Erie Mason's Nick Raymond shattered his set the school record in the 1600 meters at the Division 3 regional, but the junior believes he can go even faster Saturday at the Michigan state meet.
Raymond clocked in at 4:21.40 to take the regional title at his home track. He broke his personal record by five full seconds.
"I knew it would be tough, but I knew I could do it," Raymond said. "I'm in the best spot. I know I can go faster."
Raymond enters the D-3 state meet at Comstock Park in Plainfield Township, Mich. with the top qualifying time in the state in the 1600. Raymond also qualified in the 3200 (9:43.80), which is sixth fastest in Division 3.
Raymond qualified to state in both events last year when he placed second at regional in the 1600 (4:34.24). But he opted to be a healthy scratch in that event at state so that he could focus on the 3200, a race he placed eighth in by running a 9:56.71.
"I don't regret last year because it was a hot day," Raymond said. "But going into this year, I plan on running both races. I will go out in the mile and try to win it. And then I'll do what I can do in the two mile."
He said the 1600 is held near the midpoint of the meet so he will have time to rest for the 3200, which is the second to last event. Raymond said he has been running the 800 in between those races at most meets this season so he believes he is in good condition to do well in both events.
"I should have the energy," he said.
Raymond said he feels really good about his chances in the 1600 because he has the fastest time.
"I'm seeded first for the meet, so I'm ready to go," he said. "It gives me confidence because the first seed gets the inside lane. If you're in lane one you're in a better spot because you can see everyone out front."
Raymond already won Lenawee County Athletic Association titles in the 1600 and 3200.
In the fall, Raymond captured his second straight Division 3 cross country regional title with a time of 16:52. He then finished third at the state cross country meet with a time of 15:59.
"I'll run hard and I hope to do really well," Raymond said. "Since I was young I've been hoping for a state title."
DIVISION 4: In the Division 4 regional in Jenison, Mich., the Summerfield boys qualified to state in the 400 and 800 relay races.
The 400 team with Zach Ladd, Travis Fletcher, A.J. Van Kainen, Josh Golkiewicz took first place with time of 45.50. The same squad placed second in the 800 at 1:35.10.
Summerfield junior Fletcher qualified by taking second in the long jump (19-9 1/4), while sophomore teammate Golkiewicz was runner-up in the 100 (11.20). Junior Andrew Cilley finished fourth in the 110 hurdles (15.70).
Contact Mark Monroe at: firstname.lastname@example.org, 419-724-6354 or on Twitter @MonroeBlade.