Spring Lake’s girls track team provided a positive glimpse to what they could accomplish at the upcoming Division 2 state finals, as the Lakers thrived at another talent-filled event — the Michigan Interscholastic Track Coaches Association meet — held Saturday at Zeeland West High School.
“It was a spectacular day,” said Spring Lake coach Gera Peel, after her squad finished fifth in a field of 14 schools. “This was the last opportunity for many members of our team to compete before heading to the individual state meet. It really put an exclamation point on a terrific season.”
Dearborn Divine Child won the meet with 1,454 points, followed by Williamston (1,283), Chippewa Hills (1,131), Hamilton (1,081), and the Lakers (1,007).
Teams scores were unusually high considering that every athlete who competes in the meet is scored, no matter their finish. For the Lakers, Caryln Arteaga scored especially high, as she ran to a pair of school records in the 400-meter dash and 800 run.
The super sophomore had to settle for second in both events, as she clocked in at 59.23 seconds in the 400, and 2:17.50 in the 800.
Arteaga also ran legs on a pair of strong Lakers’ relays, as she helped the 3,200 squad place third (9:45.55), and the 1,600 team also take third. Brittany Beeler, Erin O’Keefe and Ashley Warner joined Arteaga on the 3,200, while Katie Wells, Emma Mitchell and Sydney Chaney comprised the rest of the 1,600.
The meet allowed teams to enter as many as three competitors in any event, so the Lakers’ depth shined. Their always-strong distance runners led the way, as Beeler and O’Keefe were sixth and seventh, respectively, in the 1,600 run, while O’Keefe got the better finish in the 3,200, taking third to Beeler’s fifth-place showing.
In field events, junior Allie LeRoux couldn’t match the 11-6 height of Grand Rapids Christian’s Janina Pollatz in the pole vault, but managed a second-place finish of 11 feet. Grace Peterson also turned in a strong second-place finish in the high jump by clearing 5-4. Lydia Suchecki also tied for seventh at 4-10.
The Lakers’ shot at state finals glory will be close to home, as they’ll compete at Forest Hills Eastern on Saturday.
WMC HAS STRONG DAY
Western Michigan Christians’ girls track team also had several top finishers at the Div. 4 MITCA meet held at Gobles High School.
The Warriors’ best finish was turned in by senior Rachel Bruinsma, as she took second in the high jump at 5-2.
Jasmine Jackson was 3-for-3 in top 10 finishes in sprints, as she placed fourth in the 400 (1:04.13); eighth in the 200 (28.97); and ninth in the 100 (14.09).
Distance runner Adrienne Aardeme placed ninth in the 3,200 and 10th in the 1,600 for the Warriors.