State champs!

June 13, 2018

Pictured, left to right, Mackenzie Stitt, Brenna Aerts, Adelyn Ackley, Alayna Ackley, Savannah Ackley, Lynae Ackley and Lexi Gale.

State champs!

By Allison Scarbrough, Editor.

HART — The Hart Girls Track Team won the state championship, June 2, at Comstock Park High School; two Pirate relay teams brought home state titles; and Adelyn Ackley and Logan Wells won individual state titles.

Wells won the 400-meter run with a time of 48.89, breaking the school record.

Ackley won the 3200-meter run with a time 10:49.87. It is an event for which she holds the school record.

Both Ackley and Wells were on the state championship Pirate relay teams.

The girls 4×800 relay team consisting of Adelyn Ackley, her sister Alayna Ackley, Brenna Aerts and Mackenzie Stitt finished first with a time of 9:32.67.

The boys 4×100 relay team consisting of Wells, Kegan Strait, Angel Aguilar and Orian Torres finished first with a time of 43.83.

Winning all-state honors by finishing in the top eight were Alayna Ackley with a third-place finish in the 3200 and Savannah Ackley (Adelyn and Alyana’s sister) in fifth place in the 3200-meter. Savannah also placed eighth in the 1600-meter. Adelyn Ackley took second place in the 1600-meter and sixth in the 800-meter.

The girls team tied for first place in the state meet with Saint Charles High School. Hart won the coin toss by calling “heads” to take home the trophy that day.

Senior Lexi Gale took fifth in pole vault, making her a three-time all-state athlete.

Also competing in the 3200 at state was Lynae Ackley, the Ackleys’ cousin.

Wells was invited to compete in the Mid Michigan Meet of Champions at Michigan State University last Saturday, June 9. He competed for Team Michigan against Team Ohio and Team Indiana. He was the only Division 3 athlete competing against athletes from all Division 1 schools in the 4×400 event. He ran a 47.51, which was close to his best time split, said Coach Mindy Whitney.

Wells will attend Davenport University next fall and plans to compete in track.

Senior Alayna Ackley came back from a stress fracture at the beginning of the season to compete in the state meet. “I have no regrets,” she said. “I tied my personal best.”

Alayna will attend Cedarville University in Ohio next fall to compete in both track and cross country on an athletic scholarship.

“It was pretty awesome,” said Lexi Gale, who vaulted 10 feet, 6 inches. “I was not expecting a state championship at all. It took me by surprise.”

Six of the seven girls who competed at the state track meet were on the Pirate cross country team that also brought home a state championship trophy last fall. They are first two state championships in Hart history.

The boys relay team was the first state championship for a Pirate boys relay team, said Whitney. Wells is the second male athlete from Hart to win an individual state title. The late Rich Tompkins won the first boys title for Hart in 1964.

Whitney, who is the three Ackley sisters’ aunt, has been coaching junior high and high school track at Hart for 15 years. Her husband Brad Whitney is also the Pirates’ coach.

Mindy cites her team’s “hard work and dedication” for their success.

Their son, Andrew Whitney, runs in the 4×800 relay, which set the school record. The family trend continues on the Pirate team as three cousins run in that event — Andrew Whitney, Alex Enns and Abram Enns, Hunter Tubbs is the other athlete in that event.

Andrew Whitney, Kaleb Adams, Alex Holladay and Logan Wells also set the school record in the 4×400 relay.

“I’m glad I ran four races that day,” said Adelyn Ackley, who ran four miles at the state meet.

“It’s the best feeling,” said Wells. “It’s unbelievable. I’ve been floating on air for three days.”

This story is copyrighted © 2018, all rights reserved by Media Group 31, LLC, PO Box 21, Scottville, MI 49454. No portion of this story or images may be reproduced in any way, including print or broadcast, without expressed written consent.

Pictured, left to right, Angel Aguilar, Kegan Strait and Logan Wells. Not pictured is Orion Torres.

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