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MISportsNow Top Moments of 2021: No. 4, No. 3

MISportsNow is taking a look back at some of the top moments from 2021. Our 9&10 Sports team voted on the 10 best. Join us as we count down to No. 1!

The segment continues with No. 4 and No. 3:

4. Cross Country Glory

A Northern Michigan cross country team and individual runner accomplished impressive and historical feats at the state championship meet this fall.

The Hart girls cross country team won its fifth straight state championship, tying the record for the most consecutive state titles in Lower Peninsula cross country history.

Rockford won five consecutive state titles from 1998-2002.

The Pirates had three girls finish in the top five with Alyson Enns in second, Jessica Jazwinski in third and Audrianna Enns in fourth place.

Hart scored 143 points to beat runner-up Kent City by 36 points.

Meanwhile, Benzie Central’s Hunter Jones won his third consecutive individual state title.

He is now one state title away from becoming the first male runner to win four outright MHSAA individual championships.

Jones’ time of 15:08.39 was the third fastest time in Division 3 state history.

3. The Football Five

It was a bizarre year for all sports due to Covid-19, and the 2020 football season felt the virus’ impact when the season was suspended in the middle of the playoffs.

The 2020 high school football playoffs resumed in January of 2021, and three Northern Michigan schools — Cadillac, Traverse City St. Francis and Suttons Bay (8-player) — made runs to the state championship games.

In the 2021 football season this fall, two more local schools made runs to Ford Field: Beal City and Traverse City Central, with Suttons Bay also making it to the 8-player state finals again.

All five schools finished as state runners-up.

Take a look below at the rest of the countdown thus far:

10. Central Michigan University Athletics’ Success: The Chippewas won MAC titles in baseball and women’s basketball and made another bowl appearance in football.

9. Local Basketball Teams End State Semifinals Droughts: Rudyard boys basketball made its first trip to the state semifinals since 1963 and Mt. Pleasant Sacred Heart boys basketball made its first semifinal run since 2006. The Newaygo girls basketball team made its first state finals appearance since winning consecutive Class C state championships in 1984-85 and Bellaire made its first ever trip to the state finals.

8. Inland Lakes Volleyball Makes First Ever State Finals

7. TC St. Francis Boys Tennis Wins First State Title, Three State Champs in Skiing (TC Central girls, TC West boys & Petoskey boys)

6. Rudyard Softball, T.C. St. Francis Baseball Make State Championship

5. Cheboygan’s P.J. Maybank III Wins State Title and is Named Mr. Golf for Michigan