Thousands of votes were cast to celebrate the region’s top athletes from the spring season and in Clawson, junior shortstop Craig Bynum was voted the Patch Athlete of the Spring Season.
Fans found creative ways to support their athletes, from sending out email blasts to posting on Facebook walls and Tweeting. All the nominees deserve recognition for their accomplishments.
The following athletes earned the most votes from their respective Patch communities and are the winners of the Athlete of the Spring Season polls.
Please lend your own congratulations in the comments at the end of this story.
Craig Bynum’s margin of victory in the Clawson Athlete of the Spring Season poll was close to his average on the diamond. Bynum won the poll with 73 percent of the vote (72 votes) over goaltender Taylor Kaufman (23 percent; 23 votes).
The junior lead the Trojans varsity baseball team and the Macomb Area Conference Silver division in hitting this season with a .525 average. He had 42 hits in 80 at-bats as the Clawson’s No. 3 hitter.
He hit three doubles and three triples on the season while striking out only six times. Bynum wasn’t too shabby in the field either, with a .813 fielding percentage at shortstop.
Stephanie Miller led the way for the Berkley varsity girls soccer team all year long just as she did the Berkley Athlete of the Spring Season poll. The Bears senior won with 75 percent of the vote (76 votes).
Miller was the leading goal scorer for Berkley this season as it reached the district finals and won an Oakland Activities Association White division title, finishing unbeaten in league play.
The Bears co-captain scored goals in bunches and was nominated for Patch Athlete of the Week earlier in the season for scoring three goals in two key division games.
Fresh off winning the Division 2 state title, Marian High School soccer goaltender Makenzie Larson won the Birmingham Athlete of the Spring Season with 68 percent of the vote (170 votes) over J.D. Hess (40 votes; 16 percent) and Jake Balicki (31 votes; 12 percent).
Larson, who is signed to play at Loyola Marymount, helped the Mustangs finish with a 22-2-1 record this season. She earned All-Catholic League and All-State honors last season and is likely to add more awards to her trophy case in the following weeks.
As a starter, Larson won two state championships and three overall. She leaves Marian with big shoes to fill.
Lahser High School junior Elena Miller won the Bloomfield Hills Athlete of the Spring Season award with 56 percent of the vote (133 votes) for her terrific year on the varsity track and field team.
Miller finished All-State in two events at the Division 2 finals this year. She finished in fifth place in the 1,600-meter run with a time of 5:06.02 and fourth place in the 3,200-meter run with a 10:53.70.
She finished up a strong junior campaign that saw her win a title at the Oakland County Championships in the 3,200-meter and pick up top five finishes throughout the season.
It was a very competitive field in the Bloomfield poll with eight strong nominees. Brother Rice lacrosse standout Riley Kennedy finished in second place with 18 percent of the vote (44 votes).
Lexie Brisson-Fast is leaving Ferndale High School with all sorts of records for the varsity soccer team and now she is taking the Ferndale Athlete of the Spring Season title with her as well.
She beat out pitcher and centerfielder Noah Reiter (63 percent to 31 percent) to win the poll after helping put the Eagles’ soccer program on the map this season.
Brisson-Fast scored more than 40 goals to give Ferndale a division title and the school’s first ever district title. She scored two goals in a 5-0 win over Hazel Park in the district finals to bring home the championship. For her career, she scored a school-record 100-plus goals and was nominated earlier in the season for Patch Athlete of the Week honors.
It was a race to the finish for two runners who normally save the photo finishes for the track. Royal Oak High School’s Ben Hill erased an early lead by Shrine’s Julia Liggett to take home the Royal Oak Athlete of the Spring Season title with 58 percent of the vote (527). Liggett finished in a close second place with 33 percent of the vote (301 votes).
Both runners are freshman and already enjoy tremendous support from within the community.
As a freshman, Hill is proving to be one of the top young distance runners in the state. He finished the 3,200 meter run in the Division 1 state finals and finished third place with a 9:20.38 to earn All-State status.
He won an individual title in the race at regionals, beating out teammate Max Benoit with a time of 9:44.61. He won the 3,200 meters race at a variety of events throughout the year, including the Royal Oak Relays and the Oakland Activities Association Blue Championship meet.
Liggett competed at the Division 4 state finals in the 100-meters and was one spot away from earning All-State status. She finished in ninth place with a 13.47. As part of Shrine’s 4x100 relay team she did bring home a medal. Liggett, along with Qianna Parham, Taylor Kilgore and Tori Allen, finished in sixth place.
She also had a strong showing at the Catholic League C-D Championship where she finished first in the 100-meter, 10th in the 200-meter and first in the 4x100 relay.
Nick Kondoleon ran away with the Troy Athlete of the Spring Season poll. The senior lacrosse player on the Troy High School varsity boys team won the title with 82 percent of the vote (219 votes) over a very strong field of athletes.
Kondoleon helped the Colts rebound from a tough 2010 season. He was one of the squad’s leading scorers and his play earned him a Division I All State Second Team nomination, as chosen by the MHSLCA All State Committee.
He helped put the Colts one game away from the regional finals with a four goals and an assist in a 14-7 win over L’Anse Creuse in the first round of regionals. He also was one of the seniors who helped organize a charity game that raised a significant amount for the Angels of Hope.
Allyson Kus dominated the West Bloomfield Athlete of the Spring Season poll just like she dominated hitters this season.
The senior softball player won with 74 percent of the vote (43 votes), but her win isn’t a surprise to anyone who watched her play Lakers varsity softball team.
Kus was one of the top softball players in Oakland County this season, striking out more than 130 batters and finishing the season with an ERA under 3.00. At the plate she hit close to .300 on the season and was one of the team’s leading run producers.
A highlight this season for her was a no-hitter against Rochester Adams in April. Kus struck out eight batters while her RBI single was enough to give the Lakers a 1-0 win. The senior is headed to Western Michigan University on a softball scholarship.