Portland High School was well represented at the Division 2 Lower Peninsula state finals. Representing Portland was:
Brock Gross (Senior) Long Jump, 4x200 meter relay, 4x100 meter relay
Olivia Sandborn (Senior) 100 meter high hurdles, 4x200 meter relay
Keirstyn Blacksha (Senior) 4x200 meter relay
Trevor Lattimer (Junior) 4x200 meter relay, 4x100 meter relay
Lucas Goodman (Junior) 4x200 meter relay
Jake Veale (Junior) 4x100 meter relay
Lesley Barker (Junior) Long Jump and 4x200 meter relay
Jolee Pung (Junior) 4x200 meter relay
Alex Mitchell (Freshman) 4x200 meter relay, 4x100 meter relay
Lesley Barker and Brock Gross started the morning off. Barker competed against a very tough field led by four event star, Suenomi Norinh (Senior) of Zeeland East. Barker finished just finished 2 1/4 inches shy of qualifying for the finals with a 16’ 1 1/2” jump. Norinh, who is heading to the University of Missouri on a track scholarship, would win the title with a new PR jump of 18’ 1 3/4”.
Gross would start his pursuit of a title with a jump of 20’ 2”. Most of the field would land short of that through the 1st round of jumps. In the 2nd set of jumps, the field started to gain and surpass Gross. On Gross’ 2nd attempt, he scratched and the suspense started to build for family and friends as to whether he would qualify for the Finals. On Gross’ 3rd attempt he would soar past the field and into 1st with a jump of 21’ 8”. Gross would battle, Jordon Butler (Senior) Charlotte and Tony Martin (Junior) Saginaw. Through the 1st round, Gross would leap to 21’ 5” while his competitors would come up short. In the 2nd round Gross would scratch on what appeared to be another 21’ plus jump. However, right before Gross’ attempt, Martin would take over 1st place with a 22’ 7” jump setting up a thrilling end as Gross would be the last participant to jump. Gross flew down the approach but would scratch on his last attempt. Gross would take 2nd place bringing back a medal for Portland.
The 1st running event participant for Portland would be Olivia Sandborn in the 100-meter-high hurdles. Sandborn would finish 5th with a 15.89 time. Norinh would win this event too with a time of 14.63.
Next up would be the boys 4x200 meter relay team of; Mitchell, Gross, Lattimer and Goodman. Their time of 1:32.38 was good enough to place them in 14th in a field of 23.
The girls 4x200 meter relay team of; Blacksha, Sandborn, Pung and Barker would turn in a time of 1:50.06 placing them in 19th out of 22.
The last event for Portland participants would be the boys 4x100 meter relay. There was some concern going into the event as Veale had been hampered by injury but worked to be able to participate. The team of Mitchell, Gross, Lattimer and Veale would finish 19th, in a field of 26, with a time of 44.71.
All the Portland participants competed hard and displayed the class and sportsmanship that we are used to and expect from all our Portland student/athletes.