West Ottawa’s depth throughout the meet drowned out Grand Haven’s efforts. The Buccaneers ended with four individual wins, two a piece courtesy of Kathryn Ackerman and Alonna Clark.
The meet opened with a close loss for the Bucs in the 200-yard medley relay. The team of Ackerman, Clark, Taylor Annah and Katalin Kovach did drop a state-qualifying time in the event, however. The girls now have state-qualifying times in all three of their relay events.
The Buccaneers first win came in the 200-yard individual medley at the hands of Clark. She swam a tremendous back half of the race, making up a three second deficit over the breaststroke and freestyle legs. She took the event in 2 minutes, 16.14 seconds.
Ackerman took to the water in the next event, the 50-yard freestyle, with gold in mind. She won the race with authority in 24.63 seconds.
After the diving break, Clark took an emphatic victory in the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 1:03.22, over two seconds ahead of second place.
From the sprint to the long-haul Ackerman was all over this meet. She dominated the 500-yard freestyle with a new grand Haven Aquatic Center pool-record time of 5:03.19.
“We accomplished one goal tonight by getting all our relays qualified before the conference meet,” said Grand Haven head coach Doug Thorne. “So that’s an added bonus for us to be able to know that we don’t have to taper necessarily to qualify them.
“It doesn’t get much better than West Ottawa. It is the start of our conference play; I tell the girls there is no better conference than what we have. We had some great swims, some great races tonight. I’m proud of my kids. We are swimming tired this part of the year so this is good.”
The girls swim team returns to O-K Red action at Grandville on Saturday.
SL boys soccer pick up crucial O-K Blue tie
The Spring Lake boys soccer team drew a 0-0 tie with Grand Rapids Catholic Central on Thursday at Spring Lake High School.
While the scoreless tie might not seem like a big deal, it has major O-K Blue Conference title implications.
“We are now in control of own destiny in the conference race,” said Spring Lake coach Jeremy Thelen. “We own the tiebreaker over Grand Rapids Catholic Central, so tonight’s decision feels like a win to us.”
The Lakers defeated the Cougars, 1-0, on Aug. 30, so if both teams win the rest of their conference matches, Spring Lake would come away as league champions.
Spring Lake outshot Grand Rapids Catholic Central 5-4 in regulation, and Thelen decided to play a defensive minded game in the two overtime sessions.
“We sat back and defended because it was more important for us to draw at that point,” he said. “Our defense played outstanding, so we decided to rely on them to hold things down.”
Bruce Boes made four saves in regulation to lead the Lakers (9-1-1), while the defensive grouping of Ben Bouwhuis, Keegan Kval, Charlie Parker, Robbie Hartliep and Justin Pedersen helped keep the scoreboard bare for Spring Lake.
“Our sweeper, Ben Bouwhuis, played a great game tonight. He’s a smaller kid out there, but he was very active and made a lot of good plays on the ball. Keegan Kval and Charlie Parker were back there cleaning things up, too.
“Robbie Hartliep and Justin Pedersen never stopped running tonight. Those two guys ran a lot from their midfielder positions. They tackled hard and did the dirty work that helped us get the draw.”
Thelen, who played keeper in high school and college, was pleased with the defensive performance, but knows his team needs to score more goals if they are going to accomplish their bigger goals this fall.
“It makes me happy to see the defensive effort out there, but we want to put more goals up there on the scoreboard,” he added. “Grand Rapids Catholic Central played with only three forwards up top and that put more pressure on our midfielders. It’s difficult to generate a lot of scoring chances when a team plays like that, but we had some chances. We just have to finish them more often.”
Fruitport boys and girls XC compete in first O-K Black Jamboree
The Fruitport boys cross country team competed in their first of three O-K Black Conference jamborees on Thursday, taking first place with 31 total points.
Senior Aaron Simon led the way placing first overall. The Trojans placed two more in the top five and four in the top 10 spots. Cameron Oleen took a silver finish, while Mitch Johnson took fourth.
Brenden Deneen rounded out the Fruitport top 10 finishes in sixth place, followed by Nick Kleinheksel who finished off the scoring team with an 18th place run.
The Fruitport girls cross country team also ran in their first conference jamboree on Thursday, taking sixth.
Freshmen Faith Clark took the teams top finish, followed by teammates Katana Daniely, Kendra Johnson, Kallie Fehler and Analiza Sanchez.
SL girls swim and dive hold their own against Holland
The Spring Lake girls swimming and diving teams took on Division 2 opponent Holland on Thursday. The Lakers made their mark with some good individual performances.
Jen Meulenbelt won the 200-yard individual medley with a season-best time of 2:14.
Annie Brechting had a strong swim in the 100-yard butterfly, clocking in a 1:05.
Meghan Peel took gold in the 100-yard backstroke, leading all Holland swimmers by four seconds.
“We have really been holding our own against some fast division one and two teams this year,” said Spring Lake coach Ellen Wiese. “I am very proud of all the hard work the girls have been putting in.”
On the boards, the Lakers diving squad had a strong outing against Holland.
Audra Nialik took second with 203.75 points, while Ronnie Russell and Sydney Thompson took fifth and seventh.
Both the swimming and diving teams return to the pool on Saturday for the Holland Christian Invitational.
SL volleyball falls to GR West Catholic
The Spring Lake girls volleyball team took on Grand Rapids West Catholic on Thursday in their fifth O-K Blue matchup of the season. The Lakers lost in four sets (21-25, 25-17, 22-25, 18-25)
Isabel Donnelly led Spring Lake (7-12, 2-3 O-K Blue)from the service line with three aces. Olivia Grimmer was all over the floor, leading in both kills (14) and digs (20). Catie Estep was Thursday’s best helper with 32 assists.
“I continue to be so impressed with our two seniors and they way they lead their team,” Spring Lake coach Cassidy Hazecamp said of her statistically dynamic duo. “Olivia Grimmer and Isabel Donnelly had their best match of the season tonight, they just keep getting better.
Junior varsity: Spring Lake defeated West Catholic in three sets, extending their undefeated O-K Blue season (22-25, 25-21, 15-12).
Freshmen: Spring Lake lost to West Catholic in two sets (22-25,19-25).
No. 2 WMC boys soccer doubles up on Orchard View
The Western Michigan Christian boys soccer team took on Orchard Lake high school looking to continue their outstanding season. They took an emphatic victory, 4-2.
Throughout the first half, just one goal was scored. Dylan Mines for WMC netted an unassisted score off of a botched OV clear.
Mines led the team with three total goals against the Cardinals. His second two came in the second half, assisted by Evan Fles and Tyler Van Beek.
OV scored their sole goal on a penalty kick to cut the Warrior lead to two. Evan Fles ensured this rising was short-lived. He scored the final goal of the game less than a minute after the penalty kick.
The No.2-ranked Warriors return to the pitch for a top-five matchup with No.4-ranked North Muskegon next Monday.