After sunny skies and temperatures in the mid 70s a day earlier, the Buccaneers and Falcons battled through wind, rain and 40-degree weather.
Grand Haven pushed the top-ranked visitors from East Kentwood, but the depth of the Falcons proved to be too much.
On the boys’ side, East Kentwood took a 77-60 decision, while the Falcon girls took an 84.5-52.5 win.
For the Buccaneer boys, the 2-mile relay team of Carter Larned, Dominic Weatherwax, Jack Costello and Andrew Ireland (8:58.5) took first, while the 1-mile relay team of Collin Takas, Adam Nelson, Aaron Hughes and Charlie Young (3:45.6) also took top honors.
Jack Nicholson won the 1-mile run (4:39.93), while Quentin Couvelaire finished second (4:42.47) and Eric Johnson finished third (4:43.25). Johnson also added a win in the 2-mile run (10:17.76)
Also adding wins for the boys were: Aaron Hughes in the 400 dash (52.55), Mason Mahacek in the high jump (5-8) and Pierce Foster in the long jump (19-6.5).
“Considering the weather, I thought our kids did really well,” said Grand Haven boys track coach Joe Nelson. “I keep getting excited about this group, because they are so competitive. They competed against one of the better teams in the state and continued to compete.
“Pierce Foster had a big jump right at the end of the meet for us to win the long jump. Jack won the 1-mile and ran a really strong race after trailing midway through. Joe Costello is doing a nice job in the high jump, and he had a strong showing today with Mason winning the event.
“Eric Johnson also had a nice win in the 2-mile. He doesn’t always get the recognition he deserves, but he’s a senior who has put in a lot of work and he earned some big points for the team today.”
For the girls, Jenny Ryan won the 400 dash (59.43 seconds) and 200 dash (28.41). She was also a member of the 1-mile relay team with Gabby Hentemann, Abby Buitenhuis and Andrea Strainer (4:14.33) that took first.
Ella Beringer added a win in the high jump with a jump of 5 feet.
“When we come out against these guys, we always try and mix things up and put people in different races,” said Grand Haven girls track coach John Tarr. “Today, we had some of our 800 runners race in the 200 and 400. What we ended up getting out of that was Jenny Ryan having a great 400 run because Gabby was pushing her.
“It was fun to be able to see some of our kids compete in different situations and still have really strong outings. Ellie had a really good jump, especially in these conditions.
“We did see a lot of good things, despite the weather. I think some of these girls have really been killing in the hurdles lately, but today, they saw some of the best hurdle times in the state. It was a competitive meet in tough conditions, and I think we learned a lot about ourselves.”
GH girls soccer comes up short to Caledonia
The Grand Haven girls soccer team fought through cold and windy conditions at Caledonia High School on Thursday, falling to the Fighting Scots, 2-1.
Caledonia got on the board first with a goal 24:30 into the game. They scored off a corner kick, which floated in the wind until their captain, Grace Avery, connected with the ball and put it in the net from close range.
12 minutes later, Caledonia's Macey Wieringa added to the Scots lead to help Caledonia to a 2-0 halftime lead.
Grand Haven got on the board 20 minutes and 23 seconds into the second half when Alli Keyser brought the ball in toward the net and was able to bounce her shot off a Caledonia player for a ricochet goal.
The Buccaneers fall to 2-6-2 overall and 1-4 in the O-K Red Conference.
GH softball drops nail biter to Rockford
The Grand Haven softball team traveled to Rockford on Thursday for a single game with the O-K Red Conference rival Rams.
Despite a strong defensive performance, the Bucs fell to the Rams, 5-4.
Grand Haven entered the bottom of the seventh inning holding a 4-1 lead over Rockford. The Rams strung three base hits together to score a run before the Bucs could record their first out. With runners on first and second with one out, Rockford’s Paige Creasey belted a three-run walk-off home run to end the game.
“Man, that was a crazy finish,” said Grand Haven softball coach John Hall. “We talked about it after the game that Amaya (Schuler) actually hit her spot with the outside curveball but Creasey put a perfect swing on the pitch. As heartbroken as she was, we told her that sometimes you just have to tip your cap to the hitter who makes a great swing.
“We let her know that we wouldn't be in the position we were in if she didn't keep them off balance all night long. We played as good a game defensively as we have played all year, and we did not make a single error in seven innings.”
Haley Aldred recorded two hits and one RBI to lead the Bucs offense, while Baby Hang and Emma Boersen each added solo home runs and Mikayla Gronback added one RBI.
“Baby Hang was the stalwart between the white lines,” Hall added. “She was our starting shortstop and was a perfect 10-for-10 on put-out opportunities. She also contributed offensively by going 1-for-3 from the plate and depositing her first ever home run over the leftfield bullpen.
“Emma Boersen also displayed her power connecting for her second homer of the year. Haley Aldred once again anchored down the four-hole going 3-for-3 from the plate and Andrea Shumaker played extremely well at second base.”
Despite the narrow conference losses, Hall believes his squad is gaining collective confidence with each passing contest.
“I know our record doesn't show it but this team has played with the perennial powers of our conference and held up admirably. There has not been a game that we have not been competitive in. In fact, we have lead in six out of our seven conference games. This squad will learn how to win, and when they do, watch out!”
Fruitport soccer dismantles GR Union
The Fruitport girls soccer team wasted no time bouncing back from its loss to Mona Shores earlier this week. The Trojans scored seven goals in the first half and added one more in the second to mercy the host Grand Rapids Union Red Hawks on Thursday.
Emily Winicki recorded a hat trick to pace the Trojans’ attack, Jensyn Stanberry added two goals and four assists and Haley Beyer, Paige Stanley and Emily Visscher each added one goal.
The Trojans outshot the Red Hawks 33-1 with Trojan goalie Madalyn Fett making one save on the night.
Fruitport improves to 7-1 on the season and 3-1 in O-K Black Conference play. The Trojans travel to Jension on Saturday to take on the Wildcats in an O-K Black showdown.
SL girls lax cruises past Grandville
The Spring Lake girls lacrosse team traveled to Grandville on Wednesday for the second time in a week. The Lakers once again exited with a sizable win, 18-2.
The contest saw seven Lakers record goals, with the Laker defense holding serve from start to finish.
Spring Lake hosts Northview at 7 p.m. Monday.
SL boys lax no match for EGR
The Spring Lake boys lacrosse team couldn’t keep up with state-ranked East Grand Rapids on Tuesday, falling to the Pioneers, 17-1.
EGR got out of the gates quickly against the Lakers, scoring five goals in the first quarter and seven in the second, while holding the Lakers scoreless to take a 12-0 advantage into halftime, before cruising to a 17-1 victory.
Colby Brown scored the lone Laker tally on the day to close out the scoring on the day.
The defense had their hands full all night with the high-powered Pioneer offense. Josef Hissom made his return to the pipes and made 12 saves on the evening.
The Lakers are now 2-8 on the season and 0-4 in the O-K Conference Tier 1. They travel across the bridge tonight to take on crosstown rival Grand Haven (7 p.m.).