400.

Macomb Dakota’s Jennifer Schornak (pole vault), West Bloomfield’s Taylor Gunn (discus) and Farmington Hills Harrison’s Laticia Sims (100 hurdles) also won individual state tiles. Sims was also All-State in the 300 hurdles.

Other local athletes who earned All-State honors are St. Clair Shores Lakeview’s Jax Williams (pole vault), Fraser High’s Makenzie Frodle (high jump), Farmington High’s Aaron Howell (high jump and 100 hurdles), St. Clair Shores Lakeview’s Amber Koprin (high jump), Utica Stevenson’s Jaihla Mason (high jump), Berkley High’s Shelby Allen (long jump), Rochester Adams’ Jessica Howell (long jump), Grosse Pointe South’s 3200 relay team, Lake Orion’s Alexandria Johnson (100 hurdles and 200 dash), South’s Veronica Schacht (100 hurdles and 300 hurdles), Southfield Lathrup’s Jewel Thomas (100 dash), Utica Eisenhower’s Blossom Metevier (100), Southfield High’s 800 relay team, South’s Haley Meier (1600 and 800), Rochester High’s Brook Handler (1600 and 800), Walled Lake Western’s Lindsay Clark (1600 and 3200), Harrison Township L’Anse Creuse’s 400 relay team, Rochester’s 400 relay team, North Farmington’s Cherie Gaines (400 dash), Birmingham Marian’s Dana Carey (300 hurdles), Rochester Adams’ Jamie Morrissey (800), Harrison’s Tiera Parker (200 dash), L’Anse Creuse’s Shayla France (200), West Bloomfield’s Erin Finn (3200), Walled Lake Western’s Julia Valencia (3200) and Grosse Pointe South’s 1600 relay team.

On the boys side, East Kentwood won the state title.

Local athletes earning All-State honors are Walled Lake Western’s Vinny Gjokaj (discus), Fraser’s Tom Czerwiesnki (discus and shot put), Walled Lake Central’s Cullen Prena (discus), Walled Lake Central’s Travis Harris (shot put), West Bloomfield’s Louis Daranda (shot put), Southfield’s Brandon Jarmon (high jump), Farmington’s James Vincent-Taylor (long jump), Harrison’s Kyle Carter (long jump), Southfield’s Cedric Hill (100 dash), West Bloomfield’s 800 relay team, Walled Lake Central’s 800 and 400 relay teams, West Bloomfield’s Phillip Washington (400 dash and 200), Grosse Pointe South’s Victor Mattison (400), Walled Lake Northern’s Mike Ankoviak (400), Utica High’s Connor Hinebaugh (400), Lake Orion’s 1600 relay team and Walled Lake Northern’s 1600 relay team.

Division 2
Detroit Country Day’s girls won the D-2 title. Kendall Baisden and Brittany Mann led the way for the Yellowjackets with multiple individual titles. Mann won the shot put and discus, while Baisden laid claim to the 100, 200 and 400 titles.

Pontiac Notre Dame Prep’s Sara Barron also took home an individual state title after winning the 800.

Other local All-State girls honorees are Clinton Township Clintondale’s Taylor Jones (discus and shot put), Bloomfield Hills Lahser’s Joylisa Davis (long jump), Country Day’s Sydney Cureton (100), Auburn Hills Avondale’s Yasmine Jones (100 and 200), Clintondale’s Shannon Huling (100), Warren Regina’s Kelsie Schwartz (1600), Notre Dame’s Taylor Timko (400), Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook-Kingswood’s Karen Blake (400 and 200), Ferndale High’s Kaylene Abernathy (300 hurdles), Avondale’s Anna Haritos (300 hurdles), Andover’s Lexi Sinclair (3200) and Notre Dame’s 1600 relay team of Barron, Timko, Candice Mack and Maria Redoutey.

In the boys competition, East Lansing High took home the team title. Avondale and Country Day had a handful of highlights, as the teams finished tied for second in the standings.

Avondale’s 800 relay team of Nathan Chapman, Takemi Smith, Jeff Douglas and Trevon Salter combined to set a new Lower Peninsula D-2 finals record. Smith, Douglas, Salter and Xavier Burns later teamed up to take the 400 relay title. Salter also won the 400 and was All-State in the long jump. Ryan Brancheau (high jump) also medaled.

Country Day’s Dartis Willis tied the Lower Peninsula D-2 high jump record, while teammate John Hill won the 100. Willis also placed third in the long jump. The duo later earned another pair of All-State honors after teaming with Toju Fregene and Kenny Knight in the 400 relay, and with Hassan Fadel and Jibril Mims in the 1600 relay. Fadel (300 hurdles) and David Brown (high jump) also earned medals.

Ferndale High came away with several All-State medals. All-Staters are the 800 relay team of Kaiman White, Anthony Rice, Jamarius McTear and Jamael McTear; the 400 relay team of Earl Tillford, Nathan Hood, Kaiman White and Jamarius McTear; the 1600 relay team of White, Rice, Dave Miller and Jamael McTear; and White in the 200.

Madison Heights Lamphere’s Ylli Alla (3200) and St. Clair Shores South Lake’s Sidney Jackson (high jump) earned All-State honors, as well.

Division 3
Benzie Central won the girls team title. Local All-State honorees are Macomb Lutheran North’s Courtney Hughes (high jump) and Rachel Stathakis (800).

On the boys side, Frankenmuth finished first. All-State honorees are Macomb Lutheran North’s Keith McAuley (110 hurdles and 300 hurdles) and Zak Bielecki (110 hurdles), and Madison Heights Bishop Foley’s Jake Corey (200).

Division 4
Fowler High captured the girls crown. Birmingham Roeper’s Briana Ratchford won the 100 hurdles title, while teammate Akilah Russell took home dual All-State honors in the shot put and discus.

Albion and Big Rapids Crossroads Academy tied atop the boys standings. Auburn Hills Oakland Christian’s Brent Kostich (300 hurdles), and the 1600 and 800 relay teams earned All-State honors, as did Southfield Christian’s Victor Allen in the 3200 and Roeper’s Mete Odabasi in the 800.