Pine River boys track remains in first place

LEROY — Pine River may not have been the preseason consensus for the Highland Conference boys track and field title.

But the Bucks are still undefeated in the league thanks to victories over Manton 105-58 and over Evart 85.66-77.33 on Tuesday.

Evart beat Manton 107-56.

On the girls side, Pine River swept Evart 106-57 and Manton 98-65. Evart lost to Manton 107-56.

For the Pine River boys in the win over Evart, John Lenz won two events by taking the shot put at 44-1 ? and the discus at 123-9 ?. Other winners for the Bucks were Devin Wing in the high jump at 5-8 Dakota Wieczorek in the long jump at 18-8. Abel Langworthy in the pole vault at 13-0, Ethan Whitley in the 800 meters in 2:09.7, Justin Seeman in the 110 hurdles at 16.77 and Quinton Mitchell in the 100-meter dash at 11.55.

The Bucks also won relays in the 800 meters in 1:38.6 and the 400 meters in 46.27 seconds.

“I don't think in anyone's minds we were predicted to (be in first),” said Pine River coach Eric Gebhard. “But these guys have come together as a team. Manton and Evart both have strong programs. All season we've been overlooked but we kept stepping up.”

Evart won the 3,200-meter relays in 9:18.13 and the 1,600 meters in 3:42.86.

Also winning for the Wildcats were David Zinger in the 1,600-meter run in 4:43.10 and the 3,200-meter run in 10:11.7; Alex Newton in the 200-meter dash in 24.28 seconds and Brady Hasse in the 300 hurdles in 44.41 seconds.

“The kids put out a good effort,'' said Evart coach Jim Crawford. “We ran hard.”

The Bucks were too strong in the sprints, noted Crawford whose team's strength has been in distances all year.

“We took a vast majority of the first places,” Gebhard said. “We had guys that normally don't take firsts that had their personal bests. We came together as a team.”

For the girls, on the Bucks win over Evart, Mary Ware won the discus at 84-1, Sheena Vokes took the shot put at 31-5, Miriah Holmes took the pole vault at 9-0 and won the 100-meter hurdles in 16.97; Jasmine Blackrick won the 100-meter dash in 13.73, Devyn Powell won the 400-meter dash in 1:01.3, and the 200-meter dash in 26.68 and Cheyanna Rizor took the 1,600-meter run in 6:06.

Pine River was also first in the 3,200 relay at 10:54.95, the 800-meter relay in 1:53.5, the 400-meter relay in 53.89 and the 1,600-meter relay in 4:25.5.

“I think we did fantastic” said Pine River high jumper Michelle Kelsey. Our relays really brought it home tonight. That's what we needed.”

“They really stepped it up,” said coach Richard Dietrick of Pine River, whose team is 5-1 in the Highland. “We were looking at being even with Manton. But they really came through. They stepped up like I've never seen them do it before this year.”

For Evart against Pine River, Katelyne VanMourik was first in the long jump at 14-11 1/2, Jessica Tea won the high jump at 4-10, Tabitha Turley took the 300 hurdles in 54.99 and Grace Hamilton won the 3,200-meter run in 13:01.9.

“Tabitha Turley did well in both hurdles,” said Evart coach Renee Ward. “Katelyne did well in the long jump. Alex Pylman won (against Manton) in the pole vault.”

Visit the photo gallery to see photos from this meet.