St. Michael Again Qualifies a ‘Distance Crew’ for the Track State Finals!

PETOSKEY – May 24, 2023 – St. Michael High School (SMHS), Northern Michigan’s only Classical Catholic high school, is very pleased to carry on its tradition of qualifying a substantial ‘distance crew’ for the Division-4 Track & Field State Finals – next Saturday, June 3 in Hudsonville.

At last Friday’s Regional at Inland Lakes High School, the Guardian Gents team placed sixth (of 15 schools) with 51 points while the Guardian Ladies team placed seventh with 48 points, easily its highest-ever point total.

The Ladies were led by sophomore Jane Manthei (of co-op partner Harbor Light Christian School) whose emergence as a top distance runner, both locally and in all of D-4, has been a perpetual highlight of the current season.  Manthei placed second in the 1600m in a personal-best time of 5:20.6, then took the Regional crown in both the 800m (in 2:27.9) and 3200m (in 12:03.4).  She prepares for the State Finals with a top ten seeding in all three events.

Also qualifying for the State Finals was ‘impact 8th grader’ Veronica Paga, with a runner-up finish in the 800m in 2:31.3.  Manthei and Paga are the first two ladies from the St. Michael team to ever qualify in individual events.

The Gents also qualified distance runners, led by its 4x800m relay (Mac Moore, Levi Benzing, Russell Vandermus, and Zach Maendel) which took the Regional title in a season-best time of 8:29, the fifth fastest in D-4 this season.

Freshman ace Lynus Cadarette qualified in two events with a fifth-place finish in the 1600m in 4:40.4 and a third-place finish in the 3200m in 10:25.5.  Maendel joined him in the 3200m with a fourth place finish in 10:29.9.  (All three of these results met the ‘additional qualifying’ standards for the State Finals.)

SMHS Coach Larry Rudnicki commented, “Our Ladies team had its biggest day yet last Friday and I’m optimistic that we’ll make the podium (and thus, the scoreboard) at the State Finals for the first time ever next week!  Our Gents look to return to the podium for the third straight year.  Frankly, the guys struggled a bit at the Regional and I look forward to seeing how they bounce back.  As the Christian life requires perseverance through adversity, we aspire to develop this and other virtues in our young men and women, each and every day.  Go Guardians!”

Learn more about SMHS Track & Field at

St. Michael High School is High School with a Higher Purpose and a proud member of the Chesterton Schools Network.  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

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