SAGINAW, MI – There are no hurdles, as some might expect, in the Klopfs’ driveway.

But the family, which includes eight brothers and sisters, has established itself as an elite line of hurdlers, with Lydia Klopf adding her name to her family’s Saginaw County Korf/Schultz Meet legacy.

Klopf, a senior from Freeland, won the 100-meter hurdles and the 300-meter hurdles on her way to female Most Valuable Athlete honors Tuesday at Saginaw Heritage. She also added a second place as a member of the 800-meter relay and a fourth in the long jump.

Her brother, Noah Klopf, won the male Most Valuable Athlete honor in the 2019 Korf/Schultz Meet, claiming both hurdle events.

“He did help me, giving some advice for hurdles for the indoor season,” Klopf said. “I’m definitely going to show him this. I’m texting him as soon as I get home.

“It feels pretty great to match Noah. Ever since the beginning of high school, he’s been pushing me to be really great at it. It takes confidence in yourself. If you’re not confident in that first hurdle, if you stutter, the rest of the race is kind of down the drain.”

Freeland swept the individual honors with sophomore Braydon Honsinger taking home the male Most Valuable Athlete award after winning the 800 with a personal record time of 1:58.69. He added legs on Freeland’s winning 1,600 relay (3:34.26) and 3,200 relay (8:35.20).

Klopf, who also wrestled on the Freeland boys team at 102 pounds, has dominated the hurdle events this season for the Falcons. She won both hurdle events in the regionals, adding a first and second at Saturday’s MITCA event.

She will run both hurdle events in Saturday’s Division 2 state track meet in Zeeland.

“She really came into her own this season,” Freeland coach George Drown said. “Two years ago, she was kind of in Abby Youngstrom’s shadow. But she has really had a breakthrough season for us. She’s the type of athlete who can do well wherever we put her. We know she can do a good job in our relays.”

Klopf is the third oldest of Gary and Andrea Klopf’s children, with five younger brothers and sisters. One, Joseph, is a freshman on the Freeland track team.

“He’s a distance runner though, not a hurdler,” Klopf said. “We’re a big family, and we make it a point to eat together, so that can get pretty crowded around the table.

“The best thing about being in such a big family is that you’re never lonely. There’s always someone around. The negative is that it can get pretty chaotic. But they’re all pretty good athletes. We have a pretty big yard.”

Klopf won the 300 hurdles with a personal record of :48.15, adding a :16.58 to win the 100 hurdles.

Honsinger achieved his Korf/Schultz Meet goal, but not because of the Most Valuable Athlete award.

“It wasn’t something I was thinking about or trying to get,” Honsinger said. “My goal was to get a pr in the 800, which I did. Everything else was extra.”

Honsinger, who won the Saginaw County Cross Country title as a freshman in 2019, took first in both the 800 and 1,600 in the Division 2 track regionals, qualifying for the state meet in both events.

“My goal is to medal in the events at the state meet,” Honsinger said. “I know all the runners there, and I know it’s going to be tough. There are a lot of great runners in that meet.”

Freeland also added another feather to its Korf/Schultz cap Tuesday, with a meet record in the girls 800-meter run. Mara Longenecker claimed the win in 2:17.43, breaking the meet record of 2:20.25 set by Heritage’s Rachel Kempf in 2018. It also broke the Freeland record of 2:19.3.

Other Korf/Schultz Meet girls champions included Bridgeport junior Chaniya Madison in the 100 (:12.35), Saginaw High senior Aidia Adams in the 200 (:25.68), Valley Lutheran freshman Claire Neumann in the 400 (:58.77), Freeland junior Whitney Farrell in the 1,600 (5:19.59) and Heritage freshman Sam Smith in the 3,200 (12:46.24).

The St. Charles foursome of Kassidy Himler, Lily Nader, Hope Kushion and Lindsey Pumford won both the 400 relay (:51.16) and 800 relay (1:48.40). Freeland’s team of Longenecker, Farrell, Erin Collier and Kiera Hansen won the 1,600 relay (4:16.32), with Hansen, Ava Reed, Caitlyn Mieske and Ainsley Miller giving the Falcons another win in the 3,200 relay (10:40.69).

Girls field event winners were Freeland senior Kirsten Spegel in the shot put (39-4), Merrill senior Emily Emmendorfer in the discus (105-6), Chesaning sophomore Avery Beckman in the pole vault (8-6), Kushion in the long jump (16-2) and Freeland senior Kaela Gregory in the high jump (5-2).

Carrollton standout DJ Voltz, the top long jumper in the state this season, competed in just one event, winning the 100-meter dash in :11.36. Voltz tweaked his hamstring in winning the 100 in Saturday’s regional and opted not to risk competing in the long jump or 200 Tuesday. Voltz will compete in the 100 and long jump in Saturday’s state meet.

Heritage sophomore Gabriel Trevino was a double winner Tuesday, claiming titles in the 1,600 (4:45.93) and 3,200 (10:18.60). Chesaning senior Isaac Zamora was also a double winner, finishing first in the 110 hurdles (:16.11) and 300 hurdles (:42.76).

Other boys Korf/Schultz meet champions included Saginaw Heritage junior Tyree Alexander in the 200 (:23.12), Chesaning junior Jaden James in the 400 (:51.85), Hemlock senior Braden Beyersdorf in the shot put (48-10.5), Chesaning junior Brenden Quackenbush in the discus (139-5), Valley Lutheran junior Hans Ross in the high jump (6-0), Swan Valley senior Max Dawson in the pole vault (11-0) and Valley Lutheran senior Eli Frank in the long jump (19-4.5).

Boys relay winners included Heritage (Joshua Braley, Alexander, Jakevis Neal, Jordon Keahey) in the 400 relay (:44.86), Heritage (Neal, Grant Churchill, Max Faerber, Alexander) in the 800 relay (1:33.37), Freeland (Tommy Roenicke, Honsinger, Noah Robbins, Evan Vasicek) in the 1,600 relay (3:34.26) and Freeland (Jacob Wurtzel, Braden Klein, Jacob Alexander and Honsinger) in the 3,200 relay (8:35.20).


Freeland girls claim first state track title in school history


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