Saline’s Track and Field Mega Meet Attracts 2,150 Athletes
Everyone who’s anyone in the Michigan high school track and field world will be at Saline High School Friday, May 5, 2017.
That’s when the Saline track and field program hosts The Golden Triangle – Michigan’s largest track meet.
The Golden Triangle starts at 10 a.m. And by the time it finishes, around 11 or 12 hours later, about 2,150 students from 86 schools will have competed. This year’s meet has 400 more athletes than last year’s.
PORT HURON NORTHERN ATHLETES INCLUDE:
Trent Anglebrandt (’20)
Justin Corby (’18)
Tim Hunt (’19)
Steve Mason (’18)
Ashley Defrain (’18)
Sidney Koppinger (’19)
Katie Robbins (’18)
Hallie Roman (’18)
Allison Sanderson (’18)
Avery Shell (’18)
Jordan Tomlinson (’17)
Anna VanderHeuvel (’18)
“It’s the largest field we’ve had at the golden triangle,” said Carl Spina, distance coach for the Saline boys’ track team. “All of the races will have most of the top athletes in Michigan. One of the big draws of the meet for athletes and coaches is that the kids are guaranteed to be challenged in every event. There are no easy wins. It’s Michigan’s best athletes, all here in Saline. Everywhere you look, you’ll see great efforts.”
The Saline boys’ team should have competitive runners in virtually every race – especially the relays.
This year’s event features two special races. Along with the regular 1600-meters race for the boys and girls, the elite runners will compete in the Golden Mile. Similarly, the elite 3200-meters runner will run in the Mike Smith Elite 3200, which is named after the long-time coach of Saline track and cross country.
The Golden Triangle isn’t a scored meet. No school is crowned champion at the end of a long day. That means athletes who usually run three or four races can scale back and focus on one or two races.
Senior distance runner Aidan Carichner, for example, usually runs two or three long events in a two or three-hour meet. Friday, he’ll run twice in an 11-hour meet.
“That allows him to run his best times, so he’ll get better seedings for the conference and regional championships. In the end, he’s helping the team pick up more points at those championship races,” Spina said.
Over the years, the event has provided great memories. Spina’s favorite Golden Triangle memory came from Kevin Hall, running the 3200 in his junior year.
“It was a breakout race for him where he took a big step forward as an athlete. The infield was filled with kids running back and forth to cheer for the runners. When Kevin finished, his teammates just mobbed him right at the finish line and carried him off,” Spina said. “The officials were trying to do their job, and suddenly there was a bunch yelling and screaming kids in their way. I might have been part of the problem. It’s the closest I’ve ever been to being ejected from a track meet.”
Hall went on to become the fastest 3200 runner in Saline history and today he runs for the University of Michigan.
One of the great moments of the meet comes after the sun sets and the lights are turned on. A crowd of students gathers around the oval to cheer on the runners in the final event, the 4-by-400 relay. Runners race through a tunnel of cheering students to the finish line.
The Golden Triangle is not just a celebration of the sport. It’s a celebration of a strong track and field community in Saline. This year, there are 180 boys and 100 girls on the Saline track teams.
“Having the event here just helps our kids to appreciate what we have going on in Saline. We have about 2000 athletes and 80 teams rolling into our stadium, and all of them are excited to be here. Our athletes pick up on that, and they take a little more pride in putting on the gold jersey,” Spina said.
The bleachers and the hill will be packed with athletes, their parents and friends at various times during the meet. There will be vendors selling food and t-shirts and the Saline high school track stadium will resemble a festival concert. Organizers hope people in the community come watch the spectacle.
“The event has mystique, and it’s here. I won’t lie. I’m pretty proud to call it Saline’s meet. And I’m sure our other coaches, the athletes, and our district feel the same way. We want the community to come in and experience it too,” Spina said. “The State Finals for track are all the way on the other side of the state. But this Friday, we’ll have a bigger, deeper meet right at our own high school. People should come check it out.”
If you can’t make it, you can watch it online.
A live stream of the event will be produced by Saline High School Video Production teacher, Nate Bush and his students. The stream can be found here: http://www.salinelive.com the password once into the site is saline. The live stream will not begin until finals at 4:00.
Live Results will be available here: http://salinesports.org/results/2017.05.05-GoldenTriangle/
Here are some runners to keep an eye on:
- Napoleon Outlaw, Okemos, 100 meters, 10.74 seconds
- Kentre Patterson, East Lansing, 110 hurdles, 13.95 seconds
- Sean Duffy, Saline, 200 meters, 22.14 seconds
- Rockford 4-by-200 relay, 1:28.37 (.10 seconds faster than the meet record)
- Rockford 4-by-100 relay, 42.15 seconds (Faster than the SHS track record)
- Jameson Swanson, Saline, 300 hurdles, 39.98 seconds
- Anthony DeKraker, Saline, 3200, 9:21.03
- Saline 4-by-400 relay, ranked just a bit behind Rockford.
- Kyle Nouhan and Eric Harris, Saline, Pole vault
Here are some athletes to watch for on the girls’ side.
- Anavia Battle, Wayne Memorial, and Britten Bowen, Pioneer, 100 meters. Both girls run faster than the meet and track record and could threaten the state record (11.37)
- Grace Stark, Lakeland, 100 meter hurdles, 13.74 (just .08 of the state record).
- Anavia Battle, Wayne Memorial, 200 meters, 23.64
- Ann Arbor 4-by-800 relay, 9:04.85. They’re a threat to break the meet and track record.
- Anne Forsythe, Pioneer, Golden Mile, 4:59.53.
- Lauryn Hunt, Saline, 400, 58.52. One of Saline’s most promising runners in a prime time race.
- Payton Klein, Romeo, high jump, 5’7 (one inch from the meet record)
- Malin Smith, Lansing Waverly, shot put 43’0 (Threatening GT record set by Saline alum Randi Bennett).