Hartland’s Avery Evenson No. 1 girl athlete in KLAA West history
The realignment of the Kensington Lakes Activities Association means the end of the KLAA West, which was home to Brighton, Hartland, Howell and Pinckney sports teams since the 2008-09 school year.
The KLAA West featured some great athletes during its nine seasons of existence. There were state champions, all-staters and others who were just outstanding all-around athletes in multiple sports.
This is part of a series on the top 10 male and female athletes in the history of the KLAA West as chosen by Livingston Daily sports reporter Bill Khan. Unlike our annual Livingston County Athlete of the Year selections, great single-sport athletes are recognized on this list.
TOP ATHLETES SO FAR
No. 2 male: Howell’s Sam Weatherly
No. 2 female: Milford’s Mallory Barrett
No. 3 male:Milford’s Brian Kettle
No. 3 female: Brighton’s Cori Crocker
No. 4 male: Howell’s Caleb Balgaard
No. 4 female: Grand Blanc’s Gabrielle Anzalone
No. 5 male: Grand Blanc’s Omar Kaddurah
No. 5 female: Brighton’s Jenna Sica
No. 6 male: Brighton’s Joey Clifford
No. 6 female: Milford’s Rachel Barrett
No. 7 male: Hartland’s Austin Eicher
No. 7 female: Brighton’s Taylor Seaman
No. 8 male: Brighton’s Luke Ready
No. 8 female: Brighton’s Julia Dean
No. 9 male: Hartland’s Matt Poches
No. 9 female: Howell’s Veronica Pezzoni
No. 10 male: Howell’s Bryce Lindberg
No. 10 female: Hartland’s Maddie Pogarch
No. 1: AVERY EVENSON
- School: Hartland
- Graduated: 2012
- Sports: Cross country, swimming, track and field
- College: University of Michigan cross country, track and field
- Accomplishments: You would think that someone with Evenson’s running and swimming background would be a great triathlete. And you would be right. Evenson was all-state in cross country, swimming and track, an ability that translated well into the triathlon world. After high school, she went to Colorado Springs to train for a triathlon. She was fifth in the 2014 Junior World Triathlon Championships and fourth at the 2015 U-23 World Triathlon Championships. But she had a change of heart and wanted to return to cross country and track. She wound up at the University of Michigan, making All-America last fall by placing 18th at the NCAA meet for the national runner-up Wolverines. In high school, she was a three-time all-stater in cross country, had five all-state swims and made all-state twice in track. She was second as a freshman in the 2009 Division 1 cross country state meet. Her best state swimming meet was in 2010 when she took second in the 200 freestyle and fifth in the 100 freestyle just weeks after taking 11th in cross country. In track, she was fifth in the 1,600 as a freshman and seventh as a sophomore. A stress fracture, discovered after she won the regional meet in cross country, kept her out of the cross country and swim state meets her senior year. She graduated early and missed her senior year of track, heading to Colorado Springs to train for a triathlon. Evenson was Livingston County’s Female Athlete of the Year a record three times from 2010-12.
- Comment: “She’s easily one of the more competitive girls I’ve ever been around,” Hartland cross country coach Matt Gutteridge said. “There have been a number of boys that were very competitive. When you’re one of those more elite athletes, it’s natural to be more competitive because you have high goals for yourself.”