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Grand Haven track finishes strong at Division 1 state finals

Tribune Staff • Jun 5, 2017 at 2:37 AM

The Grand Haven boys and girls track teams sent 11 athletes to Saturday’s Division 1 track and field state finals at East Kentwood High School.

On the girls’ side of the meet, sophomore Gabby Hentemann earned All-State honors in the 3,200-meter relay, the 1,600-meter run, and the 800-meter run. Henteman was also a member of the 1,600-relay team that set a new school record.

Hentemann started off the day as the anchor leg of the 3,200 relay, which finished eighth with a time of 9:24, taking ten seconds off the previous season record.

Hentemann then came back two hours later in the 1,600 meter run and challenged eventual state champion Anne Forthsyth, staying on her until the third lap. Hentemann finished in fourth place with a time of 4:51.8.

An hour after that, Hentemann ran a solid 800-meter, finishing fifth with a time of 2:12.75, earning her third medal of the day and her third All-State honor.

“We took this meet one race at a time with Gabby, and after every race, we checked in with her to see how she was feeling and what she wanted to do next,” said Grand Haven head coach John Tarr. “We wanted to give her every opportunity to realize her potential, and she stepped up every time. Her selflessness in running for herself and for her team was heroic today. She is the consummate athlete, the kind of kid you want on your team, who puts herself out there for her teammates. Her efforts on Saturday helped three other kids earn All-state status and helped three others set a new school record.”

The meet for the girls was topped off in the last race with a school record in the 1,600 relay that included Hentemann, Jenny Ryan, Abby Buitenhuis, and McKenna Keefe running a 3:59.78 and finishing 13th in the state. The finishing time marks the first time a Grand Haven girls 1,600 relay has broken four minutes in program history. McKenna Keefe anchored the relay with a blistering 57-second split to get the girls less than four minutes.

Rounding out the meet for the Bucs was Ella Beringer (11th) in the high jump with a jump of 5 feet, two inches, Cam Constant in the 300 hurdles with a time of 46.92 (19th), and Jenny Ryan in the open 400 run finishing (10th) with 58.66.

“Our program and these kids took a huge step forward today,” Tarr added. “We improved over our state meet performances from last year, and six kids from this group are returning. Combine that with the kids we currently have, and we expect to do even better in this meet next year”

On the boys’ side of the meet, junior Jack Nicholson finished 13th in the 3,200 run with a personal-best time of 9:21.98, while junior sprinter Charlie Young added a 50.40 time in the 400-meter dash to finish 15th overall.

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