Don Voorheis

Don Voorheis

  Don Voorheis is still the fastest male runner to come out of Frankenmuth High School, even after more than 60 years.  The Eagles have enjoyed tremendous success in the sport of track and field and Voorheis set the tone early on when the school was founded in the mid-1950s. The record board hangs inside Frankenmuth High and his are by far the oldest marks in existence. Back then, tracks were measured in yards, not meters, and Voorheis clocked a :9.63 in the 100-yard dash and a :20.9 in the 220-yard dash. When converted to meters, the times are :10.53 and :20.85. These are MHSAA retired records and he accomplished these blazing times on cinder tracks with less-than-ideal sprinting spikes.

   His high school track performances began back in May 1957 as a sophomore for the Eagles. At the Class C State Meet held at Michigan State University, where he would later attend, Voorheis accumulated 11 points (all his team’s points) which was good enough to lead the Eagles to a tie for fifth place out of 107 schools. Don was the state champion in the 220-yard dash with a time of :23.7. He took second place in the 100-yard dash in a very close race.

  As a junior in 1958, the “Frankenmuth Flash” was at his best at the state meet. Voorheis captured the 100-yard dash with a blistering time of :9.75 for a :9.80 state record. He also defended his 220-yard state title by busting the tape at :21.0. The 21-seconds in the 220 finals broke even the Class A standard for that distance, but the mark was disqualified because of gusty wind. Voorheis came up with a :21.4 timing in a preliminary heat for his second Class C state record.

  In his final season, Voorheis competed in the Class C state finals at Central Michigan University’s Alumni Field. He easily won both events with times of :10.2 and :21.6 while accounting for 16 of the Eagles’ 20 points. ‘Muth finished third in the team standings, capping his senior season. It is a rare feat to win three consecutive state titles in the 220-yard dash.

  Voorheis was also a key member of the successful 880-yard relay during his prep career. He was joined by Walt Reinbold, Jim Loesel and Jack McConnell and they set a Thumb B Association meet record in 1959, clocking a 1:34.5.

  Voorheis enrolled at Michigan State University and enjoyed success on the Spartan track and field team in 1960 and 1961 before a chronic illness ended his sprinting career.

    In 2007, one year after his death at age 65, the Thumb Meet of Champions Board of Directors dedicated the meet to Voorheis. He served on the meet’s board of directors for 25 years and was honored as the Thumb Sports Leader at the 2006 meet.

  Voorheis was a small business owner for over 30 years in the excavating industry. Don and his wife Mary Ann have two children, Craig and Holly.