LeRoux, Elliot star for SL track at state finals

Pekel turns in strong 400 for Fruitport
Nate Thompson
Jun 1, 2013

Spring Lake didn't produce an individual state champion as it had hoped, but the Lakers still had several strong performances at Saturday's Division 2 track and field finals, held at Forest Hills Eastern.

Spring Lake junior Allie LeRoux had the best showing of the day, as she tied for the second best effort in the pole vault at 11 feet, 5 inches. Alex Whiftford of Grand Rapids South Christian also vaulted 11-5, while the champion, Grand Rapids Christian's Janina Pollatz, just inched over the bar at 11-8 to earn the title.

In the 800 run, sophomore Carlyn Arteaga entered the race seeded first, but could never break free from a congested pack of runners and slipped to sixth overall in the standings. She later helped the Lakers' 1,600-meter relay team run to an eighth-place finish. That group also featured Katie Wells, Sydney Chaney and Emma Mitchell.

Grace Peterson was ninth in the high jump at 5-2, while senior Brittany Beeler was 13th in the 3,200 run.

On the boys side, senior Austin Elliot earned all state honors in the 1,600 run with a tremendous third-place finish in a personal-best time of 4:21.32. The event capped a brilliant turnaround for Elliot, who took two years off of track before returning for his senior season in the best shape of his life.

"That's the best race I've ever run," he said afterwards.

Elliot later placed 11th in the 800 run.

For Fruitport, senior Brianna Pekel capped her outstanding four-year track career with another all-state performance in the 400 dash. She placed fifth overall in 58.28.

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