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June 19, 2019
TRI-CITY AREA — From the start to the finish, these athletes excelled in their running and field events.

Here is a look at the 2019 edition of The Tri-City Times All-Area boys' track team and the accomplishments they registered along the way:

Name: Colby Schapman

School: Almont

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Almont's Robbie Battani clears the pole vault bar during a meet this past spring. photo by Kevin Kissane.
Year: Junior

Event: High jump

Best effort: Schapman posted a clearance of 6 feet 3 inches for first Thursday, April 18 at the Marlette Invitational.

Top finishes: He claimed firsts at the Kearsley Relays, Lake Fenton Blue Devil Relays, Marlette Invitational and Davison Twilight Classic; provided a second at the Green Devil Invite in Brown City; furnished thirds at a Brown City-based Division 3 regional (advancing to state height-wise) and Blue Water Area Meet of Champions in Marysville; plus added a 21st at the Division 3 state finals hosted by Jenison High School.

Name: Robbie Battani

School: Almont

Year: Senior

Event: Pole vault

Best effort: Battani cleared 13 feet 3 inches en route to a ninth at the Division 3 state finals hosted by Jenison High School on Friday, June 1.

Top finishes: He registered firsts at Marlette Invitational, Brown City-based Green Devil Invitational, Davison Twilight Classic, a Brown City-based Division 3 regional and the Blue Water Area Conference League Meet hosted by Armada High School; obtained a second at the Lake Fenton Relays; furnished a third at the Blue Water Area Meet of Champions in Marysville; plus supplied a ninth at the Division 3 state finals hosted by Jenison High School.

Name: Seth Helfer

School: Almont

Year: Junior

Event: Long jump

Best effort: Helfer provided a leap of 19 feet 3 1/4 inches for first during a Blue Water Area Conference meet Tuesday, May 7 versus Richmond and host Armada.

Top finishes: He collected a second at the Green Devil Invitational in Brown City; pulled up third at the Davison Twilight Classic; generated fourths at the Kearsley Relays and Armada-based Blue Water Area Conference League Meet; collected fifths at the Lake Fenton Relays and Marlette Invitational; furnished a sixth at the Blue Water Area Meet of Champions in Marysville; plus added a ninth at a Division 3 regional hosted by Brown City High School.

Name: Austin DeRocher

School: Imlay City

Year: Junior

Event: Shot put

Best effort: DeRocher uncorked a toss measuring 49 feet 1 1/2 inches en route to a first at a Division 2 regional hosted by Clio High School on Friday, June 1.

Top finishes: He took first at the Marlette Invitational, Armada-based Blue Water Area Conference League Meet and at a Division 2 regional hosted by Clio High School; provided seconds at the Marysville-based Blue Water Area Meet of Champions and Thumb Meet of Champions in Caro; obtained thirds at the Davison-based Shake Off the Rust Invitational Davison Twilight Classic; supplied a fourth at the Kearsley Relays; a 13th at the Division 2 state finals in Zeeland; plus tacked on a 17th at the Corunna-based Cavalier True Team Invite.

Name: Ryan Johnson

School: Imlay City

Year: Senior

Event: Discus

Best effort: Johnson generated a throw of 143 feet 2 inches for third Friday, May 17 at a Division 2 regional hosted by Clio High School. His distance there enabled him to move on to states as an additional qualifier.

Top finishes: He registered firsts at the Kearsley Relays and Shake Off the Rust Invite in Davison; garnered seconds at the Cavalier True Team Invitational in Corunna and Armada-based Blue Water Area Conference League Meet; provided thirds at a Clio-based Division 2 regional (qualifying for states distance-wise), Blue Water Area Meet of Champions and Thumb Meet of Champions in Caro; plus added an 18th at the Division 2 state finals in Zeeland.

Name: Seth Helfer

School: Almont

Year: Junior

Event: 100-meter dash

Best effort: Helfer posted a time of 11.7 seconds en route to a first during a Blue Water Area Conference meet versus Richmond and host Armada on Tuesday, May 7.

Top finishes: He obtained a second at the Green Devil Invitational in Brown City; contributed sixths at a Brown City-based Division 3 regional and Blue Water Area Conference League Meet hosted by Armada High School; plus managed a ninth at the Blue Water Area Meet of Champions in Marysville.

Name: Hank Barker

School: Capac

Year: Junior

Event: 110-meter hurdles

Best effort: Barker supplied a clocking of 16.25 seconds en route to a first Friday, April 26 at The Hurd Invite in Vassar.

Top finishes: He earned firsts at the Marlette Invitational, Green Devil Invitational in Brown City, The Hurd Invitational in Vassar, Brown City Invitational and Greater Thumb Conference East League Meet in Brown City; obtained a second at a Brown City-based Division 3 regional; plus provided a 12th at the Division 3 state finals hosted by Jenison High School.

Name: Daniel Griffith

School: Capac

Year: Junior

Event: 200-meter dash

Best effort: Griffith furnished a time of 23.26 seconds en route to a fourth at a Division 3 regional hosted by Brown City High School on Friday, May 17.

Top finishes: He collected a first at The Hurd Invitational in Vassar; obtained seconds at the Brown City-based Green Devil Invitational and Greater Thumb East League Meet in Brown City; plus notched a fourth at a Division 3 regional in Brown City.

Name: Hank Barker

School: Capac

Year: Junior

Event: 300-meter hurdles

Best effort: Barker managed a clocking of 42.75 seconds for first Tuesday, May 14 at the Greater Thumb Conference East League Meet.

Top finishes: He registered firsts at the Marlette Invitational, Vassar-based Hurd Invitational, Green Devil Invitational in Brown City and Brown City-based Greater Thumb Conference East League Meet; plus furnished thirds at the Brown City Invitational and at a Division 3 regional in Brown City.

Name: Charlie Aldrich

School: Capac

Year: Junior

Event: 400-meter dash

Best effort: Aldrich registered a time of 54.09 seconds en route to a first at the Brown City-based Greater Thumb Conference East League Meet on Tuesday, May 14.

Top finishes: He took first at the Brown City Invite and Greater Thumb Conference East League Meet in Brown City; plus supplied seconds at the Marlette Invitational and The Hurd Invitational in Vassar.

Name: Charlie Aldrich

School: Capac

Year: Junior

Event: 800-meter run

Best effort: Aldrich logged a clocking of 2:03.5 for third Friday, May 24 at the Blue Water Area Meet of Champions in Marysville.

Top finishes: He provided a first at a Division 3 regional hosted by Brown City High School; notched thirds at the Marlette Invitational and Blue Water Area Meet of Champions in Marysville; furnished a fourth at the Brown City Invitational; secured ninths at The Hurd Invitational and Greater Thumb Conference East League Meet; plus added a 19th at the Division 3 state finals hosted by Jenison High School.

Name: Ethan Rozanski

School: Dryden

Year: Junior

Event: 1600-meter run

Best effort: Rozanski posted a time of 4:43.49 en route to a fourth at the Davison Twilight Classic on Friday, May 10.

Top finishes: He obtained a first at the Mayville-based North Central Thumb League Meet; generated a second at a Division 4 regional hosted by Flint Beecher High School; collected thirds at the Davison-based Shake Off the Rust Invitational, USA Invitational and Webberville-based Auburn C. Perkins Memorial Invitational; contributed a fourth at the Davison Twilight Classic; plus provided an 11th at the Division 4 state finals in Hudsonville.

Name: Brenden Knuth

School: Dryden

Year: Senior

Event: 3200-meter run

Best effort: Knuth supplied a clocking of 10:24.36 for 11th Saturday, June 1 at the Division 4 state finals in Hudsonville.

Top finishes: He earned a first at the Mayville-based North Central Thumb League Meet; took second at a Division 4 regional hosted by Flint Beecher; wound up third at the Auburn C. Perkins Memorial Invitational in Webberville; generated a fifth at the Davison-based Shake Off the Rust Invitational; contributed a ninth at the USA Invitational; plus added an 11th at the Division 4 state finals in Hudsonville.

Team: Daniel Griffith, Ethan Bastian, Ben Laskowski, Joe Peters and Tyler Ellis.

School: Capac

Event: 400-meter relay

Years: Junior, sophomore, junior, senior and senior.

Best effort: No matter what the team Capac Coach Terry Geliske opted to utilize on given day, the one constant was success.

They were swiftest on Friday, May 17 when a lineup consisting of Griffith, Bastian, Laskowski and Peters stopped the watch at 45.62 seconds en route to second at a Division 3 regional hosted by Brown City High School.

Top finishes: A team of Ellis, Griffith, Laskowski and Peters pulled up first at the Green Devil Invitational in Brown City; a lineup of Bastian, Griffith, Laskowski and Peters placed first at the Brown City-based Greater Thumb Conference East League Meet; a team of Peters, Laskowski, Ellis and Griffith obtained a second at The Hurd Invitational in Vassar; a lineup of Griffith, Bastian, Laskowski and Peters notched a second at a Division 3 regional in Brown City; a team of Ellis, Griffith, Laskowski and Peters furnished a third at the Marlette Invitational; Peters, Laskowski, Bastian and Griffith provided a fourth at the Marysville-based Blue Water Area Meet of Champions; plus Capac also participated in the event at the Division 3 state meet hosted by Jenison High School.

Team: Daniel Griffith, Ben Laskowski, Ethan Bastian and Tyler Ellis.

School: Capac

Event:800-meter relay

Years: Junior, junior, sophomore and senior.

Best effort: A team consisting of Griffith, Laskowski, Bastian and Ellis posted a time of 1:33.6 for 12th Saturday, June 1 at the Jenison High School-based Division 3 state finals.

Top finishes: Capac's lineup of Griffith, Laskowski, Bastian and Ellis took first at The Hurd Invitational in Vassar and Brown City-based Green Devil Invitational; a team of Charlie Aldrich, Bastian, Laskowski and Griffith obtained a first at the Greater Thumb Conference East League Meet in Brown City; a team of Griffith, Laskowski, Bastian and Ellis collected a second at the Marysville-based Blue Water Area Meet of Champions; a lineup of Griffith, Laskowski, Bastian and Ellis generated a third at the Marlette Invitational; plus a team of Griffith, Laskowski, Bastian and Ellis added a 12th at the Division 3 state finals in Jenison.

Names: Charlie Aldrich, Hank Barker, Daniel Griffith, Tyler Ellis and Ethan Bastian.

School: Capac

Years: Junior, junior, junior, senior and sophomore.

Event: 1600-meter relay

Best effort: The lineup may have changed from time to time, but Capac could always be counted on to field a top-notch group when race day arrived.

A team consisting of Aldrich, Barker, Griffith and Ellis registered a season-best 3:36.61 clocking en route to a third Friday, May 17 at a Division 3 regional hosted by BroCity High School.

Top finishes: A lineup of Aldrich, Barker, Bastian and Ellis took first at the Vassar-based Hurd Invitational; managed seconds at the Brown City Invitational and Greater Thumb East Conference League Meet in Brown City; plus a team of Aldrich, Barker, Griffith and Ellis notched a third at a Brown City-based Division 3 regional.

Names: Ronny Hudson, Reed Hall, Brendan Knuth and Ethan Rozanski.

School: Dryden

Years: Senior, sophomore, senior and senior.

Event: 3200-meter relay

Best effort: Hudson, Hall, Knuth and Rozanski took second with a time of 8:39.88 at a Division 4 regional hosted by Flint Beecher High School on Tuesday, May 17.

Top finishes: Dryden came in first at the USA Invitational; obtained seconds at the Mayville-based North Central Thumb League Meet and a Division 4 regional hosted by Flint Beecher High School; garnered a fourth at the Davison Twilight Classic; plus provided a 19th at the Division 4 state meet in Hudsonville.

Second team- Nathan Schenkel, Dryden, high jump; Ryan Johnson, Imlay City, shot put; Jackson Malcolm, Almont, discus; Hank Barker, Capac, pole vault; Tyler Ellis, Capac, long jump, Breydon Andrez, Imlay City, 100-meter dash; Robbie Battani, Almont, 110-meter hurdles; Riley Bertram, Imlay City, 200-meter dash; Robbie Battani, Almont, 300-meter hurdles; Breydon Andrez, Imlay City, 400 dash; Ronny Hudson, Dryden, 800 and 1600-meter runs; Ben Rodriguez, Capac, 3200-meter run; Imlay City's 400-meter relay of Raymond Liu, James Ruolo, Alex Dimmick and Riley Bertram; Imlay City's 800-meter relay of Raymond Liu, Breydon Andrez, Lonnie Wolford and Riley Bertram; plus Imlay City's 1600-meter relay of Raymond Liu, Zavier Logan, Riley Bertram and Breydon Andrez.

Honorable mention- Mike Rinke, Almont, pole vault; Logan Swantek, Capac, pole vault; Bryce Tank, Capac, discus; Daniel Griffith, Capac, 100-meter dash; Seth Helfer, Almont, 200-meter dash; Almont's 400-meter relay of Caleb Weigand, Thomas Dyer, Lucas DeLaurier and Seth Helfer; plus Almont's 800-meter relay of Lucas DeLaurier, Caleb Weigand, Colby Schapman and Seth Helfer.

Coach of the Year- For directing Capac to a second-place finish at the Greater Thumb Conference East League Meet, Terry Geliske earns Tri-City Times All-Area Coach of the Year accolades.

Kevin Kissane has been covering high school sports for the Tri-City Times since 1985. When not standing on a field or court with his camera and notepad, he enjoys golf, travel and family. Kevin is a 1980 graduate of Capac High School, and is also a grad of St. Clair Community College and earned a degree in journalism from Central Michigan University.
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