Track & field: Rayder girls runner-up in Division III regional
Josh Wojan of East Jordan runs to victory Saturday in the 3200-meter run during the Division III track and field regional at Boswell Stadium in East Jordan. (Steve Foley/News-Review / May 21, 2012)
A total of nine Charlevoix High School female athletes qualified for the Division III state track and field finals on June 2 at Comstock Park as the Rayders finished runner-up in a the 15-team regional Saturday at sun-splashed Boswell Stadium in East Jordan.
Benzie Central won both sides of the meet — which was held in 90-degree-plus temperatures which forced watering stations to be assembled on the track in both the 1600- and 3200-meter runs — as the Huskie girls finished with 150 points and Charlevoix was second with 90. The Benzie boys finished with 103.5 points and Kingsley was second with 71.
The top two finishers in each event qualified for the state meet, as well as those who met an additional qualifying standard.
“I thought we had a very good day,” Charlevoix girls coach Mary Plude said. “Those we wanted to get to the state meet, we accomplished every goal in getting nine of them to the state meet and they rose up.”
The Rayder girls were led by senior Molly Jeakle, who qualified for state in four events including the 3200 relay with Olivia Certa, Kourtney Putman and Amber Way, which finished second in 9 minutes, 54.55 seconds; the 1600 relay (Caroline Boss, Madeline Boss, Putman), which finished third in 4:16.94. Jeakle also qualified in the 800, 2.23.67 (second); and the 400, 1:01.75 (third).
“Molly had to be a little conservative in the (800),” Plude said. “She ran in four events and I know she really wants to run that (800) in the state meet. Our (1600) relay also ran really well.
“As for the heat, it wasn’t as detrimental as we thought it’d be for the race. The kids handled it well. They knew it was there and we just tried not to talk about it.”
Also for the Rayder girls, senior Sarah Mackenzie qualified for state in the high jump as she placed fourth at 5 feet; while another senior, Makenzi Kage, qualified in the 300 hurdles, placing second in 50.15.
“Sarah (Mackenzie) missed her first jump, but from there it just clicked,” Plude said. “That’s really exciting for a senior who’s never gone (to state) before and who just picked up the event last year.
“I’m very proud of both Sarah and Makenzi in their senior year. They’ve both worked hard and got what they deserved.”
Charlevoix freshman Madeline Boss also punched her ticket to the state meet as she placed fifth in the long jump, 15-8; while freshman Amber Way set a school record in the 1600, 5:17.80, and placed third and also qualified, as did senior Annie Dipert, who was fifth in 5:27.67.
Certa won the 3200 in 11:47.61; while Amber Way was second, 11:48.76.
“For (Certa) to be a regional champ is great,” Plude said. “She’s gone through a lot and she and Amber were just picture-perfect. They didn’t show a lot of distress in the heat and they were not challenged, even from the get-go.”
The Harbor Springs girls placed fourth with 67.50 points as Elena Ongaro was second in the high jump, 5-1; while Rhi Cullip was second in the 400, 1:00.69. Harbor’s 3200 relay team of Maddie Buntin, Abby Detmar, Kaitlyn Alessi and Kyra LaRue also qualified for state by finishing third in 10:21.27.
For the Charlevoix boys, who finished in fifth place with 53.5 points, the 3200 relay team of Nicholas Plude, Vinnie Vonlau, Will Jeakle and Andrew Plude placed second in 8:17.02; while the 1600 relay team of the same quartet also qualified for state by finishing second, 3:33.19.
“The day before the meet, Vinnie Vonlau rolled his ankle,” Charlevoix boys’ coach Ken Plude said. “It was more nerve-racking than it probably looked for Vinnie in those relays, but I wasn’t going to take him out. He’s a senior and he ran great. He didn’t get a chance to compete in the fall (cross country), so this was great for him.
“I thought we competed very well considering the heat. I pulled a lot of kids out of some events to try to get those two relays to the state meet. As a team, we scored about where I thought we would. Our 400 relay had an outstanding race and Jackson (Buday) and Kirk (Acharya) ran really well in the (3200) going fourth and fifth (respectively). We competed very well and we gave it our best shot. I’m very proud of all of them.”
For the Boyne City boys, who placed sixth, Dean Hague won the 110 hurdles, 15.84; and was second in the 300 hurdles, 41.84; while the 800 relay team of Seth Hoaglund, Hague, Jay Redman and Tevin Larmond finished second, 1:35.12. Larmond also was second in the 200, 23.64.