Pine River trio hopes to spark track team to title

LEROY — Pine River’s girls track team hopes to make some noise in the Highland Conference this season and seems to have the talent to do it.

Mariah Holmes, Michelle Kelsey and Devyn Powell will be among the top performers for the Bucks.

Holmes is in her senior season with Pine River track. Her junior season was a memorable one.

“At state, I got my personal best in pole vaulting, I got 9-4,” she said. This year, I’m a half-second off the 100 hurdle record. I’m really pushing for that this year. Our 4 by 1 team last year went to state and we’re hoping to do that again and break the school record. We were really close.”

Everyone is back on that relay team with Holmes except for Sheena Vokes.

“In the 4 by 2, we have pretty much everyone returning and we went to state in that too,” she said.

Holmes did the indoor track season during the winter and ran at various colleges.

“So far our team has worked hard these past few weeks,” she said. “One of our goals is to be first in the conference. I really think we can do it.”

Beal City and McBain will be among the teams to beat in the league, Holmes predicted.

Kelsey is in her third year of high school track and will be in the 400, 800 and 1,600-meter relays and the high jump.

Last season Kelsey cleared five feet for high jump. She hopes to return to the state finals in her events and place. She didn’t place last year but she’s confident this season.

“Our team is young but we have a lot of talent,” she said.

In the high jump, the school record is 5-3 and Kelsey would like to beat it.

It will take a lot of extra time putting into it and dedication, she said. “We have some strong relays. My strongest is the 4 by 2. I’m the second leg. This season might be a little different. I think I’m pretty good in any one.”

The Bucks should be strong in relays, Kelsey said.

“I think we’re a team people should watch out for,” she said.

“Our team looks pretty young,” Powell said. “We have a lot of talent on the team. I think we have a good chance at winning our conference.”

Powell is back for her junior season after winning the 400-meter run in the state finals as a sophomore.

Other highlights were getting 47 seconds for the 400 plus breaking the 200-meter dash school record.

She’ll be in those events this year.

“I might be trying hurdles slightly but not too much,” she said. “I’m going to stick with my main events which will be 400 and 200. I’ll try out the 100 a little. I’d like to get my record for the 100 at the school. I would really like to get in the 56s for the 400 and 25s for the 200. I would like to see if my relays do well and go to state. I’d like to go to state in the 400 and at least attempt to defend my title.”

It won’t be easy to duplicate or beat what she did last season, but Powell is going to try.

“I’ve seen improvement so far and our team has been working a lot harder already than we were at the beginning of last year’s season,” she said. “I’m looking to get better in the area of endurance and also my mental strength, pushing through when there’s pain.”