BY WENDI REARDON PRICE
Clarkston News Sports Writer
The Lady Wolves wrote their entry in the Clarkston history books as the eighth graders from Clarkston Junior High School won the 32nd Annual Gordie Richardson Oakland County Track meet, June .
“It was really fun,” smiled Mattie Drennan. “Everyone was so excited. We felt at home with all of our teammates there. It is a very supportive group.”
“I thought it was impossible,” admitted Shannon Billette, who won the 800-meter run and was also on two relay teams to win first place. “I didn’t think I would be able to do it.”
“I was really nervous because a lot of it came down to if we got points or not,” said Michelle Cooper, who won the 70-meter and 100-meter dashes and finished third in the 200-meter dash.
She admitted when she found out the Lady Wolves won the meet she started to freak out from excitement.
“I was really excited because we didn’t just win – we won by a lot,” Billette added, explaining Clarkston scored 81 points to second place East Middle School’s 49 points. “It made it such an achievement.”
“It made it even better,” Cooper smiled.
The teammates explained they were nervous going into the meet.
“I was really nervous but the closer I got to my race I got more and more excited,” Drennan said. “It helped me a lot to run with more competition. I think that’s more of the reason I was excited – I could prove to myself I could do better.”
“I was so nervous,” Billette admitted. “I was also really excited because there would be a lot more competition at the meet than all our other meets. I was excited to see how I would do.”
With over 30 teams at the Oakland County meet each athlete was concerned about a different team based on their strengths.
Billette and Drennan said Scripps Middle School was their competition for the distance events.
“They have a lot of strong runners on the team,” Drennan added.
Cooper added for sprints she was worried about Oak Park.
Highlights of the day for the girls included the success they had in their individual events and the 1,600-meter relay team set a new record and also finished in first place.
“My mile was a big step for me,” Drennan said about her fourth place finish. “All season I had been getting the same time over and over again. At county, I shaved off 17 seconds. It was exciting.”
They added it was a really exciting spring season for the team as they also went undefeated at their dual meets.
Now they are ready to conquer as freshman when they compete with the Clarkston Girls Track and Field team at the high school next season.
“It gives me more confidence,” Billette explained. “Now I know where I stand.”
“It is definitely exciting to run with the older kids and see how they run,” Cooper added. “They can help us if we need help on somethimg. We can help them if they need help.”
“This particular group of athletes is especially hard-working and selfless,” said Coach Mike Greve. “Many of these girls sacrificed personal achievement for the accomplishments of the team. I couldn’t be prouder of this group of athletes.”
32nd Gordie Richardson Oakland County Mididle School Track Meet results:
For Clarkston Junior High School eighth grade girls: the 3,200-meter relay team of Shannon Billette, Mattie Drennan, Maddie Kujala and Ryann Fetty finished in first place, 10:26.75; 1,600-meter relay team of Billette, Drennan, Fetty and Callie Dickens, first place, 4:21.44; 800-meter relay team of Sam Aris, Callie Dickens, Karlie Mattinson and Taylor Saber, second place, 1:55.44;
Billette, first place, 800-meter run, 2:24.13; Cooper, first place, 100-meter dash, 12.68; 70-meter dash, 9.20; Dickens, third place, 400-meter dash, 61.87; Cooper, third, 200-meter dash, 26.29; Drennan, fourth place, 1,600-meter run, 5:38.24; Alana Watlington, fifth place, long jump, 14-09 and seventh place, 55-meter hurdles, 9:53; Fetty, ninth place, 800-meter run, 2:31; Mattinson, ninth place, 100-meter dash, 13.74; ninth place, 70-meter dash, 9.92; Aris, 12th place, 400-meter dash, 65.60; 400-meter relay team of Aris, Saber, Maya Bergman, and Kihana King, 13th place, 56.28; Piper Bosart, 15th place, shot put, 29-04; Watlington, 25th place, 200-meter hurdles.
For CJH eighth grade boys: Ben Haas, third place, shot put, 41-03; Valen Kurmaniak, fourth place, high jump; 5-04; Nick Merritt, sixth place, 200-meter hurdles, 28.72; Gunnar Karlstrom, 12th place, 800-meter run, 2:21.56; 3,200-meter relay team of Karlstrom, Bo Anderson, Alex Wilhelm and Owen Kolean, 20th place; Nick Merritt, 21st place in the long jump, 16-01.5; 1,600-meter relay team of Anderson, Jayden Day, Andrew Ferguson and Luke Scherler, 23rd place; Anderson, 24th place, 800-meter run; Scherler, 28th place, 400-meter dash; Wilhelm, 29th place, 1,600-meter run; Kolean, 37th place, 3,200-meter run; 800-meter relay team of Merritt, Kyle Juzysta, John Fuller, and Drew Radlick, 27th place, 1:49.2
For Sashabaw Middle School seventh grade girls: Annika Jankowski, second place, 800-meter run, 2:28.13; Mackenzie Montagano, tenth place, 3,200-meter run, 12:46.02; 3,200-meter relay team of Montagano, Jankowski, Keira Tolmie and Elise Wilhelm, 14th place, 11:17.73; Jankowski, 23rd place, 400-meter dash; Izzy Hadley, 24th place, 200-meter hurdles; 400-meter relay team of Jurney Harris, Morgan Lotts, Natalie Patercsak and Kaitlyn Thierry, 26th place; Tolmie, 26th place, 1,600-meter run; Anna Laube, 27th place, 1,600-meter run; Sophia Fabrizio, 27th place, 400-meter dash; Sophia Fabrizio, 38th place, long jump, 11-08; 800-meter relay team of Saria Latshaw, Megan Witt, Nicky Allen and Erica Fischer, eighth place, 1:57.17
For SMS seventh grade boys: Richie Ludwig, 22nd place, 1,600-meter run; 3,200-meter relay team of Ludwig, Ryan Bovee, Gabe Gipe and Joey Taverna, 30th place; 400-meter relay team of Preston Thomas, Jacob Beck, Nathan Fisher and Nick Chrisekos, 31st place; Logan Sloan, 35th place, 3,200-meter run; Nathen Hutchons, 36th place, 200-meter hurdles; and Robert Spencer, 38th place, 400-meter dash.
BY WENDI REARDON PRICE