Pine River runner has strong end to career

LEROY —  Ben Rigling was hoping for a memorable ending to his track career at Pine River.

He got it.

Rigling won the 400- and 800-meter at the Division 3 regional meet and competed in the state finals.

The team had a strong season in its quest for the Highland Conference title, which it won last month.

“It went really well, better than I hoped,” Rigling said after wins over Manton and Evart. “Everyone stepped up.”

Saturday at the state meet, Rigling was sixth in the 800 run (1:57.67) and seventh in the 400 run (51.6).

“I think I’ve always been strong in those races, taking it all the way through,” he said.

Rigling has been at the state competition before this season in the 4x800 relay and 800. It’s the 800 he was looking at as his best bet.

He took eighth place in the 800 last season.

As he entered the May portion of what’s been a short season, Rigling was optimistic of his potential for the rest of the season.

After high school, Rigling will focus on a cross country and track career at Michigan Tech. He made that decision earlier this spring and will be receiving some aid. He said he was attracted to Tech’s engineering programs. Last week, Rigling signed a letter of intent to go to Tech.

The cross country and track programs at Tech “are starting to get really good right now,” Rigling said. “I was thinking of (Central Michigan) and Ferris too.”