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Categorized | Sports

Boys track runners-up at state finals

The Cedar Springs boys track team traveled to Jenison High School last Saturday, May 28, to compete in the MITCA (coaches association sponsored) Division 2 team state meet, and they did not disappoint. They placed 2nd in Division 2, just 84 points short of winner East Lansing, in the 17 -team field. Though suffering from some late season injuries, the team provided the spectators outstanding performances from all. In this meet, all participants’ score based on their place in each event and the most complete team comes out with the victory.

Team State Participants. Front row (L to R): Ron Fisk, AJ Olsxewski, Ryan Austin, Nate Jones.  Second row: Dan Sagorski, Henry(Hank)Porter, Justin Balczak, Alex Hemry, Aaron Brooks, Connor Mora, Justin Harthorn.  Third row: James Putnam, Rylan Ash, Alex Bray, Aaron Dault, Casey Vaness, Isaac Golcynski, Jacob Rickner Back row: Kory Myers, Trevor Hemry, Ethan Meneke, Tyler Hindenach, Derek Ash, Dalton Vaness.

Team State Participants. Front row (L to R): Ron Fisk, AJ Olsxewski, Ryan Austin, Nate Jones. Second row: Dan Sagorski, Henry(Hank)Porter, Justin Balczak, Alex Hemry, Aaron Brooks, Connor Mora, Justin Harthorn. Third row: James Putnam, Rylan Ash, Alex Bray, Aaron Dault, Casey Vaness, Isaac Golcynski, Jacob Rickner Back row: Kory Myers, Trevor Hemry, Ethan Meneke, Tyler Hindenach, Derek Ash, Dalton Vaness.

Though this is a total team meet, there were some particularly outstanding individual performances. Justin Balczak won the 110m and 300m hurdles; Conner Mora won the 3200m run and was second in the 1600m; Alex Hemry was 4th in the 100m and 6th in the 200m; Aaron Brooks was 8th in the 3200m; and Hank Porter was 6th in the long jump. The relay teams had a very successful meet with the 3200m relay team of Mora, Ron Fisk, Alex Bray, and Ethan Menefee placing 8th; 800m relay team of Fisk, Hemry, James Putnam, and Ryan Austin placed 5th; 400m relay team of Hemry, Austin, Putnam, and Casey VanEss placed 5th; and the 1600m relay of Balczak, Fisk, Porter, and Aaron Dault placed 4th.

Sophomore Justin Harthorn attaining his personal record in the 2 Mile (10:45) and Connor Mora standing to the left cheering him on as he crosses the finish line, demonstrating the true Red Hawk team spirit.

Photo by Jim Harthorn

Justin Balczak in the hurdles. Photo by Aimee Brumleve.

Throughout the day, the Hawks were mired in third place behind E. Lansing and Grand Rapids Christian. It continued to be a three-team battle as E. Lansing and GR Christian swapped the top two spots with only a few events to go. However, better performances by the Hawks in the throwing events, capped off with a late surge by the distance crew in the 3200m run and the 1600m relay, were not enough for GR Christian to maintain the runner-up spot. After the long awaited results began being announced, it was clear that the Hawks were a lock for one of the top three spots. The athletes were ecstatic that they had climbed as far as they did to capture the second place trophy.

This is the second time in seven years that the Hawks have been team state runners-up (also in 2004). They were team state champions in 2003. This was the fifth showing at the team state championships since 2002.“It’s a long day when there are 16 other Division 2 teams present, plus seven Division 1 teams. There were also 22 girl’s teams competing. It was a crazy scene with so many kids competing. We faced some great competition not only from E. Lansing and GR Christian, but Vicksburg, Battle Creek Harper Creek and Mason were after us all day long. Regardless of the outcome, I am proud that the boys stayed focused all day long, they didn’t complain about the conditions or length of the meet, and they stayed hungry. They all were well aware that a championship was within our grasp,” stated Coach Myers.

The team enters the final week of the season with MHSAA state meet this Saturday at Houseman Field. This team has shown that it can step up and perform at its highest levels in the big meets this season. If the team continues this trend, it is not out of the question that they could leave the meet as state champions. The gates open at 8 a.m., so let’s fill the stands and cheer the team to a state championship.

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