KENTWOOD, Mich. — Carlson (Gibraltar, Mich.) hurdler and Michigan State football target Jaylan Franklin succinctly described the consensus view of the 2017 Michigan Lower Peninsula Division I track and field finals on Saturday.
“It was really hot today,” the junior said.
Clouds offered brief relief, but for the most part the athletes baked under the sunlight at East Kentwood. Temperatures creeping into the 80s felt even hotter.
As races finished, many crumbled to the turf, while others immediately made their way to the hoses to get rehydrated. At one point, EMTs responded to an alert of one athlete’s complications from the heat.
Oak Park, which entered as the defending boys’ and girls’ champion, did not retain either title. On the boys’ side, East Kentwood took the championship, its sixth in the last nine years. Ann Arbor Pioneer took the girls’ title after finishing as runner-up in 2016.
At least one future Michigan State football player participated in the finals. Spartans signee Cody White wrapped up his illustrious prep sports career at Walled Lake Western by competing in the long jump and the 4×100 meter relay.
In the long jump, he finished with a mark of 20 feet, 8.75 inches, which placed him 13th of 22 competitors. In the 4×100, his team’s mark of 42.93 did not put the group on the medal stand.
Franklin, a 247Sports 3-star tight end and outside linebacker who has not yet chosen a college program, had a strong finish in his finest event, the 300-meter hurdles. Of the 23 competitors, he placed seventh with a 39.44.
And keep an eye on Logan Brown for years to come. The standout sophomore tackle for East Kentwood coasted to a shot put state title on his home turf. He threw 60-1.5, the only competitor to break the 60-foot threshold. His victory proved crucial in his school’s title.
Detroit Cass Tech junior standouts and Michigan State targets Kalon Gervin and DeAndre Square were expected to compete in the 4×100-meter and 4×200-meter relays, but neither showed. An Instagram post indicated that Gervin opted to participate in a Football University camp instead.