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Tag Archive | "state finals"

State finals and Nationals

State and National Champion Tatianna Castillo. Courtesy photo.

By Barbra Chong

West Michigan Pursuit travelled to Kalamazoo for the 2019 State Finals the weekend of March 29. WMP entered 21 grapplers to compete and 17 earned All State recognition. 

43 lb Kooper Witte, 4/6 age group finished 7th. 90 lb Xavier Carpentier, age 13; 80 lb Harper Cheng, age 11; 81 lb Tyler Parmeter, age 10; 58 lb Dylan Russo, age 7; 66 lb Kellen Weckesser, age 10 and 55 lb Blake Werkema, age 8 all finished 5th. 80 lb Alex Buskirk, age 11 and 49 lb Brody Compau, age 8 both finished 3rd. 69 lb Evan Andrews, age 10; 54 lb Carter Giles, age 9; 75 lb Luke Egan, age 11; 85 lb Ayden McClurken, age 11 and 70 lb Josh Vasquez, age 12 finished 2nd. 

State Champions are 72 lb Quinten Cassiday, age 10; 100 lb Blake Peasley, age 11 and 58 lb Tatianna Castillo, age 8 in the All Girls division. WMP would also like to recognize Blake Peasley on his fourth State title and Tatianna Castillo’s back to back State title in the Girls Division. April is Autism Awareness month. It was a wonderful surprise to have my team show up to the State Finals all wearing singlets and gear that represent Autism Awareness. The cause is near and dear to my heart. They raised over $200 to donate to this amazing cause under my son’s name.

West Michigan Pursuit travelled to Lansing for the 2019 NUWAY Nationals this past weekend. WMP entered 10 grapplers to compete and all 10 earned All American status. 51 lb Carter Giles, D3 and 65 lb Kellen Weckesser, D3 finished 7th. Giles ended his season with a record of 40-15 and Weckesser finished his season with a record of 39-11. 58 lb Dylan Russo, D2 finished 6th. Russo finished his season with a record of 40-29. 68 lb Evan Andrews, D3; 80 lb Alex Buskirk, D4 and 72 lb Josh Vasquez, D4 finished 4th. Andrews finished his season with a record of 44-12, Buskirk finished his season with a record of 45-15 and Vasquez finished his season with a record of 62-6. 71 lb Quinten Cassiday, D3 finished 3rd. Cassiday finished his season with a record of 62-7. 100 lb Blake Peasley, D4 finished 2nd. Peasley finished his season with a record of 62-12. National Champions are 58 lb Tatianna Castillo, 8U Girls division and 49 lb Brody Compau, D2. Castillo ended her season with a record of 63-15 and Compau finished his season with a record of 57-11. 

“A wrestling season is built on preparation, determination and heart,” said Head Coach Dave Andrus. “It is difficult to achieve personal success without the support of each wrestler’s family. Every wrestling family knows you give it your all. A season is not defined on wins and losses but rather watching your athletes move in a positive direction. For a coach, it is the greatest joy to have an athlete run off the mat and into your arms after achieving their goal,” he added.

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Boys cross country team headed to state finals

The boys cross country team took second at regionals and are headed to state finals.

The Cedar Springs Boys Cross Country team is headed to the MHSAA Division 2 State Finals. The team placed 2nd out of the 15 teams that competed at the Division 2 Regional 10 meet at Michaywe Pines Golf Course in Gaylord, Michigan, on October 27.  

The boys were led by Corey Bowers who finished 3rd overall, breaking the 16 minute barrier for the second time this season in a time of 15:59. Jaydon Moleski had the biggest personal record of the day running a 30-second lifetime best and  finishing in 6th overall in a time of 16:14. Bowers and Moleski each earned All-Regional honors. Dilan Sargent just missed his lifetime best coming in 16th overall in a time of 16:44. Austin Mann ran a personal lifetime best time of 16:53 finishing in 19th overall. Gavin Braciak had a season best time of 17:09 to finish in 29th overall. Daniel Vermulm had his second best race of the year coming in 53rd overall in a time of 17:52. Carter Moleski ran well in his first meet of this importance coming in 64th overall in a time of 18:15.

 “Our boys’ team ran a hard fought race at regionals to finish 2nd and qualify for the D2 state finals at Michigan International Speedway this weekend,” said Coach Garrett Lacy. “We lost to a phenomenal Fremont team, who is one of the best teams in the state. We are excited about our potential moving forward to the state meet next weekend as well. Chelsea and Fremont look to be the top two teams in the state at this point, but after that I see it being a hard fought battle amongst several teams for spots 3-10. We are hoping for a top 5 finish to improve upon our 10th place finish at the state meet a year ago.” 

L to R: Marjorie Hosking, Tonya Tepin, Isabel VanDusen, Lily Howland, Maggie Prins, Ally Ladd, Carolanne Merlington, and Coach Melinda Stressman.

The girls team had a great day of season and personal bests. The team placed 10th out of 14 teams. Senior Carolanne Merlington led the Lady Red Hawks and placed 31st in a time of 20:30 and earned herself a season record. Maggie Prins placed 38th with a time of 20:46 to finish out her season with a lifetime personal best. Coming in next for the Red Hawks was Tonya Tepin, who placed 57th with a time of 21:35, and  also earned herself a lifetime personal record. Continuing with the trend of earning lifetime personal bests, Isabel VanDusen kept the streak rolling placing 64th in a time of 22:03. Following closely was Lily Howland placing 68th with a time of 22:25.  Aslo achieving a lifetime personal best was Marjorie Hosking with a time of 22:47. She placed 76th.  Finishing 84th was Ally Ladd in a time of 23:04. She also earned herself a lifetime personal best.  

“I was so happy with how the girls performed. They ran hard and continued to push each other in the race to move up as it went on. We had a lot of them reach their lifetime PRs and that’s great! The course was pretty fast. We were hoping for a better place but honestly they went out and did what they were supposed to do. I’m very excited for this program. There is so much talent and they work hard, now we just have to keep applying it in the competitions more and more as we go. I’m so proud of them, they’ve really come more together as a team,” said Coach Melinda Stressman.

The boys will travel to Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn on Saturday, November 3, and compete at 1:30 p.m. Let’s go Red Hawks!

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Marching band to compete in two competition tracks


By Judy Reed

Cedar Springs marching band students and their parents were surprised last week Monday, August 20, when it was announced that the band would be competing in the Scholastic Marching Band (SMB) competitions and not the Michigan Competitive Band Association events. The MCBA events can lead to the state finals.

Parents asked the administration to reverse the decision. As it turns out, the decision was made last May, but not communicated to band students. Principal Ron Behrenwald sent out a letter last Thursday, August 23, to students letting them know that because of the problem with communication, they would move forward with a competition schedule that would include both the SMB and MCBA events. 

“This provides you an opportunity to earn a chance to compete in the 2018 MCBA State Finals. One of our aims has and still remains to provide our marching band students with adjudicated performance opportunities that will enhance your experience and showcase your talent as a musician,” he wrote.

He said that at the end of the competitive season, “a review of the marching band experience and overall program success criteria will be conducted with input from a variety of stakeholders. Please be assured that we will pass along any changes for the 2019 competition season to you and your parents/guardians as soon as those decisions are made, but no later than May 2019.”

He then apologized for the frustration of the timing of the announcement.

The band has not always competed in MCBA events. For many years they competed only in SMB competitions. They have been competing in MCBA events since 2009.

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Red Hawk Odyssey of the Mind team to go to World Finals

Odyssey of the Mind held State Finals on March 17, the second step for creative teams competing their way to the World Finals. State Finals hosts the best teams from the entire state of Michigan and Cedar Springs sent two teams this year. The teams, made up of up to seven members, choose a challenging, open ended “problem” to solve and then test their solution against other teams in the same age division. Teams must use their creativity, ingenuity, acting, artistic talents and recycle, rework, and create, using teamwork and solving solutions on the spot to advance. 

Life skills are learned in abundance here.

To earn the right to advance, teams must place first or second against the best, most creative kids in Michigan.

Placing in second and earning the right to advance to world finals is our team from Red Hawk Elementary coached by Michelle Wiles and Traci Slager.

Team members are: Aiden Lake, Brielle Sarniak, Jade Yowtz, Nate Slager, Annalise Elliot and Coryn Wiles.

The team is busy now creatively fundraising for their upcoming trip. At world finals over 16 countries and more than 35 states have teams competing! It will be an amazing memory maker for this creative team! Good Luck to you! 

If you would like to donate, you can visit their gofundme page at https://www.gofundme.com/om-world-finals.

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WMP wrestlers to advance to state

WMP qualifiers for the state finals. Photo by B. Chong.

By Barbra Chong

West Michigan Pursuit entered 21 grapplers to wrestle at regionals last weekend, and 20 are advancing to the state finals in two weeks. Of the 20 qualifiers, 13 are Regional Champions. As a team, they are currently ranked as follows: 

#5 for Most Pins/Least Time with 27 pins in 42.11. 

#1 for most Tech Falls/Least Time with 8 tech falls in 22.16. 

#3 for most Pins/Tech Falls/Least Time with 35 in 64.27. 

#4 for Most total match points 413 points and #1 for Winning Percentage 58 wins/11 Losses 82% win ratio. 

Individual placements are as follows: 52 lb Tatianna Castillo, 7/8 age group finished 5th Place. 95 lb Blake Hammer, 2004 age group; 100 lb Isa Starr, 2007 age group and 67 lb Kamden Witte, 2007 age group finished 3rdPlace. 55 lb Kaleb Pautke,7/8 age group; 58 lb Aaiden Vasquez, 7/8 age group and 59 lb Kellen Weckesser, 2008 age group finished 2nd Place. 

2018 Regional Champions are 67 lb Evan Andrews,2008 age group; 70 lb Xavier Carpentier, 2005 age group; 63 lb Quinten Cassiday, 2008 age group; 75 lb Harper Cheng, 2007 age group; 43 lb Brody Compau, 7/8 age group; 67 lb Luke Egan, 2007 age group; 64 lb Drew Moro, 7/8 age group; 75 lb Tyler Parmeter, 2008 age group; 85 Blake Peasley, 2007 age group; 138 lb Aaron Smith, HS; 80 lb Isaiah Sostenes, 2007 age group; 65 lb Josh Vasquez, 2006 age group and 49 lb Blake Werkema, 7/8 age group. 

We also want to recognize some grapplers who have practiced with us full time all season but do not currently wrestle under WMP: 

63 lb Hunter Eek, 2008 age group finished 3rd Place; and 80 lb Alex Buskirk, 2007 age group finished 2nd Place. 

2018 Regional Champions are 55 lb Tanner Cowles, 7/8 age group; 75 lb Ian Cook, 2006 age group and 75 lb Ayden McClurken, 2007 age group. 

WMP also recognizes the hard work of the following grapplers: Quinten Cassiday and Brody Compau, who earned their back to back Regional Championships; Tyler Parmeter, Josh Vasquez and Blake Werkema earned their 3rd consecutive Regional Championship; Ayden McClurken, Drew Moro and Blake Peasley earned their 4th consecutive Regional Championship; and Luke Egan earned his 5th consecutive Regional Championship. 

“These kids continue to exceed my expectations week after week,” said head coach Dave Andrus. “They have diligently pushed themselves and each other to get where they are right now. Going into the State Finals in a few weeks, I have the highest of confidence on their performance. A very special thank you to Bill, Aaron and all of my supportive parents. We are not coaching an elite group of All Stars. We are showing them the path it takes to realize their hard work come to fruition to be recognized as an All Star. This is what I strive for.” 

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Odyssey of the Mind

Red Hawk Elementary 1st place

Saturday, February 24, rang with creativity at the regional Odyssey of the Mind tournament in Greenville, for Region 2 West Michigan teams. The halls were filled to the brim with costumed creatures ready to “hang out” at a stellar location, vehicles ready to TRI their wheels and skills at Olympic sized events, Emoji faces, and classical characters galore! Charlotte’s web? We spun it. Gulliver’s travels? We journeyed through, and down the rabbit hole with Alice, plus so much more. 

Red Hawk Elementary 2nd place

We had primary (K-2nd grade) cooking classes and balsa wood structures holding 100s of pounds!

Creativity, teamwork, perseverance, hard work and a whole lot of fun was the common thread of the day. The best part is the students do it all by themselves. Hands off adults! If one way doesn’t work there are many other ways to try. That’s one of the best life skills of Odyssey of the Mind. 

Building confidence and leadership while embracing creativity and problem solving. Our world needs our O.M.ers! 

Cedar Springs sent three teams.

Cedar View Elemenatary 5th place

Cedar View Elementary – coached by Dena Fisk and Jennifer Redes (honorable mention 5th place) problem 3 div 1.

Red Hawk Elementary – coached by Michelle Wiles and Traci Slager (placed 1st and advancing to State FInals) problem 3 div 2

Red Hawk Elementary – coached by Rahnda Bordeaux and Matt Robb (placed 2nd and advancing  to State FInals) problem 4, div 2

Congratulations and best of luck at State Finals on March 17 at Thornapple Kellogg School.

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High School Track successful at State

Brandon Sawade with Coach Lett.

Cedar Springs senior Tara Tepin, junior Brandon Sawade, and senior Alex Douglas all competed at the MHSAA Division 2 State Track finals.

Coach Rob Neier, senior Tara Tepin, and Coach Covey.

On Saturday, June 3, at Zeeland Stadium, three members of the boys and girls track team competed in the MHSAA Division 2 State Finals Track Meet.

Senior Tara Tepin placed in both the 100 and 300 meter hurdles and earned all state honors. Tara lowered her school record in the 100-meter hurdles in the prelim race to 15.26 to qualify for the finals, where she placed fifth with a time of 15.34. Tara ran the 300 hurdles in 46.79, just short of her school record in that event, for eighth place. Tara also earned academic all state in both events.

Junior Brandon Sawade and senior Alex Douglas competed in the meet for the boys team. Brandon placed fourth in the pole vault with a jump of 13 feet 7 inches and earned all state honors. Alex competed in the 110-meter hurdles and ran a time of 15.52 in his preliminary race, but did not advance to the finals in the event. Alex placed 12th overall in the event.

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Odyssey of the Mind state finals

Three Odyssey of the Mind teams from Cedar View Elementary traveled to Thornapple Kellogg High School on Saturday, March 18, to compete in the state finals.

The team that competed in Odd-a-bot Div I (the robot problem) finished fifth.

The team that competed in the problem It’s time, OMER Div I finished 10th.

The team that competed in Catch us if you can Div I finished 9th.

“It was a very tough competition at this level,” remarked Michelle Wiles, one of the team coaches. “We are very proud of all their hard work, team building skills, and creative minds put to work in a new challenging way.”


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WMP wrestlers at State finals


S-Wrestling-WMP-State-Finals-1295Six earn all-state honors

By Barbra Chong

West Michigan Pursuit traveled to the Lansing Center for the 2017 State Finals this past weekend. There were 272 teams and just over 2900 wrestlers registered to compete. WMP is currently ranked #41 as a team. They had 16 individuals enter the tournament and six finished in the top 5, earning All State Recognition.

The following individuals wrestled tough but unfortunately fell short of making it to the placement rounds. Luke Egan won 3 matches; Carter Castillo, Chayson Eberspeaker and Kellen Weckesser all won two matches each and Logan Bennet won a match.

Final placements are as follows:

Quinten Cassiday entered the 61 lb wt class in the 7/8 age group and finished in 5th Place. Cassiday’s season record is 48-4.

Ahmad Starr entered the 138 lb wt class in the High School division and finished 4th Place.

Finishing in third place was 59 lb Josh Vasquez, 9/10 age group, and 46 lb Blake Werkema, 4/6 age group. Vasquez has a season record of 44-5. Werkema’s season record is 47-3, and he also made the top 100 for most pins at the State Finals. He is currently listed at #59 with 3 pins totaling 1:34.

In the 7/8 age group, 58 lb Drew Moro and 67 lb Tyler Parmeter both finished in 2nd Place. Parmeter’s season record is 38-11 and Moro’s season record is 41-10.

State Champion is 75 lb Blake “Beast” Peasley, 9/10 age group, finishing his season with a 48-8 record. This is Peasley’s second State Title, with his first one in the 2014 season.

“A wrestling season is built on preparation, determination and heart,” said Head Coach Dave Andrus. “It is difficult to achieve personal success without the support of each wrestler’s family. Every wrestling family knows you give it your all. A season is not defined on wins and losses but rather watching your athletes move in a positive direction. For a coach, it is the greatest joy to have an athlete run off the mat and into your arms after achieving their goal.”

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CS Youth wrestlers compete at State finals

CS Youth Wrestlers at State Finals last weekend. L-R: Carter Falan, Ben Brunner, Trevor Marsman, Blake Falan, Tommy Stevens, Logan Troupe, Gabe Gair, Cade Troupe. Photo by J. Troupe.

CS Youth Wrestlers at State Finals last weekend. L-R: Carter Falan, Ben Brunner, Trevor Marsman, Blake Falan, Tommy Stevens, Logan Troupe, Gabe Gair, Cade Troupe. Photo by J. Troupe.

By Jacquie Troupe

What an exciting weekend for CS Youth wrestlers! The competition was off the charts, the Parade of Champions was exhilarating, we had great photo ops and autographs with NCAA’s Division 1 Champions Gabe Dean and Kyle Dake and in true Red Hawk fashion we cheered on the wrestlers we’ve come to know from all over the state through this great sport.

“Making it to the State finals as a youth is one of the most gratifying accomplishments you could ever achieve,” said Coach Scott Marsman. “They will never forget this time and look back on it as the beginning of the journey they take to reach their peak potential. The pride we have as coaches and parents for these amazing kids in their sportsmanship, strength and dignity is exemplified whenever they step on a mat. It will be exciting to see where they are at this time next year.”

Out of 301 teams and a total of 2947 wrestlers, CSYWC came in 88th in pins with 10 in 19:32, 80th in Match Points with 186 and finished the weekend 28W-25L, 167th over all.

In the 2010-2012 49lb class Tucker Crystal placed 3rd after 6 matches with 3 pins in a total time of 6:11, losing one and winning two by decisions of 3-0 and 7-4. He scored 33 match points over two days.

In the 2008-2009 64lb class Blake Falan wrestled 4 matches, winning his first and third matches by decisions of 5-1 and 4-0, scoring 10 match points over the course of the day.

In the 2006-2007 55lb class Brandson Wood wrestled 2 matches scoring 6 match points. In the 80lb class Hudson Crystal had 5 matches with a pin in 2:36, winning his third and fourth matches by major decisions of 15-2 and 8-0 and scored 35 match points. In the 150lb class Wyatt Cooper wrestled 2 matches and scored 2 match points.

In the 2005 80lb class Tommy Stevens placed 6th after 6 matches with a Tech Fall in 2:40, winning his second and third matches by decisions of 6-5 and 8-6, scoring a total of 29 match points over two days.

In the 2004 105lb class Carter Falan wrestled 4 matches, had 2 pins in a total time of 4:09 and scored 15 match points. Ben Brunner wrestled 3 matches, had 1 pin in :47 and scored 2 match points. Logan Troupe wrestled 3 matches, winning his second match 6-4 and scored 8 match points for the day.

In the 2003 85lb class Trevor Marsman placed 7th, wrestled 5 matches with 2 pins in a total time of 5:12, winning his fifth match by a decision of 6-2 and scored 31 match points over two days.

In the 2002 95lb class Andreew VanGessel wrestled 2 matches and scored 7 match points.

In the 2002-2004 Girls Division, 122lb class Ashly Erxleben wrestled 2 matches, scoring 6 match points. In the150lb class Ariana Meyers placed 2nd after 2 matches, had the fastest pin for the team with :37 and scored 2 match points.

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