Vanniekerk finished in 1 minute, 54.81 seconds, breaking the previous record set 24 years ago by Eric TenFelde in 1988.
It was a runner-up kind of a night for the Bucs, who were dealt their third conference loss this season by Rockford, 82-55.
Vanniekerk had multiple highlights during the evening, as he was also a member of the Bucs’ winning 3,200- and 1,600-meter relay teams. The 3,200 squad also featured Justin Pippel, Alex Cramer and Ryan Duff; while the 1,600 team had Ben Comai, James DeWitt, and Cramer.
DeWitt completed his unbeaten streak in the hurdles through O-K Red dual meets following his wins in the 110 at 15.12, and the 300 in 40.92.
Duff was victorious in the 3,200 run in 9:48.91, and Steve Heyboer won the pole vault by clearing 12 feet.
In the girls’ competition, Grand Haven senior Jordan Keefe appears to be back in top form in the pole vault.
After easing into the event through the first few weeks of the season, Keefe was back to her old self, winning against Rockford by clearing 11 feet, 9 inches — the same height she set in last season’s runner-up finish at the Division 1 state finals.
“Jordan was very close to clearing 12-1 tonight,” said Grand Haven coach John Tarr. “It’s thrilling to see that she is back in form and ready to compete at the highest level.”
Grand Haven couldn’t contend with Rockford’s superior depth, however, as the Rams prevailed, 97-40.
Keefe also set a personal record in the 200 dash by clocking in at a victorious time of 26.9 seconds.
Junior Grace Kendra also continues to impress in the long jump, as her distance of 16 feet, 6 ½ inches helped her win the event for the seventh time this season.
“Grace is the top-rated jumper in the O-K Red right now,” Tarr said.
Tarr also commended the performance of senior Priscilla VanHeest, who took two seconds off of her previous best in both the 800 and 1,600 runs, but settled for second in both.
“Her times were good enough to win 99 percent of the dual meets in this state,” Tarr said.
Kaeding Skelton also had an excellent result in the shot put, heaving over 34 feet, but she was beat out by Rockford’s Rachel Raab’s effort of 37-10.