Oehrli, Michell pace RC track at Grand Valley

REED CITY — Reed City’s track team got a chance to look at its athletes indoors during a meet Friday at Grand Valley.

Joe Oehrli was first in the 800-meter (2:03) and 1,600-meter (4:33.96) runs and was on the second-place 4-by-300 team 2:33.02 which also included Eric Reed and Mike and Eric Bradford. Reed was third in the 300 hurdles in 43.18 seconds and eighth in the 60 hurdles.

For the girls at Grand Valley, Sami Michell won four events: the 60 hurdles in 9.46 seconds, the 400-meter relay in 48.4 seconds, the long jump in 18-6 ½ and the 300 hurdles in 46 seconds.

“This gives us a starting point,” said Reed City coach Brent Michell, whose team has a home meet on Tuesday. “We were pleased with the efforts.”

Oehrli and Reed, both seniors, are expected to be two key point producers for the Coyotes this season.

Oehrli took third in the 800-meter run at the state finals last season. The 1,600-meter relay team of which he was a member also qualified for the state finals.

Oehrli expects to run in the 800 and 1,600-meter relay again. Reed and the Bradfords will again join him on that team.

The 400-meter and 1,600-meter run will also be events for Oehrli.

“I want to win for the 800,” Oehrli said. “The 4-by-4, we want to break the school record. We have no doubt we can do that. It’s 4:29. We wants to get top four in the state.”

Oehrli indicated that he’s in better shape than at this time last year.

“Indoor states were on the 25th of February and I probably did much better than I did last year,” he said.

The warmer weather in the first two weeks of the practice season made it challenging for distance runners, Oehrli indicated.

“It’s going to be a very strong team,” he said. “I have high expectations. We have a lot of quality. I think we can do better than last year.”

Reed is also planning on playing baseball.

“I used to play when I was younger,” said Reed, who will be on the high school squad for the first time.

He’s on the track team his fourth season. Last year, the achievements of the 1,600-meter relay teams were a highlight, Reed noted. He was the first leg.

Having the same relay team back, “we’re so close as a unit, that helps. We’re not only running for the school but for each other,” he said. “We don’t want to let each other down.”

Reed ran various sprints and relays last season. He’s high on his prospects in the 200 and 300 hurdles. The 400 and 800-meter relays will also be strong.

“I wrestled all year and I’m in a lot better shape,” said Reed, who also plays soccer. “I was at 195 pounds and I’m at 165 now. I was eating better and getting more exercise.”

Track is Reed’s primary sport.

“When I get done with track I go over to baseball,” he said. “If there’s an event that are on the same day, I go to track.”

Reed figures on playing outfield in baseball and maybe some pitching and occasional hitting.

“I used to love playing baseball,” he said. “I figured, what the heck, why not try it again,” he said. “Both coaches to their credit say ‘hey, we’ll work with that. I’m glad they allowed me to do that.”

When it comes to fielding “getting to the ball is the easier part. I don’t see very well out of my left eye so the depth perception if it’s hit at me is a little more difficult,” Reed said. “Once I get to the ball, I have a pretty good arm.”

The track team should be favored to make it to team state.

“We have solid guys in every event,” he said. “We can compete pretty well.”