Farmington Harrison will try for a repeat of last year’s victory Saturday in the 45th annual Observerland Relays, but that won’t be an easy task.
The Hawks won by two points over Livonia Stevenson, 74-72, and they’ll face stiff competition again this year. Any number of teams is capable of winning the title in boys track and field.
This year’s meet will take place at Livonia Churchill High School, starting with the field events at 3 p.m. The running prelims are at 6 p.m., followed by the finals at 6:30 p.m.
Harrison won three events last year and has as good a chance as anybody to win the long jump and shuttle hurdle relays again.
Senior Michael Ojemudia, who is headed to Iowa on a football scholarship, returns to defend his championship in the 110-meter hurdles. He ran 15.42 and won that event by 0.19 seconds over Farmington’s Josh Craven. A month later, Ojemudia ran 14.7 to finish seventh in the state.
He also anchored Harrison’s shuttle hurdle relay team, but he’s the only returning member of last year’s winning foursome.
However, the Hawks always have good hurdlers and will look to seniors Xalen Onyemelukwe and Brandon Reed, junior Jermale Johnson and sophomore Andre Johnson to earn a repeat.
Harrison won the shuttle hurdles Friday in the Raider Relays at North Farmington with a time of 1:05.1.
Senior Iwarri Smith is the lone returning member of the trio that won the long jump relay, but the Hawks should do well again with athletes such as Ramone Dawson, Sean Williams and Jarvis Smith.
Iwarri Smith, who will play football at the University of North Dakota, also was fourth in the 100-meter dash and could win that event. He was sixth in the Division 1 state meet last year.
Junior James Weekley is one of the best distance runners in the area and will be a contender in the open 1,600 run, which is always one of the most competitive events in the meet.
Harrison scored second-place points in the sprint medley, distance medley and high jump relays last year. The Hawks also were third in the 400 and 1,600 relays and fourth in the discus.
The Hawks have their top three throwers back in seniors David Johnson, Omaury Rodgers and Scott Quaderer, plus junior Khalid Kareem, a highly recruited defensive lineman, provides depth in the throws.
Other teams in the top half of the 2014 standings were Livonia Franklin with 52 points; Salem, 50; Novi Catholic Central, 48; Canton, 46; Livonia Churchill, 37; and Farmington, 29. Canton won the Raider Relays with 85 points; Harrison was second with 67.
Westland John Glenn, which finished ninth at Observerland last year with 26 points, did well at the Huron Relays in March and has a quality team that will be in title contention, too.