Spring Lake girls track runs away with O-K Blue title

Tribune Staff • May 15, 2018 at 12:16 AM

The O-K Red and Blue track and field conference championships kicked off Friday, but were delayed to Monday afternoon due to inclement weather. The Bucs and Lakers fared well, with the boys and girls teams picking up event championships at both meets.


SL girls track wins O-K Blue Championships

The Lakers represented well at Allendale High School on Monday, with the girls taking home an O-K Blue Conference title. Spring Lake finished with 121 points ahead of Allendale at 97.5, Grand Rapids Catholic Central at 96.5, Coopersville at 68, Grand Rapids  West Catholic at 57.5, Sparta at 52.5 and Comstock Park at 34. 

Winning event conference titles for the Laker girls were Rebekah VanDeWeg in the 100-meter hurdles in 15.93 and Sophia Tardani in the 300 hurdles at 48.49, ahead of Taylor Rebone in third at 51.23.

VanDeWeg, Sophia Tilton, Tardani and Caroline Loiseau took top honors in the 400 relay at 52.91.

Julia Bajt picked up runner-up finishes in both the 100 and 400 at 12.93 and 1:00.08, respectively. Loiseau picked up third in the 100 at 13.24 as well as third in the 200 at 27.76.

VanDeWeg also took home second in the high jump with a leap of 5-00, while Rebone finished second in the long jump at 16-01.75.

Tardani, Rebone, Tilton and Bajt took third place in the 1,600 relay in 4:18.69, while Lizzy Penrice, Eva Tilton, Jaynie Seylhower and Maddy Windberg finished third in the 3,200 relay in 10:14.89. Finally, Tardani, Tilton, VanDeWeg and Loiseau picked up third place in the 800 relay in 1:52.07.

“We had a lot of great performances tonight across the board,” said Spring Lake girls head coach Mary Amy Bajt. “I challenged these girls all season long to take ownership in this team and to “get gritty”. They did tonight. Not only with the performances we didn't expect but equally important with the performances we did expect. That can be a lot of pressure on an athlete to get the place that you are seeded so your team can win a championship.

“On to regionals Saturday at Allendale. We have some unfinished business and want to get as many of these girls to state as we can.”

“I had several girls who were in 4-6 events tonight. They may not have won first places but their impact was huge. Not to be understated, the Lakers had personal records in almost every event tonight, whether it was a top-six finish or not. That's what makes me feel the best about this night. The championship is great but our real reward is seeing these kids work hard and accomplish their goals.

The Spring Lake boys finished fourth Monday, scoring 69 points. Allendale took top honors with 156 points, ahead of Coopersville at 104, Sparta at 73, GR West Catholic at 64, Comstock Park at 35 and Catholic Central at 25.

Winning conference titles for the Laker boys were Andrew Hylen in the 3,200-meter run with a time of 9:51.45 and Jason Keena in the long jump with a leap of 20-11.50.

Ben Hylen took home runner-up honors in the 800 at 2:04.58 and third place in the 1,600 at 4:38.74, just behind brother Andrew in second place at 4:28.78.

Emmanuel Williams-Wilson, David Reynhout, Jadon Barnes and Jason Keena finished runner-up in the 800-meter relay in 1:37.48; while Jonah Schmuker Emmanuel-Williams, Gavin Paul and Jason Keena took third in the 400-meter relay in 46.39; and Ben Hylen, Will Brown, Andrew Sellon and Andrew Hylen took home third place in the 3,200-meter relay in 8:48.21.


Bucs track at O-K Red Championships

The Grand Haven boys finished third with 93 points, behind Rockford at 157 and champion East Kentwood at 195. Hudsonville finished fourth (83), Caledonia fifth (61), Grandville sixth (33) and West Ottawa seventh (32) at West Ottawa on Monday.

The Grand Haven girls finished fourth with 87 points, behind Hudsonville at 102, Rockford at 180.5 and champion East Kentwood at 184.5. West Ottawa took fifth (53), Caledonia sixth (26) and Grandville seventh (23).

Charlie Young led the boys with a conference championship in the 400-meter dash, clocking in at 48.76 seconds.

Jack Nicholson took a runner-up finish in the 3,200, coming in at 9:43.33.

Collin Takas, Ethan Peters, Mason Mahacek and Young teamed up for a runner-up finish in the 800-meter relay at 1:32.10, while Timmy Klela, Takas, Kyle Eveland and Young finished third in the 1,600-meter relay with a time of 3:29.45.

In the field, Mahacek and Joe Costello tied for third place in the high jump with leaps of 6-0.

“Our boys performed well and we were able to stay ahead of Hudsonville,” said Grand Haven boys head coach Joe Nelson. “We are excited about how we are set up going into the regionals this Friday at home.”

Gabby Hentemann led the girls with a first-place finish in the 1,600 at 4:48.42, while Kassidy Burnside took home the long jump title with a leap of 16-11.50.

Also finishing inside the top three for the girls were Jenny Ryan at third in the 200 at 26.53; Abby Buitenhuis in third of the 800 at 2:19.76; Burnside in third of the 300-meter hurdles at 46.64; the 800-meter relay of Burnside, McKenna Keefe, Kate Criswell-North and Ryan in third at 1:48.37; Buitenhuis, Ryan, Keefe and Hentemann in second of the 1,600-meter relay at 4:04.26; Ella Beringer in third of the high jump at 5-02; and Keefe in second of the pole vault at 9-06.

“We feel good about fourth place because we had some conflicts with changing the meet to Monday,” said Grand Haven girls head coach John Tarr. “I appreciate my staff, especially Mike Takas for piecing together some relays, moving kids around and keeping us competitive.

“Burnside was huge for us tonight, scoring a team-high 17 points. Buitenhuis was a workhorse tonight, as we asked a lot of her and she came through.”

Young, Mahacek, Nicholson, Pierce Foster, Burnside, Keefe and Buitenhuis secured All-Conference honors.

Grand Haven will host the regional championships at Grand Haven High School on Friday.

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