St. Michael High School Qualifies Distance Runners for the Track & Field State Finals

PETOSKEY – May 27, 2022 – St. Michael High School (SMHS), Northern Michigan’s only Classical Catholic high school, is pleased to announce that it has qualified a large contingent of distance runners for the Division-4 Track & Field State Finals, Saturday, June 4 in Hudsonville.  At last Friday’s Regional at Inland Lakes HS, the Guardian Boys team placed fourth (of 14 teams) with 69 points and the Guardian Girls placed ninth with 23 points.

The Ladies 4 x 800-meter relay team of Anna Zielinski, Sydney Feagan, Jane Manthei, and Emma O’Neil took first in 11:11, becoming the first-ever St. Michael qualifiers for the Girls State Finals.  Other point scorers on the day included O’Neil placing 5th in the 800-meters, Feagan placing 7th in the 1600-meters, Zielinski placing 7th in the 400-meters, and the 4 x 400-meter relay team of Zielinski, Feagan, Siobhan Weed, and O’Neil placing fourth.

The Gents qualified multiple runners in all distance races, beginning with a tight runner-up finish in the 4 x 800-meter relay in a season-best time of 8:31, ranking it as the fourth fastest in D-4 so far this season.  The team consisted of Mac Moore, Russell Vandermus, Zach Maendel, and Sam Paga.

In the 1600, Paga and Maendel qualified for State, taking first and second places.  In the 800, Paga and Moore qualified, taking first and second places.  In the 3200, Paga, Maendel, and Moore finished second, third, and fourth, respectively – with Paga and Maendel again qualifying.  The 4 x 400-meter relay team of Vandermus, Isaac Paga, Levi Benzing, and Moore also tallied points for the Guardians with a third-place finish.

SMHS Coach Larry Rudnicki exclaimed, “I’m thrilled with our Regional performance!  Our Ladies will get their first taste of State competition and Our Guys qualified every runner in every event that we targeted!  We look forward to sending our largest contingent ever to experience the State Finals.  Led by 4-event qualifier Sam Paga, our Guys are well-positioned with several opportunities to climb the podium.  I couldn’t be prouder of our kids, who continue to ‘buy in’, moving our program forward.  GO GUARDIANS!

St. Michael High School is High School with a Higher Purpose and a proud member of the Chesterton Schools Network, the largest and fastest-growing network of its kind in the country.  SMHS welcomes all families who seek a better education and faith formation for their students and offers tuition assistance to qualifying families.

Established in 2013, the St. Michael mission is to nurture and elevate a new generation of joyful leaders educated in the Classical tradition and truth of the Catholic faith.  For information on SMHS, visit the school website at or contact Headmaster Dr. Richard Brake at

Scroll to Top