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Tag Archive | "championships"

Former CSHS track athlete is national Champion 


Justin Balczak captured the 2015 NCAA Division II decathlon national championship, picking up his second individual national title. Photo by Joe Reinsch, Asuza Pacific University.

Justin Balczak captured the 2015 NCAA Division II decathlon national championship, picking up his second individual national title. Photo by Joe Reinsch, Asuza Pacific University.

Justin Balczak (center) on winner’s stand. Photo courtesy Jeff Myers.

Justin Balczak (center) on winner’s stand. Photo courtesy Jeff Myers.

Grand Valley State University hosted the NCAA Division II Track and Field Championships on May 21-23. Former state champion hurdler, Justin Balczak (class of 2011), who attends Azusa Pacific University in California, competed in the decathlon, a grueling two-day event.

The event accumulates points based on how close the decathletes come to the world record mark in each event. Upon the conclusion of each event, the athletes are given 30 minutes to prepare for their next. There is very little mental and physical rest.

On day one, Justin competed in the 100m dash, long jump, shot put, high jump and 400m dash. Balczak posted an 11.37 in the 100; long jumped 23’ 2”; threw the 16lb. shot put 42’ 8”; won the high jump event at 6’ 7.5”; and ran the 400 in 50.36 seconds. After the first day of competition, Justin led the field of 15.

Day two started with the 110m hurdles, followed by the discus, pole vault, javelin, and concluded with the 1500m run. His 14.71 seconds in the hurdles placed him second; he struggled in the discus by throwing 116’ 3”; placed second in the pole vault with a jump of 14’ 11”; threw the javelin 175’ 10”; and finished the 1500 in 4:43.99. His points earned declared him national champion in Division II.

This was Justin’s first outdoor national championship, while he won the heptathlon this past winter. “It’s terribly taxing on the mind and body,” remarked Justin. “You learn that you have to forget the last event and prepare for the next.”

He is coached by former Olympic decathlete, Brian Clay.

In July, Justin will compete in the Pan-American Games in Toronto. With success, he can earn a roster spot on the U.S. National team.

Balczak is a well decorated collegiate athlete. He has earned All-American status four consecutive years competing in indoor track and field (three at Lake Superior State University and one at Azusa Pacific), while being awarded All-American three times in the outdoor season (two at LSSU and his first at A.P.U.). He has one season of eligibility remaining in outdoor track and field.

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Wrestlers earn championships


S-Wrestling-youth

On Saturday, March 15 and Sunday March 16, MYWAY Wrestling Western Region held Regional Finals at Kenowa Hills High School. Wrestlers have spent the last four months competing in preparation for the tournament. Competition was fierce as the top wrestlers in the western region came to compete to place top four in their weight classes in order to qualify for the MYWAY State Finals. Twenty three Cedar Springs Youth Wrestlers went to regionals and seventeen of those qualified for State Finals, four whom where Champions!

2014 Western Region Champions are Veronica Tapia at 37lb in the 5/6 age group, Keaton Klaasen at 52lb in the 7/8 age group, Landon Demorest at 47lb in the 9/10 age group, and Ryan Ringler at 158lb in the 11/12 age group.

Second place finishers were Pistachio Gonzales at 58lb in the 5/6 age group, Tommy Stevens at 58lb in the 7/8 age group, Trevor Marsman at 63lb in the 9/10 age group, and Jordan Ringler at 106lb in the 99-98 High School division.

Third place finishers Aiden Bouwens at 100lb in the 9/10 age group, Logan Hull at 85lb in the 11/12 age group and Samuel Couturier at 112lb in the 11/12 age group.

Rounding out the state qualifiers in fourth place were Caleigh Wood at 37lb in the 5/6 age group and Gage Gardner at 145 in the 13-15 age group.

Reese and Tacho Gonzales both fell one win short of qualifying by taking fifth place in their weight classes.

Cedar Springs will also be sending four girls to the MYWAY Girls State Championships,which will be held in conjunction with regular state finals. Allexis, Reese, Cora, and Zoe Gonzales will all be competing in the girls only tournament.

MYWAY State Finals will be held this weekend at the Kellogg Arena in Battle Creek, MI from Friday, March 28 until March Sunday, March 30. Anyone wanting to come out and watch the best wrestling in the state of Michigan can get the full schedule at www.mywaywrestling.com.

Cedar Springs youth wrestlers and coaches would like to thank the Post and its readers for their support by printing and reading the wrestling results each week. It has been a great season, with many more to come.

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CTA Boys Cross Country Ends Season on High Note



On Saturday, October 29, the cross country teams from Creative Technologies Academy concluded their racing schedule at the inaugural Michigan Independent High School Championships at Allendale High School. The meet featured schools from around the state and provided a venue for non-MHSAA schools to compete against each other.  The men’s team from CTA earned runner-up honors against tough competition from Grand Rapids Track Club, who won the meet, and narrowly defeated third place Kalamazoo Home School by one point.
The Chargers were led by sophomore Aaron Nutt (5th place) in a time of 17:57.  Also scoring for CTA were junior Jeremiah Wortz (19:23), freshman Benett Tomandl (19:49), seventh grader Brandon Beck (19:58), and senior Steve Van Enk (20:08).  “The boys decided before the gun that they were going to win a trophy today.  They immediately put themselves in position once the race started and never looked back.  I was very satisfied with the team performance,” remarked Coach Gerry Verwey.
CTA’s ladies team placed third at the meet.  Sophomore Erin Munger (20:35) won the race and was crowned “MIHS Champion.” Freshman Hannah Hubbard, sophomores Alicia Beck and Michaela Smith, and junior Grace Van Enk contributed in the scoring as well.
After experiencing their most successful season of cross country in their young four years of existence, the Chargers celebrated their accomplishments with a highly interactive and festive team banquet on November 9th.  The banquet featured a murder mystery dinner, in which each team member received a character and objectives to act out to solve an imaginary crime, all while partaking in a wonderfully fulfilling three-course feast provided by some of the parents.  The party also featured mock awards and photo highlights, complete with funny stories from the season.
“This was one of the most memorable seasons ever,” commented Verwey.  “These kids were a team from day one – from camp through to the end.  It was incredibly rewarding to see so many students set new lifetime personal bests throughout the season.  I can’t wait to see what we will do next year.”

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