Saline defeated Pioneer by one point at the boys’ track and field Regional Championships on May 18 but the Pioneers answered on the sport’s biggest stage on Saturday. Pioneer scored 39 points to place second at the MHSAA Division 1 State Championships at East Kentwood HS, topping Saline by just two points for the runner-up spot.
East Kentwood ran away with first place, finishing with an impressive 61 points on the day to win the team championship.
Skyline and Huron each finished with four points to tie for 40th place out of 60 teams to register points.
Nick Foster had a huge day for the Pioneers. The junior took first place in the 3200 meters with a time of 9:07.93. Forest Hills Northern’s Abdi Ahmed was second at 9:09.35. Foster’s Pioneer teammate Jack Wallace placed in the top 10. The senior was sixth overall in 9:15.20 – a PR.
Skyline senior Anthony Giannobile was 11th overall in the 3200 in 9:21.61 and Pioneer junior John Florence ran 13th overall in 9:34.29 as the locals put up an excellent showing in the distance run.
Speaking of excellent, Foster placed second in the 1600 meters with a time of 4:08.64. Skyline junior Jesse Edelstein had a strong showing placing eighth overall in 4:17.11.
Foster also was part of the only other local first-place finish. The Pioneer 4×800 relay team of Foster, Florence, Netunji Paige and Aldo Pando-Girard won the gold with a time of 7:45.64, beating out rival Saline (7:46.95) and Plymouth (7:49.64).
Skyline’s 4×800 relay team of Giannobile, Daniel Evans, Garrett Peck and Jesse Edelstein placed sixth in 7:52.28.
The local teams grabbed three of the top 13 spots in the 800 meters with each school represented. Pioneer senior Netunji Paige was second overall with a time of 1:53.41, just getting clipped at the finish line by Rockford’s Cole Johnson (1:53.11) in one of the closest races of the day. Skyline’s Jesse Edelstein was ninth (1:55.64) and Huron’s Connor Wright was 13th (1:57.52).
In the 300 hurdles, Pioneer sophomore Leo Gabaron was 12th in 39.96. Pioneer senior Derek Yang took 21st in the pole vault (13-0).
In the 4×100 relay, Hurons foursome of Ashton Sanders, Ibraheem Joseph, Charles Ramsey and Lewis Willis sprinted to a fifth-place finish in 42.90.
Pioneer’s 4×400 relay team of Logan Jacobs, Nick Foster, Netunji Paige and Travis Burke placed 21st in 3:28.22.