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Grand Haven boys and girls track teams send 13 to state meet

Josh VanDyke • May 19, 2018 at 12:44 AM

GRAND HAVEN TWP. — The Grand Haven boys and girls track teams got a chance to compete on their home course Friday afternoon, as they hosted the Division 1 regionals.

The Buccaneers used the comfortable confines of Gene Rothi Field to help propel them to top three finishes on both the boys' and girls' sides of the event.

On the girls' side, Grand Haven scored 85 points to finish tied for second place with Hudsonville, while Rockford took top honors with 204 points.

On the boys' side, Rockford again took the crown with 131.25 points, followed by Hudsonville in second with 76 points and Grand Haven in third with 67 points.

Kassidy Burnside led the Grand Haven girls, winning the long jump (17-5.5) and finishing second in the 300-meter hurdles (46.23). Burnside was also a member of the 800 relay team that qualified for state, with teammates McKenna Keefe, Kate Criswell-North and Jenny Ryan, finishing second (1:44.33) and the 1,600 relay team of Abby Buitenhuis, Ryan, Keefe and Burnside, which qualified for state with a second-place finish (4:06.37).

Keefe added an individual win in the pole vault (10-6), while Buitenhuis finished runner-up in the 800 (2:17), Ella Beringer finished second in the high jump (5-2) and Ryan finished runner-up in the 400 dash (59.25).

"Kassidy was the big story today by qualifying for the state meet in four events and was the regional champion in the long jump," said Grand Haven girls head coach John Tarr. "Mckenna qualified in three events and Jenny Ryan also qualified in three events, running a great open 400 in 59.2 seconds. Our sprinters and field events kids really pulled through for us today and scored a lot of points to help us get into that top three position."

On the boys' side, Charlie Young led the charge, winning the 400 dash (49.22) and was the anchor on the 1,600-meter relay team that finished runner-up (3:27.59) with teammates Timmy Kleyla, Collin Takas and Kyle Eveland.

Also qualifying for the state meet for the boys were: Mason Mahacek in the high jump (6-4) and pole vault (13-6), Joe Costello in the high jump (6-3), Eli Nelson in the pole vault (13-3)

"We felt like we had a pretty good day today," said Grand Haven boys head coach Joe Nelson. "Charlie Young had another outstanding day, qualifying in two events. His 400 has been exceptional all season, and he continues to push himself in that event. Mason Mahacek qualified in both the long jump and pole vault. He is becoming pretty consistent and looking forward to making some gains over the next two weeks.

"Joe Costello had a really good day in the high jump and has the potential of going much higher. Eli Nelson has been consistent in the pole vault all year and had a big day today. The 1,600 relay team has been geared up to get to the state meet. Coach Jeff Boeve is the best 400-meter coaches around, and he really pushes those guys to get better and better as the season goes on. Young, Colin Takas, Timmy Kleyla, and Kyle Eveland had the best time of the year and have room to shave off more time."

The Buccaneers state qualifiers will not prepare for the Division 1 state meet on June 2 at East Kentwood High School.

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