After three days of practice our season, like everyone else’s, was suspended and then came to an end this week after the cancellation of the remainder of the school year.
For the first three days the enthusiasm, talent and work ethic were off the charts. As it always does, this came down to the leadership of the senior class and the class of 2020 is a special group.
Because we won’t have a chance to see their accomplishments during the season, or honor them for regional, conference, and statewide honors, I wanted to write about the outstanding 2020 senior class to recognize their achievements.
While the 2019 season was a good one for the Charger’s women’s team it was still a bit of a rebuilding year only because of the 2016 state runner up finish and dominating performances by the 2017 and 2018 teams. With only a couple seniors on the 2019 team excitement and enthusiasm for the 2020 season were at an all time high. I have little doubt that there would have been multiple relay teams and 3 to 5 individuals competing at the State Championships.
A little bit about the 2020 senior class, which while athletically they were one of the most talented groups I’ve been lucky enough to coach as people they were even better. I have no doubt that the young women of the 2020 track class will make their marks on the world.
Lexi. Probably the toughest girl on the team. 4 year runner. Has competed in every event from the 100 Hurdles to the 3200. Never could get her to try throwing, she just did not think it was her thing (kidding). She never quit working. I think she would have been on the Powers 3200 meter relay this year and possibly been a contender for the 1600 meter relay as well relay, also hurdles at the relays if we needed her. Lexi plans to attend Mott to get her associates degree before moving on to Michigan State to pursue a bachelor’s degree in nursing.
What can I say about Meghan. A four year letter winner, our best high jumper and a good sprinter and better middle distance runner, a worker all four years, always with a smile. I bought the “new” high jump pit for Meghan ( I really did she bugged me so much about the nasty old one). I know she would have gone 4’11” this year and probably 5’1’. Meghan has been incredibly valuable to the team because her range went from the 100 meter dash through the 800 meter run. At the end of 2019 Meghan began to come into her own in the 400 meter dash. She was part of a 1600 meter relay team that just missed qualifying for the state meet and posted the 3rd best time in school history at the 2019 Saginaw Valley Championships. With 6 of the top 7 400 meter runners returning I have little doubt that the 1600 meter relay team would have contended for all state honors and challenged the schools record set by the legendary tandem of Vanitvelt, Deitering, Braman and Gleason. Additionally Meghan was honored as the Saginaw Valley Student Athlete of the year! Meghan is moving on to the University of Alabama and will be studying ophthalmology. For Meghan I say Roll Tide!
Lauren is a thrower and a cross country runner. Odd combination! Well not, both take dedication, hard work and the ability to endure. A high performer Lauren ranks 10th all time in the discus and has captained the throws the past 2 years. Lauren epitomizes the ideal Power’s athlete, works hard, leads by example and succeeds. I hope to bring Lauren back someday as a coach. Lauren is going to follow in her sister’s Kaylin’s footsteps and will be attending Aquinas College in the fall where she plans on studying nursing.
Aerin, I remember the day I first met Aerin, it was during the winter, her freshman year. She was there maybe for Basketball? It was pre-track season. Coach Quinn and I were there and started talking to Aerin’s Dad, Blaine. The conversation went well, Aerin was a pitcher in softball a very good one. Somehow she decided she liked track, we shared her with the softball team for 2 years. This year would have been Aerin’s year. We discovered almost by accident that she is really fast. Aerin stepped up and replaced an injured teammate on the 400 meter relay team. Over the course of 10 days the relay team dropped 3 seconds and qualified for the state meet for the first time since 1998. The group of Emma Brock, Kit Goyette, Victoria Pyrette and Aerin Pertler rank 4th all time. Individually Aerin ranks 7th all time in school history in the 400 meter dash. I’m certain she would have moved up more than a couple places on this list in 2020. A strong hurdler Aerin ranks 9th all time in the 100 meter hurdles and 5th all time in the 300 meter hurdles as well as 9th in the 200 meter dash. Aerin is going to attend Kettering University in the Fall and I have no doubt that her future is very bright.
Grace is one of the best soccer players in the state and plays on a high level travel soccer team. She came out for track as a junior and she immediately made everyone around her better. Grace’s work ethic, talent, positive attitude and speed became apparent on her first day. She led the 2019 team in the 100 meter dash where she ranks 6th all time. Grace’s finest performance was at the 2019 regional meet where she anchored the all junior 800 meter relay team of Aerin Pertler, Meghan Lawrence, Victoria Pyrett and herself to a season best and the 4th fastest time in school history. With the entire relay team returning for their senior years I have not doubt that the 2020 season would have ended up with Grace’s name all over the top 10 lists and with several races at the 2020 state championships. Grace has accepted a full scholarship to play soccer at Depaul University where she plans on studying business. I look forward to hearing about Grace’s success on the pitch over the next 4 years.
Vicky is the ROCK that the sprint relays have been built around for the past four years. Always consistent, always fearless Vicky had a hammer lock on the 3rd leg of the 400 and 800 meter relays. Vicky was part of the 4th best 400 and 800 meter relay teams in school history and individually ranks 9th in the 100 meter dash all time. Vicky came into the 2020 season in the greatest shape of her life. Even though we only got three days of practice it was clear that Vicky was on another level from the prior years. Along with the rest of the senior class Vicky would have led to a big shake up in the top 10 list. Vicky is going to attend Michigan State in the Fall and she is going to join the competitive cheer team.
A 4 year letter winner Aliyah was a positive influence on the team through her attitude at practice and willingness to sacrifice for the team. While she was just outside the top group in the relays Aliyah kept everyone on their toes because if they slacked Aliyah was ready to move up on the depth chart. Aliyah’s main event was the 100 meter dash where she had a constant battle with Danielle Medley. Aliyah’s first love was basketball where she played for four years for the Chargers. This was going to be the breakout year for Aliyah.
Hear it from them:
Lexy Duffieny: “Reflecting on my past three years of running Powers track, so many great memories remind me why i love this sport. Although it was difficult to pick out my favorite memory, my mind kept coming back to the time where one on my coaches, Leo Foley Jr. decided to put me up for a challenge and make me run the 100 meter dash. For a distance runner, a 100 meter dash isn’t exactly part of the training but I told him I would do it. Making a fool of myself, my friends and my teammates all laughed about it and it has definitely been a race to remember. I am forever grateful for the past three years of hard work and dedication to my team. I will always love Powers Track team, my second family!”
Aerin Pertler: “I would say a favorite memory was junior year, my first race back from an injury and getting a PR in the 400 or running in the state meet sophomore year.”
Meghan Lawrence: “I loved how much the team was like a family, all the way from my freshman year to senior year, no matter what everyone pushed each other to be better. My favorite memory was last year our relay teams pushed each other so hard and we all ended up PR-ing at the regional meet, which was so exciting especially when I was thrown into the 4×4.
Victoria Pyrett: “My favorite memories from track were riding to the meets with my teammates and being able to experience states with a great group of girls that I became so close with.”
Lauren Mazuer: “My favorite part of track is the diversity of it all. You can like long distance, hurdles, high jump, throwing and still have something to do. You just can’t forget the “AND FIELD” part of track and field :-).”
Despite the cancellation of the season the contributions of the class of 2020 to Chargers Athletics and the Track and Field program will be long remembered. Thank you Seniors!