TRACK AND FIELD: Recapping all of the Downriver area state finals qualifiers (2023)

The Michigan high school track and field regionals were held around the state last week from May 18 to 20.

Several Downriver area programs were scattered throughout with many of them competing against one another at the same regional. Two of the more notable regional meets involving local squads included a Divison 1 regional at Saline as well as a D2 regional at Chelsea.

Teams can clinch a spot in the state finals for track and field if they finish in the top two of an event, or if they meet the qualifying time/mark regardless of where they place in that event.

When the dust settled, many of the area’s best track and field athletes punched their ticket to the state finals. Here is a quick refresher of how things played out last week at regionals:


Seven of the nine Downriver League members schools competed in what was a highly-competitive Saline regional back on May 19. Those DRL schools included Allen Park, Brownstown Woodhaven, Gibraltar Carlson, Lincoln Park, Southgate Anderson, Taylor High, and Wyandotte Roosevelt.

The host team Saline as well as its fellow Southeastern Conference rivals largely dominated the meet as a whole. As far as the local teams are concerned, the best showing came in the form of Woodhaven, who qualified for states in seven events including six on the girls’ side.

It was a lot of the usual suspects that helped guide Woodhaven to a spot at the D1 state finals. The team of Jayla Martin, Maya Justice, Myonna Ekanem, and Payton Scheffler earned a regional title in the girls’ 4x400m relay.

Those four names were also key pieces in other state-qualifying events for the Warriors. In fact, it was that same foursome who finished runner-up in the girls’ 4×200 relay. And it was nearly the same team qualifying in in the girls’ 4x100m relay as well with Addison Martin taking the place of Scheffler.

In terms of individual efforts, Justice was the regional champion in girls’ long jump. Scheffler and Jayla Martin both met the qualifying times in their respective events; Scheffler in the girls’ 800m race and Martin in the girls’ 300m hurdles race.

Woodhaven also had one male athlete qualify for states, that being Ben Syverson, who was the regional champion in boys’ high jump.

Elsewhere in this regional, Roosevelt qualifed for states in four events while Allen Park and Carlson each did so in three events.

TRACK AND FIELD: Recapping all of the Downriver area state finals qualifiers (1)

Lukas Ray led the way by meeting the mark in both throwing events on the field side. Ray was the regional title winner in boys’ shot put and finished runner-up to Bear teammate DeMarrio Roetherford in boys’ discus throw. And Samantha Cost joined the aforementioned Scheffler of Woodhaven by qualifying in the girls’ 800m race.

Carlson will also have a representative in boys’ shot put come the state finals after Ben Przytula finished runner-up to Ray. Meanwhile on the track side of things for the Marauders, freshman Izaiah Wright finished second overall in the 100m dash. Wright was also the anchor in a state-qualifying boys’ 4×100 relay team that included Avery Ortiz, Caleb Greear, and Mikey Owens.

All three of Allen Park’s state representatives will come on the field side. Headlining that charge will be Abigail Russell, who will have an opportunity to defend her titles in D1 girls’ shot put and discus after winning titles in both events at regionals.

Elsewhere for the Jags, Jaden Pierce will be competing at the finals after finishing runner-up in the girls’ high jump.

Elsewhere among local D1 teams, River Rouge competed in a regional hosted by Grosse Pointe South.

The Panthers will be represented in three events at the state finals, highlighted by Jalissa Johnson, who finished runner-up in the girls’ 100m dash. Johnson was also the final leg of a first-place team that included Jahmere Camper, Jayla Johnson, and Kayla Williams in the girls’ 4x100m relay.

Rouge will also have a squad in that same race on the boys’ side as well after the team of Lamont Gordon, Javonte Jackson, Markell Gilford, and Nick Marsh met the cut time by placing third in the event.


Seven different area teams competed in a regional out at Chelsea on May 19: Flat Rock, Grosse Ile, Melvindale, New Boston Huron, Riverview, Romulus Summit Academy North, and Trenton.

Six of those seven schools qualified for states in multiple events including four with at least five such instances. Huron led all the area teams by qualifying in six events with Elizabeth Anderson accounting for four of those.

Anderson was the regional champion in the girls’ 100m, 200m, and 400m races. Anderson was also the anchor of a winning relay team that featured Madelyn Barbour, Breeann Roupe, and Avery Turk in the girls’ 4x400m race.

TRACK AND FIELD: Recapping all of the Downriver area state finals qualifiers (2)

Barbour also qualified individually following a runner-up finish in the girls’ 300m hurdles.

Huron did qualify for one event on the boys’ side as well. That came courtesy of Ryan Morris, Abdul Ghennewa, Samuel Stanley, and Lucas Kuhn in the 4x800m relay.

That foursome for the Chiefs was one of two local teams to qualify in that event. Riverview did so as well, in the form of Caleb Dibrano, Julian Rivera, Israel Garcia, and Logan Ruffner. It was nearly the same quartet also qualifying in the boys’ 4x400m relay for the Pirates with Jack Bias taking the spot of Rivera.

Bias and Ruffner also qualified as inidividuals, doing so in the boys’ 400m and 1600m races, respectively; Bias was the champion in his race. Riverview will also send Madison Hipshire to states after meeting the qualifying time in the girls’ 300m hurdles.

Both Grosse Ile and Summit matched Riverview with five state-qualifying events at regionals.

Four of the five for Grosse Ile resulted in regional titles. Kaitlyn Molnar did so twice in the girls’ 300m hurdles and girls’ long jump. Riley Kerr won first place in girls’ high jump while Sam Vesperman was the champion in boys’ pole vault.

Elsewhere for the islanders, Tyler Swick met the qualifying time in the boys’ 300m hurdles with a fourth-place finish overall.

TRACK AND FIELD: Recapping all of the Downriver area state finals qualifiers (3)

Summit meanwhile got a strong showing from Anaiia Simmons, who qualified in the girls’ 200m race and was part of two first-place relay teams. Simmons ran with Londyn Hall, Yasmine Priester, and Heaven Copeland in both the girls’ 4x100m and 4x200m races.

The Dragons had an individual regional champion in the form of Kiera Watson in girls’ shot put while Donovan Cruse on the boys’ side qualified with a runner-up finish in the 200m dash.

Trenton’s status at states will be on display in the hurdle races for both boys and girls. Zach Taylor was the co-champion in the boys’ 110m hurdles before placing third and meeting the cut time in the boys’ 300m hurdles. And Sophia Smith will compete in the girls’ 100m hurdles after winning the regional title in that event.

Flat Rock will only have one representative at states but it will come in multiple events. That will be Reagan Higdon, who met the cut time in both the girls’ 100m and 200m dashes.

Elsewhere in a regional hosted by Dearborn Divine Child, Melvindale’s only state qualifer came in the girls’ pole vault, courtesy of Giselle Quintana.


Catholic League programs Allen Park Cabrini and Riverview Gabriel Richard both competed in a D4 regional hosted by Lutheran Westland over the weekend on May 20.

Both teams were well-represented by day’s end, qualifying for the D4 state finals in 17 combined events with Cabrini doing so 11 times.

Three key names were integral in guiding Cabrini to success at the regional meet: Christopher Russelburg, Grace Kendziuk, and Ava Teed.

Russelburg was the regional champion in both the boys’ 1600m and 3200m races. He also was the final leg of a qualifying team for Cabrini in the boys’ 4x800m relay, which included the likes of Brayden McKay, Ralph Kaleniecki, and Logan Elden.

TRACK AND FIELD: Recapping all of the Downriver area state finals qualifiers (4)

McKay was part of another qualifying relay for Cabrini, this one coming in the 4x200m where he teamed up with Lucas Roman, Owen Tomsic, and Lander Emerick.

On the girls’ side for the Monarchs, Kendziuk was the regional champion in both the 200m and 400m races. Teed meanwhile qualified in both the 1600m and 3200m runs, winning the latter of those two events. That duo also teamed up with Madisyn Smith and Nicole Teed for a runner-up finish and qualifying spot in the 4x800m relay.

Elsewhere for Cabrini at the meet, Oswaldo Nava was the regional champion in boys’ discus throw while Ben Maffesoli finished runner-up and qualifed in boys’ shot put.

Gabriel Richard qualified for the state finals in six events with Sasha Murphy being responsible for two of those. Murphy finished runner-up in both the girls’ 100m hurdles and girls’ long jump. Murphy will also be joined by fellow field teammate Erica Roberts, who qualified with a second-place finish in girls’ discus throw.

The Pioneers did have two regional champions, both coming in the hurdle races. Austin Louzon was the champion in the boys’ 110m hurdles while Kris Vigars won first place in the boys’ 300m hurdles.

Additional representation for Richard will come in the form of Dominic Barretto, Rich Fanti, Johnny Benko, and Alex Meszaros, who met the qualifying time in the boys’ 4x800m relay.


The MHSAA state championships for track and field will take place on Saturday, June 3. Here are the locations for each finals:

Division 1 – Rockford HS

Division 2 – Forest Hills Eastern HS

Division 3 – Kent City HS

Division 4 – Baldwin Middle School / Hudsonville

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