Osceola County teams perform well at track state finals
REED CITY — Osceola County teams were well represented on Saturday at the Division 3 and 4 state finals.
Reed City and Pine River competed in Division 3 at Comstock Park.
Elijah Lewis of Pine River was seventh in the long jump (20-7) and eighth in the 400-meter dash (50.72).
Reed City had several athletes compete.
“Our athletes competed very well on Saturday,” Reed City coach Brent Michell said. “Our 4x100 relay team ran their second fastest time. Calvin (Rohde) took nearly two seconds off his 800 time putting him almost under two minutes.
“Jackson (Price) made finals in the long jump but just wasn’t able to improve on his ninth-place finish, and Emily (Libey) scratched on her first two attempts in the long jump, putting her in a very difficult third attempt situation. I was extremely proud of all of our athletes.”
Evart competed in the Division 4 meet at Hudsonville. The boys tied for 19th with 12 points. Kyle Stokes was fourth in the 100 (11.3) and seventh in the 200 (23.06). Austin Hamilton was fourth in the 3,200-meter run (10:00.72).
“The kids all did well,” Evart coach Dennis Peacock said. “Everyone we took had at least one PR on the day.”
“Starting the season I knew we were going to be pretty good with upcoming freshmen, and a few returning seniors,” Evart girls coach Todd Scott said. “Macey Wallace was a seasoned long jumper and had won various events her junior year. Sarah Nelson was a leader in our distance events, and Ariana Mooney was a solid hurdler. We had some skilled freshman runners coming into the mix. As the season progressed I realized we had some very talented sprinters and could put together some very good sprint relays.
“With Macey Wallace leading the way, two freshman (Kara Henry and Mackenzi VanBuren) and a first time track runner, Angela Gibbins, we fine-tuned the relays over the course of the season and ended up winning a conference championship and a regional championship, that qualified us for states.”
Evart’s girls tied for 20th by placing in two relays for nine points.
“Our long jumping had been good all year with Mackenzi and Macey leading the way with both qualifying for states,” Scott said. “We started out early in the morning (of states) with both girls jumping poorly and not even making finals. The girls were obviously upset and it showed. But to their credit they were able to shake it off and prepare for the upcoming 4x200 relay. We were in the slower heat and ran really hard in our heat narrowly being beat out by Northern Michigan Christian by 2/100 of a second. We didn’t know how we would place, or if we would place, till after the fast heats were done. We waited on edge and we ended up finishing sixth place overall.
“The girls were excited and at this point, to be on the podium raised their spirit. All of the disappointments of the long jump were forgotten. I could see it in their body language and they were confident going into the 4x100. We were again in the slower heat due to miserable conditions at the regional meet. We ran our guts out in the 4x100 and easily won the heat we were placed in. To add to the drama. we were close to a school record that both I and Dennis Peacock had hand timed us at a school record.”
The results revealed Evart had finished third overall and had beaten a 23-year-old school record.
“Their reactions were one I will never forget,” Scott said. “I’m so proud of these kids and how they handled adversity. We placed in two events at state and getting a school record was a nice bonus.”