Trojans top conference foes

Fruitport boys track coach Chad Brandow had won three conference titles in his 11-year tenure at the school.
Nich Wolak
May 10, 2014

The Trojans added a fourth on Friday, although for the first time, the coach didn’t have to share.

Host Fruitport overcame stiff early competition from Ludington to emerge victorious at the Lakes Eight Championships, 169-139. Fruitport also beat Ludington earlier in the week to capture the regular season portion of the crown.

“That’s all the dedication of those boys, and the hard work they’ve put in,” Brandow said after the meet. “We’ve pushed them, and we’ve worked them, but they had to do it on the track. I can’t run for them, Coach Gilson can’t run for them, and the guys just did it. It’s amazing.”

Perhaps most amazing of all the Fruitport competitors was Zack Gilson. The senior, who is close to the school record in several events, won the 400-meter run (52.12 seconds), 200 (23.42) and long jump (21 feet). Gilson was also part of winning 1,600 relay team (3:37).

“I always whined about (having to do two 400’s) sophomore year, and coach told me that I’m one of the best runners he’s ever seen,” Gilson said. “He kept pushing me, and I finally started getting it junior year. He started putting me in two 400’s a meet. After that, I just started getting in shape. I hated 400’s at the time, but I kind of like them now.”

Other winners for Fruitport came in the 400 relay (45.78), 800 relay (1:34.54), shot put and pole vault.

Chris Hendricks won the shot put with a throw of 44 feet, six inches, while Collin Butler soared to a height of 13 feet flat in the pole vault.

Spring Lake finished seventh at the event.

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