Fruitport track taking the torch as the best in Lakes 8

SL's Batts sets new school record in pole vault
Nate Thompson
May 1, 2013

Orchard View's run of dominance in boys track in the Lakes Eight Conference appears to be over.

The Cardinals, who have won three-straight league championships, might be passing the torch over the Fruitport, which conquered both the Cardinals and Spring Lake during a double dual at Fruitport High School on Tuesday.

Spring Lake won the head-to-head tally with OV as well, 71-62, but fell by a substantial 96-42 score to the Trojans.

The highlight of the meet for Spring Lake was a new school record established by senior Matt Batts in the pole vault of 13 feet, 2 inches. Batts broke the previous record of 13 feet set in 1981 by Kevin Rubeck and was tied last year by departed senior Joel Boon.

"It was awesome," said Batts, who first tested his skill in the sport as an eighth-grader. "I finally got a great day and it felt good competing with some sunshine out there."

Batts was matched by Fruitport's Alex Kendra though 12-6, but the Trojans' standout bowed out of the competition when he couldn't clear 13 feet.

"Once he missed, the pressure was off, but I wanted to give it my all to try for the record," Batts said.

With his cousin, J.P. Batts, playing right field for the Lakers' varsity baseball team on Fruitport's diamond close by, Batts said he psyched himself out on his first attempt at 13-2 and failed to execute.

"On my second try, I just hit it as hard as I could and it all came together," he said. "It was pretty exciting. There was a great crowd there finally, and to be able to set a school record at Fruitport, it's pretty sweet."

To read more of this story, see today's print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.

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