4x800 State Champs

St. Michael Academy 4×800 Relay Wins First State Championship in School History; Boys Place 11th Overall at D-4 Track & Field Finals

PETOSKEY – June 24, 2021 – St. Michael Academy (SMA), Northern Michigan’s only Classical Catholic high school, is pleased to announce that its Boys Track & Field team placed 11th at the Division-4 State Finals in Hudsonville earlier this month.

The highlight for the Guardians came early as its Boys 4×800 relay team claimed the first State Championship in school history, holding off Hillsdale Academy, The Potter’s House, and overall meet winner Carson City – Crystal, to pull an upset win in a thrilling race with a school-record time of 8:20.62. The team consisted of Sam Paga, Seth Bragg, Micah Bragg, and Hammond Law.

In hot, windy conditions, Paga ran a strong, tactical opening leg, taking the lead at 500 meters and gapping the field as he finished. Seth Bragg, a late substitution, ran a brilliant second leg – fending off all challengers while maintaining a narrow advantage. His brother Micah ran third – also answering every challenge as the top four teams pulled away from the field. As with the first two legs, he finished convincingly, providing anchor leg Law with a significant though not quite comfortable lead.

As capable anchor legs of the other top teams gave relentless chase, Law simply ran away from them, always maintaining a lead just large enough to prevent the chase pack from sensing vulnerability. From the moment the Guardians took the lead, 500 meters into the race, they never lost control of it.

In addition to ten points from its 4×800 relay win, St. Michael added four points in the 800 meters, with Paga taking 5th place in a school record time of 2:01.93 – and three points in the 3200 meters, with Law taking 6th place in 10:14.02, nearly breaking his own school record, despite the oppressive heat and wind.

Guardians Head Coach Larry Rudnicki stated, “What a thrill it was to watch Hammond cross the line in victory – a fitting culmination to years of hard work by our guys! I ask our athletes to commit to our program, then to take on and execute ‘difficult tasks’ as preparation for life. While persistent efforts surely don’t always yield winning results, how beautiful and exciting it is when they do! I couldn’t be prouder of our relay team and of everyone in our Track & Field program at St. Michael Academy!”

SMA is enrolling students for the coming academic year. Please contact Dr. Richard Brake for more information at drbrake@stmichaelpetoskey.org.

Established in 2013, St. Michael Academy is the first Catholic high school in the Little Traverse area since 1972, and the region’s only Classical high school. SMA strives to develop the next generation of American leaders by promoting a culture of excellence and instilling its students with the classical virtues of wisdom, temperance, courage, and justice, along with the Christian virtues of faith, hope, and love.

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