Clare County Review & Marion Press Sports

Clare boys take second at state meet

By John Raffel

CLARE – Pewamo-Westphalia edged Clare on Saturday June 1 at Kent City to win the boys Division 3 title.
“On the guys side, it was one of the greatest finishes in school history with our Division 3 state runner-up finish,” Clare coach Adam Burhans said. “Athletes who believed and stuck with the program chose to envision that they could be one of the best groups ever, and in the end, they were. We normally would have won the MHSAA state title with the number of points we scored (47) but it was a dogfight all day with Pewamo-Westphalia, perhaps their best team ever, who tallied 57 on the day.
“People underestimate what it takes to even score at this meet, let alone that many points as a team. It normally takes an elite athlete to score 1 point to be All-State. To score that many on an off-and-on rainy day against that level of competition says a lot.”
Burhans complemented the following athletes:
Andrew Klaus, career PR in the 3,200 (10:13.54). Neiko Ketchum (11-9) and Ethan Reeves (12-9) vaulted well in a non-stop rain. The 3200 relay team of Connor Schmidt, Brayden Schmidt, Kona Crump, and Andrew Klaus ran their fastest time with that group of guys (8:47.26).
The 400 Relay team of Mason Heintz, Joey Bouchey, Jacob Halicek, and Ryan Rodenbo ran the No. 4 time all-time for our school (44.74).
The 800 Relay team of Jeffrey Schafer, Jacob Halicek, Ryan Rodenbo, and Keagen Paisley was state runner-up and posted the No. 3 time all-time (1:30.37).
Jake Punches was all-state in shot put (51-3) and discus (151-5) — both tosses ranking No. 6 all-time; and Brad White had a banner day. . . establishing three school records on the day: the 1600 (4:17.31), the 800 (1:53.16), and as anchor of the state champion 1600 relay team of Owhin Thompson, Jeffrey Schafer, Nic Porter, and White (3:22.38).
Conan Weeks (sophomore) was state champion in the long jump as well in 22 feet. 2.25 inches.
“I’m just flat-out elated that these guys chose to take the team pursuit to the next level,” Burhans said. “These are defining moments that expand well beyond the sport arena. It’s moments like these that will help shape how they live their lives.”
Clare’s girls had several qualifiers at the state meet but was unable to score points.

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