The Grand Haven boys cross country team ran in the Portage Invite on Saturday, taking eighth out of competing Division 1 teams, and 10th overall.
Jack Nicholson led the Bucs with an eighth-place finish with a time of 16:06. Andrew Ireland followed in 50th place overall, clocking in at 17:01.
The varsity team rounded out with Cole Rowden in 74th (17:21), Dominic Weatherwax in 92nd (17:30) and Aiden Martin in 118th (17:48).
The performances through adverse conditions impressed Grand Haven head coach John Tarr.
“That was one of the best races I’ve seen Jack run in four years,” he said. “He held back on the first mile because of the heat and headwind, then moved to the front group with confidence.
“Andrew’s personal record this year in in the low 16s, so you can see how much the weather played a factor on the boys. He probably ran the toughest race I’ve seen all season from this team. We talked before the race and decided he could shoot for the too 50, and he really gutted it out.
“We wanted to take some chances (Saturday) and shoot for some higher positions. It paid off for most of the guys, and at the very least we learned a lot about ourselves in the heat.”
Junior varsity: The Grand Haven boys jv cross country team ran to an eighth-place finish at the Portage Invite. Max Sepeshy led the way with a 28th-place effort in 18:14, followed by Jared Franke in 28th (18:19), Aaron Hughes in 33rd (18:23), Caleb Borns in 36th (18:24) and Jack Reus in 101st (18:59).
Grand Haven girls XC finishes middle of the pack
The Grand Haven girls cross country team finished 24th out of 44 teams at the Portage Invite with 596 points.
Gabby Hentemann led the way with a seventh-place finish in 18:41. Abby Buitenhuis followed with the Bucs’ only other top-100 effort, clocking in at 20:51 for 97th place.
Giovana Maracek clocked in at 21:19, ahead of Kelsie McManus at 22:05, Marlie Fraser at 22:08, Julia Drabczyk at 22:11 and Kelsie Bovee at 22:26.
“It was a tough day to race with the winds gusting near 20 mph,” Grand Haven girls coach Scott Przystas said. “Gabby raced hard against some of the best runners in the state and put herself out there and competed. I was very proud of her race.
“Overall as a team, we did not show what we were capable of. We did not handle the weather or the competition very well from the get go. We have a lot of work to do before our next competition at the Kent-Ottawa County championship.”
Grand Haven volleyball splits Mona Shores Invite
The Grand Haven volleyball team took on the Mona Shores Invitational over the weekend, finishing 3-2 through their 5-game weekend schedule.
They opened play with a 1-2 loss to Kalamazoo Central (25-19, 20-25, 9-15) before downing Whitehall (25-15, 17-25) and Reeths-Puffer (25-20, 25-15) 2-0. A 0-2 loss to Forest Hills Northern (14-25, 18-25) served as a wake-up call before the Bucs finished their day with a two-set win over Zeeland East (30-28, 25-20).
“We played inconsistently today,” Grand Haven head coach Aaron Smaka said. “Good effort, we just made too many mistakes. Lots of kids got valuable experience this weekend that will play down the road.”
Olivia Boeve led the Grand Haven offense with 34 kills on the weekend, followed by Ashley Slater with 28 and Avolyn Lepo with 11. Boeve also led the team from the service line, belting 12 aces.
Ashyln Hall served as lead facilitator, dishing 62 assists to her teammates, Samantha Bovee followed with 36. Baby Hang got things started with 33 digs, followed by Boeve with 17.
Lauren Jonker dominated the net with five blocks, followed by Kelly Klouw with four.
Grand Haven returns to action at Grandville on Thursday.
Junior varsity: The Grand Haven JV volleyball team finished 4-1 at the Jenison Invite over the weekend, losing in the gold bracket championship match to Jenison. On their way to the title game, the Bucs grabbed wins over South Christian and Hamilton.
Ashlyn Paul and Tessa Winkleman each led with 22 kills. Olivia Dault served a team-high 17 aces, and recorded a team-high 4w digs. Olivia Lovett dished out 83 assists while Lexi Kallio and Paul each recorded nine blocks.
Spring Lake cross country battles fall elements
The Spring Lake boys cross country team took on the Portage Invite over the weekend, seeing how they stack up against top-tier state competition.
The varsity team placed seventh among competing Division 2 schools with 278 points. They finished behind Lansing Catholic, Chelsea, Fremont, Lexington, Grand Rapids Christian and St. Clair.
The Lakers placed three in the top 50 runners, with Andrew Hylen leading the way with a 14th place finish in 16:47. Ben Hylen followed in 42nd place with a time of 17:23, while Cameron Thalhammer finished in 46th in 17:23.
Matthew Vanderwall finished fourth for Spring Lake and 65th overall (17:49). Jack Leech rounded out the varsity five with a 120th place finish in 18:33.
“It was a challenging day for the Lakers with the temperatures, humidity and wind levels high,” Spring Lake boys head coach Erin Carmody said.“I am eager to see where we will be in one week’s time as we close out the O-K Blue Conference season with the championship meet on Oct. 17.”
WMC cross country takes on Portage
The Western Michigan Christian boys cross country team finished 13th out of 28 competing Division 4 schools at the Portage Invite with 366 points.
Jack Zuidema led the way for the Warriors with a 49th-place finish in 18:32. Ben Garretson followed in 60th at 18:41, followed by Andrew Plaisier in 64th at 18:48, Brandyn Gould in 94th at 19:47 and Daniel Plasier in 99th at 19:53.
“While we were missing one of our top runners, we needed to take advantage of the great competition Saturday to push ourselves,” WMC boys head coach Greg Gould said. “We had some great highlights today. To get all of our scorers in the top 100 is an accomplishment. And finishing 13th out of 28 teams with two non-MHSAA clubs in front of us was more like 11th place, and at full strength we would have been in the top 10.”
WMC girls XC cracks top 10
The Western Michigan Christian girls cross country team took on the Division 4 race at the Portage Invite, finishing eighth overall.
Josie Aardema paced the Warriors with a 13th-place run, coming in at 20:27. Sarah Vanderkooi followed in 33rd, clocking in at 21:54. Natalie Riksen took 45th in 22:26, while Emma Visker grabbed 93rd place in 24:45 and Ellie DeKam rounded out the scoring team in 98th at 24:57.
“This is always a great meet, regardless of conditions. Saturday was no exception,” WMC girls head coach Kevin Aardema said. “We started strong and stayed focused through the entire race and we were rewarded with some very strong performances.”
WMC soccer mercies rival MCC
The Western Michigan Christian boys soccer team got back to their winning ways Saturday with an 8-0 mercy victory over Muskegon Catholic Central on the road, after falling to Leland on Friday night.
Six first-half goals gave the Warriors a commanding lead at halftime before they netted their final two goals and trigger the mercy rule just two minutes into the second half.
“It is always nice to play a game right after a loss. It was great to wash the bad taste of a loss our of the mouth with a dominant win,” WMC head coach David Hulings said. “With this win, we finish the Lakes Eight with a clean sweep.
We were able to work on some things in this game we discovered from the loss Friday night. We have three practices now before we play another great team in Holland on Thursday. This was a good way to start the improvement process.”
Adam Van Hoven opened up the Warriors’ scoring, assisted by Evan Fles just two minutes into the game. Fles then netted a goal of his own, assisted by Seth Vander Kooi in the 10th minute. Tommy Tencate struck unassisted in the 14th minute.
Charlie Alfree scored his single goal in the 33rd minute, assisted by Fles, immediately after; Fles scored his second goal of the game, unassisted. Continuing his total involvement, Fles then assisted Chandler Briet for a goal in the 38th minute.
Owen Alfree scored first in the second half for the Warriors, before Tyler Van Beek completed the mercy, assisted by Van Hoven.
On Friday, the WMC boys soccer team announced the results of their fundraising drive this season. In the face of a $2,000 goal, the team raised $3,500 for leukemia research.
WMC JV volleyball falls in semifinals
The Western Michigan Christian junior varsity volleyball team fell in the semifinal round of the Warrior Showdown over the weekend.
They began the tournament with wins over Holton, 25-9, 25-14, and a loss to Reeths-Puffer, 16-25, 19-25. They then defeated Allendale 25-10, 25-23 in pool play to move on to the tournament.
In tournament play, the Warriors defeated Fremont, 25-13, 28-30, 16-14, before losing to eventual champion Forest Hills Eastern 7-25, 9-25.