Laker track and field posts good showing at Spartan Classic Invitational

Kiara Stevenson hands off to Julia Bajt in the women's 4x200M relay earlier this season.  The relay finished fourth at the Spartan Classic at MSU.

Kiara Stevenson hands off to Julia Bajt in the women's 4x200M relay earlier this season. The relay finished fourth at the Spartan Classic at MSU.

by Jillian Huizenga, Sports

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The Spring Lake girls’ and boys’ track and field teams melted some rubber on the MSU track at the Spartan Classic Invitational on Friday, April 28. There were a total of 15 teams competing, including Division 1 schools such as Rockford and Traverse City Central, and the Laker boys took 8th overall with 60 points, while the girls took 9th with 72 points.

A highlight of the boys’ night was senior Isaiah Pierce, who took first place in both the prelims and the finals of the 200M sprint, running a 22.88 and then a 22.58 in the finals, which was a personal record (PR) of his entire career thus far.

Pierce also placed fourth with seasonal record (SR) of 50.62 in the 400M and was part of the 4x400M relay along with Chris Warner, Andrew Sellon, and Parker Vetula, which also took fourth (3:36.23).

Another star of the night was Andrew Hylen, who not only had a PR in the 1600M (4:28.11) and took fifth, but also took third in the 3200M with a time of 9:49.16.

Eight other Lakers posted career PRs on the night, including Sellon (2:08.50) and Matt Schmidt (2:08.78) in the 800M, Ben Hylen with a 4:40.84 in the 1600M, Nolan Tjapkes with a 21.90 in the 110M Hurdles, Brendan Bennink with a 50.64 in the 300M hurdles, Sam France with a 99-11 in discus, and Collin Kyser (30-09.75) and Isaac West (29-06.50) in shot put.

Highlights of the girls’ night were the senior duo of Gabriella LeRoux and Kiara Stevenson, who took fourth and fifth in the 100M finals, respectively. LeRoux had a season record of 12.87 while Stevenson had a PR of 12.91.

The pair also had individual success in different events, with Stevenson taking fourth in the 200M (27.07) and LeRoux taking third in the pole vault (11-00.00).

Furthermore, LeRoux and Stevenson were part of the 4x100M relay with Sophia Tilton and Carly Komar, which took fourth (51.85), and the 4x200M relay with Sophia Tardani and Julia Bajt, which took fifth (1:48.62).

Tardani and Bajt scored even more points for the girls’ team when Bajt took fourth with a PR in the 400M (1:00.54) and Tardani took seventh in the 300M hurdles (49.53).

The girls’ team also had eight other PRs in the event, earned by Bajt (27.28) and Tilton (29.15) in the 200M, Eva Tilton with a 1:05.22 in the 400M, Jacqueline Olszewski with a 2:43.21 in the 800M, Maggie Cooper (5:31.80), Maddy Windberg (5:44.37), and Lizzy Penrice (5:53.52) in the 1600M, and Taylor Rebone with a 51.85 in the 300M hurdles.

The Coaches, Mr. Andres, Mr. Bajt, Mr. Brown, and Mr. Coughenour put more focus on getting PR’s than getting places, so the Spartan Classic was definitely a success for the Spring Lake track and tield teams.

The Lakers will be in action next when they host West Catholic on Tuesday, May 9, before heading to the Conference Meet in Comstock Park on May 12.

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