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The Greenhills varsity track and field team has positioned itself as one of the top competitors in the Catholic High School League’s (CHSL) newly-formed St. Anne’s Division.

Heading into the season, Head Coach Jarrett Bussell had several goals: to uphold team values, challenge the athletes, perform well at regionals, and “take two vans to States.”

Achieving the first was relatively simple. Bussell credits the team’s captains—Navya Ashok ’24, Lincoln Cha ’24, Liam Dutta ’24, and Lauren Sheffield ’25—along with assistant coaches Shana Flanary, Christina Greenfield, Dylan Madden, Kwasi Obeng, and Tim Wilson—for cultivating a positive culture and building a team that knows how to work hard, play hard, have fun, and compete.

“Our four captains were great all year, demonstrating leadership both on and off the track,” said Bussell. “I’m also lucky to be surrounded by such talented assistant coaches who have played a crucial role in our success. Several of them were collegiate athletes, each bringing a unique perspective.”

With a strong work ethic at its core, the team prioritized skill development. Bussell explained, “This season, I wanted to focus on getting the athletes outside their comfort zones by taking smaller groups to certain meets. That way, we can give them some freedom to explore different events and teach flexibility.”

At the May 3 Stockbridge meet, Greenhills opted to send only its 11th and 12th graders, and on May 4, participated in the 9th- and 10th-grade-only Fenton Invite. Both contests created opportunities for Gryphons to unlock their hidden strengths.

“Eleana Zhuang, for example, is one of our strongest,” said Bussell. “Typically, she runs the 4×2 and 4×4 and does the high jump, but at the Stockbridge meet, we got her into the open 100 and open 200. It turns out she’s an incredible 100-meter runner.”

On May 22, the team would go on to have one of its top performances of the season at home when it hosted the CHSL Championship. The girls team claimed the inaugural St. Anne’s Division championship—its second consecutive league title—beating runner-up Allen Park Cabrini by 81 points. Meanwhile, the boys team fought hard, securing second place and only falling to University Liggett School by a narrow margin.

Although the team didn’t crack the top 10 at the Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) Regional Championships on May 18, it did qualify eight athletes for states: Vic Cunningham ’24, Ashok, Zhuang, and Nina Olson ’26 in the girls 4×100 meter relay; Olson in the girls long jump; and Cha, Nico Aagesen ’26, Henry Beck ’26, Royal Seale ’26 in the boys 4×800 meter relay. On May 31, the Gryphons loaded up two Greenhills vans with sights set on Kent City, where the State Finals were held.

“Qualifying for States is a huge accomplishment, and it was exciting to watch them experience such a large-scale track event,” said Bussell. “They came ready and performed well.”

As the Gryphons strive for a league championship three-peat next year, they anticipate some challenges. In early June, the team graduated 13 seniors, including several top performers and three captains. However, Bussell remains confident that the rising juniors and seniors are prepared to lead the team to new heights. Another goal for next year: “We’re taking a bus to States.”

Saturday, April 24
Open to anyone ages 16 and up. Limited quantities available.
Greenhills is closed for mid-winter break and will return on Tuesday, Feb. 22.

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