Pine River girls look strong at Central meet

LEROY — Pine River’s girls track team got its first taste of action on Thursday at the Chippewa High School relays at Central Michigan with Devyn Powell enjoying a strong performance.

Powell was first in the 400-meter dash in 1:06.59 and second in the 400-meter dash at 1:06.59. Michelle Kelsey was third in the 200 meters in 28.78 seconds and fifth in the high jump with a leap of 5-8.

Mary Ware was fourth in the shot put at 28-9, Shiloh Ruppert was third in the 60-meter hurdles in 10.94 seconds, Alyssa Geer was fifth in the 3,200-meter run in 1:17.69 and Jasmine Blackrick was sixth in the long jump at 14-1.5.

Jan Burch is coaching the Pine River team this season and said she has 27 girls on the squad.

Last season, “Mary Ware was our best thrower and we’re looking for big improvements from her,” Burch said. “In the high jump, we have Michelle Kelsey, and Devyn Powell, of course. She was 400-meter champion as a sophomore and second last year. She’s looking pretty strong this year.”

Burch likes her sprint relay team with Kelsey, Powell and Blackrick, who will be joined by Ruppert. Cheyanna Rizor is coming off a knee injury from basketball but Burch is looking for her to run strong in the distances, along with Geer.

Geer, Burch said, “is a very hard worker and improves every season.”

Burch has been involved with track since 1976 and notes it’s been 17 years since she’s been a head coach.

“It’s taking awhile to get back in the swing of things,” Burch smiled.

A scheduled Wednesday meet at Marion has been canceled because of the weather.

The Bucks go on break at the end of this week and have an outdoor meet set for April 8 at Coleman.

“We’re doing the best we can inside without injurying them on the hard surfaces,” Burch said. “We have quite a few new girls. If every athlete improves, then we should be strong.”