By: John Raffel
Clare makes it a clean sweep in boys track
Clare boys track coach Adams Burhans celebrated two titles this season.
His team won the MITFA meet on Memorial Day weekend. A week later, Clare took the MHSAA title with 44 points. edging out Berrien Springs with 42.
It’s Burhans’ 15th year as coach.
“Our main focus was to get back to the state championship level with regards to the MITCA team state finals,” Burhans said. “We had a very good, very deep team. As far as the MHSAA, that was definitely something on our radar. Our focus was to do well completely as a team.
“MHSAA format is scored slightly differently,” continued Burhans. “We usually have a handful of teams that can do some damage there. We had a few extra pieces. It became apparent within the first couple weeks of the season; the MHSAA was also a goal.”
Both titles, Burhans said, are special to the team for different reasons. “MITCA is a true reflection of total team depth,” he said. “It’s a hard sell for kids, especially for Memorial Day weekend. Fortunately for us, we’ve been able to host the MITCA state championship the last few years, so that’s been a selling point.
“MHSAA is special for other years. It’s elite athletes vs. elite athletes. I wouldn’t weight one over the other.”
Xavier Martin placed second in the 200 meter dash at the state meet. He placed second or third on the three state finals relay sprint teams. “He led a deep sprinting corps this year and was all-state in four events,” Burhans said. “He was an absolute anchor with a lot of point.”
Burhans said his team had the deadliest one-two punch in the discus with Noah Nivison taking first (156-7) and Zac Stickler coming in sixth (149-1).
“Zac set our school record in the shot put this year and was all-state in the shot put and discus,” Burhans said. “Noah Nivison has made tremendous progression the last three years. We were fortunate to have those points for the team as well.”
The Pioneers expect to be deep next year. While the team will lose some seniors, they have some promising freshmen coming up.