Evart boys track team seeks huge performance at state final

EVART — Evart’s boys track team has regional and Highland Conference titles to its credit so far this season

This weekend, the Wildcats compete in the Division 4 state finals at Houseman Field in Grand Rapids and wouldn’t mind taking aim at some individual and team titles.

Evart won its regional on May 21 and qualified for the MITCA state meet on May 28, which the school won in 2012 and 2013. But coach Dennis Peacock said a decision was made earlier last week to not partake in that event but instead focus on the MHSAA state final June 4 at Grand Rapids’ Houseman Field.

“With the injuries at the last minute, it kind of compromised the things we were going to do” Peacock said. “(Various athletes) have a chance to be all-state this weekend. We thought, `why chance it?’”

For this Saturday, “I think we have a chance of doing pretty well,” Peacock said. “I’m pretty excited about it. Zach (Parshall) is a returning all-stater, so is Santana Scott. Everyone that qualified has a chance to score. Our relay teams have a chance. Santana could win both the mile and two mile. Zach should finish top three in the high jump. Our relays are pretty solid.”

Peacock expects Saugatuck, Concord, Sand Creek and Whittemore-Prescott to be among Evart’s top rivals.

“The Wildcats were first in the Highland meet on May 24 at McBain to wrap up the overall league title.

“Evart was first with 153.5, while Lake City was second at 115.

“We had some things go wrong,” Peacock said. “We had a bad handoff at the 4x200. That cost us that race. We threw the baton to the ground in the 4x1 and finished seventh. We were able to pick it up and make sure we (finished). We still won by almost 40 points. I was pretty pleased.”

The Evart girls had 48 points and were eighth among eight teams.

For the boys, Major Griffin (12.11) and Cody Pritchard (12.18) were one-two in the 100 meters and Dillon Danley was fourth (12.53). Griffin also won the 200 meters (23.72) and was second in the 400 meters (52.94).

Scott was first (2:00.18) and Josh Woods fourth (2:08.92) in the 800 meters.

Scott was first (4:38.05) and Woods third (4:41.96) in the 1,600 meters. Scott (10:35), Nathan Woods (10:44) and Austin Hamilton (10:50.4) were one-two-three in the 3,200 meters.

Evart was third in the 4x800 relay (8:50.38) with Josh and Nathan Woods, Hamilton and Scott. Parshall was first in the high jump (6-0) and third in the long jump (18-11).

“Saturday was a big emotional day for us, winning the regionals by two points, coming from behind,” Peacock said. “I thought we did really well (at the Highland meet).”

For the Evart girls in the league meet, Brooke Belleville was first in the 100 meter dash (13.66), Mara VanOrder was first in the high jump (5-0), third in the 400-meter run (1:01.96) and fourth in the 200-meter run (28.21), and Belleville, Wallace, Kyle Stokes and VanOrder were second in the 4x100 relay (53.