BY DAN STICKRADT
EAST KENTWOOD — On a day when Grosse Pointe South put on a track and field clinic with several nationally-ranked performances, Rochester Adams also had its moment in the limelight.
South defended its Division 1 girls track and field state title with 77.5 points, showcasing some of the nation’s top distance events competitors. Traditionally-strong Adams cracked the scoring column for 33 points, good for fourth overall at East Kentwood High School.
“This is one of our best finishes ever, for what I’m told, maybe the best,” said Adams coach Eric Lohr. “I think everyone stepped up on the right day.”
Ann Arbor Huron was second for the second straight year with 64 points and Rockford placed third (35). Adams (33), Saline (33), East Kentwood (31), Novi (30), Ann Arbor Pioneer (24), Jackson (20) and Detroit Cass Tech (16) rounded out the top 10 in the team standings.
Adams, which has had numerous top-20 team finishes at the state finals over the past three decades, put together a memorable day. Junior Jamie Morrissey finished second in the 800 (2:10.8) and anchored the runner-up 1,600 relay (3:58.45) that also featured Sophie Smith, Amber Jamison and Jessica Howell.
The Highlanders added plenty of other highlight performances.
Howell was also fourth in the long jump (17-9.5) and sixth in the 100 (25.66), Heather Johnson ran eighth in the 300 hurdles (46.75) and Gabrielle Thivierge, after and up-and-down season, finished in the runner-up slot in the 3,200 (10:41.10) to pace the Highlanders.
“We won the league and regional, finished top five at the county an d now top five in the state,” said Lohr, who had only had three seniors on his entire roster and none which scored points at the state meet. “This is very exciting for the future because we bring just about everybody back next season.”
Adams, which had previously finished in the top-10 at the state meet four other times, was also fourth in 2001. The Highlanders were a senior-heavy team that season, unlike this year’s unit which was loaded with juniors.
“I think we were very similar to that team, except they had a lot of seniors (in 2001)” offered Adams assistant coach Gary Inman, who was head coach through 2010. “That team had some very good athletes on it. I think with all of the juniors on this team, they should come back as seniors next season and want more.”
ROCHESTER ADAMS’ BEST EVER STATE MEET FINISHES IN GIRLS TRACK
(Top 25 state-meet finishes)
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