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5 Things to Watch this Week

Josh VanDyke • May 24, 2017 at 12:10 AM

With some spring sports’ postseasons already underway, and many more right around the corner, this week’s prep sports schedule is chock full of exciting non-conference clashes, all-star competitions and pulse-pounding playoff action.

Here’s a look at some of the events you won’t want to miss this week.

39th annual West Michigan All-Star Track Meet

When: Today, 3:30 p.m.

Where: Reeths-Puffer High School

Teams: Grand Haven, Spring Lake, Fruitport, Western Michigan Christian boys and girls track teams

The Meijer West Michigan Invitational Track and Field Meet has been a longstanding tradition for local area track teams. It’s sandwiched between the regional meet and the state finals and allows some of the best athletes in the area to push themselves against high-quality competition before they prepare to compete for a state championship.

It also allows for some interesting bragging rights situations in various events that will pit rival schools and programs against each other. This year’s field will have plenty of intriguing matchups.

On the boys’ side of the meet, the 3,200-meter relay event will be a sight to behold.

The top-seeded Fruitport team of Aaron Simot, Mitchell Johnson, Brendan Deneen and Cameron Oleen (8:07.57) will get to test themselves against Grand Haven’s No.2-seeded team of Quentin Couvelaire, Dominic Weatherwax, Dominic Hentemann and Jack Nicholson (8:09.31).

The 400-meter dash will also have plenty of local athletes represented with Grand Haven’s Charlie Young (50.28) at the top-seed, followed by Spring Lake’s Isaiah Pierce (50.38) at No. 2 and Grand Haven’s Aaron Hughes (50.74) at No. 3.

In the 1,600-meter run, Spring Lake’s Andrew Hylen (4:28.11) is the top seed, while Grand Haven’s Jack Nicholson (4:30.90) is seeded fourth. Grand Haven’s Mason Mahacek also sits atop the seeding in the pole vault with a jump of 13 feet, 6 inches.

On the girls’ side of the event, the 800-meter relay event will have three local teams pitted against each other.

The top-seeded Fruitport squad of Katana Daniely, Taylor Burke, Olivia Netzler and Kallie Fehler (1:47.00) will go up against the No. 2 seed Spring Lake team of Julia Bajt, Bella LeRoux, Sophia Tardani and Kiara Stevenson (1:47.37) and the No. 3 seed Grand Haven team of Jenny Ryan, Kassidy Burnside, Cam Constant and McKenna Keefe (1:47.56).

The 1,600-meter relay will also be a local contest with Grand Haven’s team of Gabby Hentemann, Constant, Keefe and Ryan (4:00.47) holding the top seed, followed by the Spring Lake team of Tardani, Bajt, Taylor Rebone and Sophia Tilton (4:08.80) is the three-seed; followed by the Fruitport squad of Daniely, Burke, Netzler and Fehler (4:11.00) at the four-seed.

In the 100 hurdles, Fruitport’s Kallie Fehler (15.68) holds the top seed, followed closely by Spring Lake’s Rebekah VanDeWeg (16.14) at the No. 2 spot.

In the 100 dash, Spring Lake’s Kiara Stevenson (12.87) is the top seed, followed by Muskegon Catholic’s Talia Tyler (13.04).

Grand Haven’s Gabby Hentemann holds the top seed in the 1,600 (4:56.85) and 800 (2:13.39) runs, while Spring Lake’s Bella LeRoux holds top honors in the long jump (16-5) and pole vault (12-0).

In the 300 hurdles, Fruitport’s Kallie Fehler (47.18) holds the top spot, followed by Spring Lake’s Sophia Tardani (47.66) at the No. 3 spot. In the 200-meter run, Grand Haven’s Jenny Ryan (26.51) holds the top spot, followed by Spring Lake’s Stevenson (27.01) at No. 3 and Bajt (27.03) at No. 4.

The meet will start at 3:30 p.m. with the pole vault competition. The rest of the field events at 4 p.m., and the 3,200-meter relay races will start at 5:25 p.m., with the national anthem scheduled for about 6 p.m. and the rest of the running finals at 6:10 p.m.

Spectator admission is $5 for adults and $3 for school-age children and older. Each spectator group receives a souvenir program including winners of previous years and the area's all-time track records.

Lacrosse playoffs

The Grand Haven and Spring Lake girls lacrosse teams will open their postseasons this week, while the Spring Lake boys lacrosse team advances to the regional semifinals to take on one of the top-ranked teams in the state.

Grand Haven girls lacrosse at Hudsonville

When: Today, 5:30 p.m.

Where: Hudsonville High School

The Grand Haven girls lacrosse team opens its playoff path with a road game against Hudsonville. The Eagles enter the postseason with a 3-9 record overall and are currently ranked No. 48 in the LaxPower.com RPI index.

The Buccaneers stand just outside the Top 25 at No. 27 with a 10-8-1 record. They are coming off a 6-4 win at Lowell on May 15, and will be looking to advance to the regional semifinal round, where they will likely meet No. 1-ranked Rockford (15-2).

Spring Lake girl lacrosse vs. Comstock Park

When: Thursday, 6 p.m.

Where: Spring Lake High School

The Spring Lake girls lacrosse team opens the Division 2 playoffs with a home contest against Comstock Park. The Lakers defeated the Panthers, 24-1, last week in the two team’s regular season finale.

Spring Lake is currently ranked No. 11 with a 12-3 record, but will likely have to upset No. 3 East Grand Rapids (16-6) in the regional semifinals if they plan on extending their season past May 31.

Spring Lake boys lacrosse at Forest Hills Central

When: Thursday, 7 p.m.

Where: Forest Hills Central HS

The Spring Lake boys lacrosse team held off Traverse City St. Francis on Saturday to advance to the Division 2 regional semifinals, but they will have their hands full on Thursday.

The Lakers (3-15) travel to No. 4-ranked Forest Hills Central (12-6) in matchup that will make the young, upstart Spring Lake squad as heavy underdogs against the defending Division 2 state champions.

Grand Haven baseball vs. Spring Lake

When: Friday, 4 p.m.

Where: Grand Haven High School

The Grand Haven and Spring Lake baseball teams will meet Friday afternoon for Bucs Pride Night at Grand Haven High School.

The Buccaneers are coming off a split with Rockford on Monday in an O-K Red Conference doubleheader, while the Lakers are looking to bounce back after a 2-0 loss to Comstock Park.

Will the non-conference clash won’t have league title implications, the crosstown rivalry will make the contest more meaningful than just a run-of-the-mill district tune-up game.

In last season’s regular season finale, the Buccaneers swept the Lakers, 9-8 (eight innings) and 13-1 (five innings).

Grand Haven softball vs. Spring Lake

When: Friday, 4 p.m.

Where: Grand Haven High School

The Grand Haven and Spring Lake softball squads will also take part in Bucs Pride Night at Grand Haven High School on Friday, with a non-conference clash of defending district champions.

The Buccaneers are coming off a tough doubleheader loss to Rockford on Monday, and will be looking to build some positive momentum before their district opener against Holland on May 30.

The Lakers are coming off a three-game sweep of Comstock Park on Monday and Tuesday, and would love nothing more than to pick up a pair of road wins over a Division 1 opponent before preparing for the postseason.

In last year’s matchup, the Buccaneers swept the Lakers 10-3 and 17-1 at Spring Lake High School.

Division 2 rugby state championship

When: Saturday, 1 p.m.

Where: Grand Rapids Catholic Central Athletic Complex

Teams: Grand Haven vs. Howell

The Grand Haven boys rugby team hasn’t lost a game all season as they prepare for a shot at the Division 2 state championship on Saturday at Grand Rapids Catholic Central.

The Buccaneers (9-0) have outscored their opponents 256-44 this spring, but will have to defeat a worthy opponent in order to take home the hardware this weekend.

Their challenger, Howell, stands at 7-0 on the season. They defeated Traverse City Alliance, 42-5 before rolling Sparta in the semifinal round to reach the state finals.

Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m.

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