Spring Sports Preview: Girls Track and Field

Lakers looking for Lakes Eight 4-peat
Matt DeYoung
Apr 17, 2014

Last spring, the Lakers’ girls track and field team made it a three-peat.

This year, they’re gunning for a fourth consecutive Lakes Eight Conference championship, and coach Gera Peel should have the athletes to make that dream a reality.

The Lakers return several outstanding field athletes, including Lydia Suchecki, Grace Peterson and Allie LeRoux to compliment speedsters Ashley Warner, Katie Wells, Carlyn Arteaga and Sydney DeCator.

“We’re hoping to be in the running for our fourth Lakes Eight championship in a row,” Peel said. “We’re hoping to qualify for the MITCA team state meet again (the Lakers finished fifth in the event last year) that takes place over Memorial Day weekend, and to get multiple girls to the MHSAA individual state meet again on May 31.”

Leading the way for the Lakers is Arteaga, who currently holds four school records in various running events. She placed sixth at the Division 2 state meet in the 800-meter run last spring as a sophomore, and helped the Lakers’ 1,600 relay team finish eighth.

PLENTY OF POTENTIAL AT GH

Last year, a young Grand Haven girls track and field team experienced plenty of growing pains, finishing with a 1-5 record in the O-K Red.

Coach John Tarr feels that those growing pains could lead to brighter days ahead this spring.

“This team has a great deal of potential,” Tarr said. “Last year was the first year for many of these girls to run at the varsity level. With one year of experience they are ready to be highly competitive. We will struggle in dual meets, but we could score some points in big meets that will put us near the top.”

Team captains Maddie Sanchez, a senior sprinter, and Sara Jacobs, a senior distance runner, add solid leadership to the team.

TROJANS SEE INCREASE IN NUMBERS

After seeing participation plummet to as few as 22 girls over the past few years, Fruitport coach Randy Johnson is excited to see a renewed interest in the sport this spring.

“Our numbers have climbed, and it will be exciting to work with all the new talent,” Johnson said.

Leading the way is senior Heidi Klinger, who was the conference champion in the 100-meter dash and finished second in the 200 last year.

Emily DuPont, a junior, won the city championship in the pole vault last year, while classmate Kendra Johnson is one of the team’s top sprinters.

Read more of this story in today's print edition or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.

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