Author: Dan O'Meara
Senior Allysen Eads capped a fine track career at Mercy High School by winning both distance races May 19 in the Catholic League A-B Division girls championship meet at Livonia Ladywood.
Eads, who will run track and cross country at Hillsdale College, won the 1,600 meters with a time of 5:19.29, and she returned to the track later that afternoon to run a time of 11:46.59 in the 3,200 race.
“I thought she had a good chance at winning both because the weather cooperated,” Mercy coach Gary Servais said. “It was pretty cool, which helps distance runners.
“She won the (Catholic League) cross country title, so you’d think a runner of that caliber would be up there. She was and she ran well.”
Eads also was seventh in the 1,600 run with a time of 5:22.70 in the Oakland County meet Friday at Waterford Mott. She finished 17th in the 3,200 event at 11:51 and was part of Mercy’s 3,200 relay team.
“That’s a pretty good accomplishment (qualifying for the county meet in those three events), because those standards are pretty high,” Servais said.
Freshman Mia Flynn was the runner-up in the 100 hurdles (16.54) and long jump (14-53/4) at the league meet.
Hannah Blakey, another freshman, starred in the sprints. She was third in the 200 dash (27.87) and fourth in the 100 meters (13.71).
Senior Ogechi Nwaopara earned a second-place medal in the 400 run with a personal best (1:00.25) and finished sixth in both dashes with times of 13.87 and 28.30.
Arianna Allman was second in the high jump (5-0), Bianca Berger fourth in the shot put (28-10), Mallory Demeter fifth in the long jump (14-2) and Ann Mark sixth in the discus (83-4).
Lauren Lytle contributed a pair of sixth places in the distance races, posting times of 5:43.20 in the 1,600 and 12:25.29 in the 3,200.
“I’m hoping she can develop into that caliber of runner (like Eads),” Servais said of the sophomore. “It will depend on what she does this summer and how serious she gets with cross country. She has some big shoes to fill if she’s going to match what Allysen has done.”
The Marlins were third in the team standings, not far behind runner-up Warren Regina, 851/2-79. Dearborn Divine Child won the championship with 122 points. Ann Arbor Gabriel Richard was fourth (601/2) and Birmingham Marian fifth (60).
“Considering our (lack of) experience and depth, we did pretty well,” Servais said. “We had a lot of new kids in there with the exception of Eads, Nwaopara and Allman. Those were our experienced kids. They had big days.
“It was a good finish and something to build on for next year. Some other runners who were fourth, fifth and sixth got the experience to help them move up next year. Team-wise, I thought that was one of our best efforts overall.”