GRAND RAPIDS — Good things can often be just as good — if not better — the second time around.
Such was the case for Petoskey senior Louis Lamberti.
Lamberti bested the field of 28 other jumpers including second place finisher John Mrosewske of Three Rivers, who also cleared 6-7.
Lamberti was awarded the championship on number of attempts, as Mrosewske had more missed attempts than Lamberti when the bar went back down to 6-6.
Lamberti, who last season won the high jump state title at 6-8, closed a stellar high school career in which he went two straight seasons undefeated in the event.
“It feels great, just as good as the first time,” Lamberti said. “To be able to do it again and what’s expected of me makes it nice.”
Lamberti, who entered the high jump as the No. 1 seeded jumper in Division II, said the competition this season was stiffer than a year ago.
“Just having won last year and being a top seed with a lot of guys just under me, it was a really good competition,” Lamberti said. “Last year, there was only two of us going into 6-4 compared to this year, there were like seven or eight.”
Seven total jumpers cleared the 6-4 mark as Demarcus Leak of Paw Paw was third at 6-5, followed by Paul Harvey of Ostego, 6-4; James Kodet of Williamston, 6-4; George Sawaya of Dearborn Divine Child, 6-4; and John Williams of Berrien Springs, 6-4.
I felt really good going into the day with all the rest,” Lamberti said. “The track conditions were nice. It’s a brand new facility so all the equipment was top notch, which was really nice. It was pretty sunny out with a little wind, which also helped.”
Lamberti said he couldn’t have repeated as state champion without the help of his coaches including Karen Starkey, teammates, family, friends and the community.
“I just want to thank everybody that’s supported me and Petoskey athletics in general,” Lamberti said. “It will be really difficult to leave here.”
Lamberti will continue his high jump career this fall as a member of the University of Michigan men’s track and field team.
“I’m very excited and it will be fun,” Lamberti said. “I’d like to think it will be a lot of improving for me. I’ll be specifically just in high jump and hopefully it will bring improvement as I move on.”
Petoskey coach Kevin Roush said it will be hard to replace an athlete who’s finished undefeated in his event for two straight seasons.
“That’s pretty impressive and it will be a challenge to replace him,” Roush said. “You don’t often find a kid out of high school willing to work at it and who has the ability to work at it.
“He’s just a competitor,” Roush added. “He likes to jump and perform. He has great technique and form and he’s a kid that’s developed and who has taken it to the next level.”
Also for the Petoskey boys, freshman thrower Tommy Roush earned a pair of All-State medals as he placed in both the shot put and discus. Roush was third in discus at 168 feet, 4 inches, which was behind Zeeland East’s Quincy Byrd who won at 189-2 and Adam Coon of Fowlerville who was second at 176-7.
In shot put, Roush was sixth at 52-1.5. Cadillac’s Riley Norman won the shot put with a Division II state record throw of 59-10; while Coon was second at 57-.5
“For a freshman to place in two events, he’s pretty excited,” Kevin Roush said of his son. “He didn’t throw as well as he would’ve liked in shot and was 5 feet off his PR, but there’s nothing wrong with being sixth throwing against primarily upper classmen.
“He had a great afternoon in the discus and he was a little frustrated after throwing the shot,” Roush said. “He was seeded No. 3 and he had a good mentality and was happy with his throws. He was just building from his first throws on up and had a good series.”
Also for Petoskey, Mark Smith placed 30th in the 3200-meter run at 10:44.62.
“It was a big race for Mark and a good way to end the season,” Roush said.
Chelsea won the Division II boys state title with 64 points, while Grand Rapids Ottawa Hills was second, 56; followed by Williamston, 35. Cadillac placed eighth with 20 points, while Petoskey as ninth, 19.