Michigan to host Midwest meet of Champions

Published 8:08 am Tuesday, April 25, 2006

By Staff
High School track and field stars from Michigan will have a chance to showcase their talents in front of the home-state fans on June 10 when the Midwest Meet of Champions will be held in the Wolverine State for the first time in its 33-year history.
The meet, which will be held at Withington Stadium in Jackson, will pit high school seniors from Indiana, Michigan and Ohio against each other in 17 men's and women's events. The top six finishers in each individual event will be awarded points on a 10-8-6-4-2-1 basis. In the relay events, points will be awarded on a 10-6-2 basis.
The meet is being organized under the leadership of Kim Spalsbury, Team Michigan and Grand Ledge boys' track coach; meet manager Charlie Janke, a retired Jackson track coach; and meet financial officer Jerry Reis, current Hanover-Horton track coach.
Last year, Lex Williams of Dexter won the men's 3,200 meters in 8 minutes 57.15 seconds to break a 27-year-old meet record. In the women's competition, Gena Gall of Grand Blanc broke a 20-year-old meet record in the 800 with a time of 2:07.45.
Six athletes who competed in the Midwest Meet of Champions, including Michiganians Brian Diemer, Earl Jones and Darnell Hall, later won medals in the Olympic Games or World Championships.
Diemer, a 1979 graduate of Grand Rapids South Christian, won a bronze medal in the 3,000 meter steeplechase in the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles.
Jones was a bronze medalist in the 800 in the 1984 Olympics after graduating from Taylor Center in 1982.
Hall, a 1990 graduate of Detroit Pershing, was awarded a gold medal in the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona and in the 1995 World championships in Goteborg, Sweden, after running in qualifying heats of the 1,600 relay for U.S. teams that went on to win the finals of those meets.
Plans have been completed with Spring Arbor University to house and feed the athletes and coaching staffs. The organizational committee is currently seeking sponsorships on a variety of levels to keep cost for participating athletes and coaches at zero as it has traditionally been when the event was held in other states.
For information on the event or sponsorship packages, contact Reis at 517-750-2836 or Jreis42@comcast.net.