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Tag Archive | "Track and Field"

Bowers medals in two events at state meet

All-stater Corey Bowers pictured with coaches Andrew Wittland (L) and Justin Jones (R).

Three Red Hawk track and field athletes competed at the MHSAA Division 1 State Finals held at East Kentwood High School on Saturday, June 5, with the goal to secure All-State honors. Cedar Springs senior Corey Bowers brought home two All-State medals.  

“These three athletes worked incredibly hard to get to the state meet this year and we couldn’t be more proud of being represented by them on Saturday,” said Coach Justin Jones.  

Junior Gabe White competed in pole vault. He didn’t have his best day and unfortunately was not able to place.  “Gabe reached an elite level of vaulting this year, and still has so much potential to reach. He’ll be one of our more exciting returners next year. He obviously excels in pole vault but he’s also arguably our most versatile athlete on the team. He’s an absolute technician on the pole, we are proud of the work he puts into his craft. His goals are set high for next year,” said Jones.

Junior Alyssa Detweiler placed 15th overall with a jump of 5 feet 2 inches. “Alyssa proved very quickly to me to be one of the best jumping talents our school has ever seen. She was able to tie our longest-standing school record in the high jump thanks to some coaching help from our boys’ high jump record holder Tim Hullinger,” said Coach Jones. “She might be the most level-headed field event athlete I’ve ever seen. She caught the eyes of lots of college coaches this year as well. Looking forward to seeing how high she can fly next spring.”

Senior Corey Bowers earned All-State medals in two events.  He finished the 1600-meter race in a time of 4:17.51, placing 2nd behind a high school olympic qualifier from Ann Arbor Skyline. He was seeded 9th going into the race. Bowers also ran the 800-meter race and placed 8th with a time of 1:58.50.  This also earned him a spot on the podium.  

On May 26, Bowers broke the school record for the 800-meter race at the Michiana Timing Metro Health Scholarship Invite.  He finished the race in first place in a time of 1:54.25, which was a personal best for him.  

“Corey finished his career off runner-up to the best miler in U.S. history and followed up by sneaking in as All-State in the 800m as well. He was one of very few athletes to pull off all-state in multiple events. He’ll be missed beyond measure, but he is more than prepared to hit the ground running at a high level as a college athlete. He’ll also compete for Team Michigan in the Meet of Champions next weekend in the 3200m,” said Coach Jones.   

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Nylaan signs with Siena Heights University

Alexander Nylaan, a senior at Cedar Springs High School, officially signed with Siena Heights University on Wednesday, March 10. He was a member of the Cedar Springs High School Cross Country team for 2 years and Track and Field for 4, where he competes in hurdles. The University saw great potential in more than just his athletics, though. His academic achievements and participation in the University’s Scholarship Competition earned him a Dean’s Scholar designation, for which he will receive a 4-year academic scholarship. 

Alexander is excited to bring his talents to Siena Heights University and is looking forward to furthering his education. He has plans to major in Business Management. 

Congratulations and best of luck in your future, Alex!

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Cedar Springs grad selected to U.S. Youth Futsal team

Northern Kentucky University freshman Isaiah Schatz, with Keith Tozer, who is the coach of the Men’s U.S. Futsal National Team. Courtesy photo.

By Judy Reed

Isaiah Schatz, 17, a 2017 Cedar Springs graduate and freshman goalkeeper on the Northern Kentucky University men’s soccer team, was selected to play for the national U.S. Youth Futsal team, after participating in the national futsal i.d. trials earlier this month.

Futsal is the official indoor soccer game. It is small sided (5v5), played on a smaller pitch (roughly basketball court sized) and with a smaller ball.

Schatz is currently in Costa Rica with the team, where they will train and play three international matches between July 23 and July 30.

“Anytime someone is called up to represent their country, it is a great honor, and I have no doubt Isaiah will benefit greatly from this experience ahead of his freshman year at NKU,” said head coach Stu Riddle.

“I think it speaks volumes to the caliber of players we are recruiting to NKU, and I certainly expect to see plenty more National Team representation from members of this year’s incoming class and in future years.”

Schatz excelled in soccer while at Cedar Springs High School, and also was a member of the track and field team.

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Weiler brings home state championship


On Saturday, May 30, three members of the Cedar Springs girls track team competed in the MHSAA Division 2 State Track Meet in Zeeland. Senior Kenzie Weiler brought home the school’s first Track and Field state championship by winning the 3200 meter run. With 500 meters to go, Kenzie took the lead and ran away from the rest of the field. She won with a new school record time of 10:41.98 and was just two seconds off from setting a new Division 2 state record in the 3200 meter run.

Kenzie received All State honors in track and field and, combined with her achievement in the classroom, she also earned Academic All State in Track and Field. In the fall, Kenzie will continue her education and running career at Michigan State University.

S-Track-girls2-Kenzie-Award-StandSophomore Tara Tepin competed in two events, in her first trip to the state finals. Tara placed 19th in the 100 hurdles and ran a career best 47.21 in the 300 hurdles, for an 11th place finish. Junior Allyson Marvel also in her first trip to the state finals placed 18th in the pole vault with a vault of 8’ 11”.

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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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Two former track athletes to compete at NCAA Finals

Tyler Emmorey (class of 2007) and Justin Balczak (class of 2011) have both qualified for the NCAA Division II National Indoor Track and Field Finals to be held at Minnesota State-Mankato on March 9-10. Emmorey, competing in his last year at Grand Valley State University, qualified in the men’s 5000m run with at time of 4:19.88. He is seeded tenth in the nation in DII. Tyler is no stranger to the NCAA Finals as he qualified during the cross-country season for the Lakers and has been a steeple chase qualifier in his previous outdoor seasons during his five year collegiate career. This will be Tyler’s last competition as a collegiate athlete, as he has no eligibility remaining.

Balczak, competing for Lake Superior State University, is ranked third in the nation, and top freshman, in the decathlon event. Justin must compete in seven events against twelve other athletes over the two-day meet. They include the 60m dash, long jump, shot put, high jump, 60m hurdles, pole vault and the 1,000m run. Justin claims that the two days of events is much more demanding on the body and mind than he ever thought it would be. He credits his success to quality coaching at Lake State, including up to five-hour practices. This spring, he will periodically compete in the decathlon during the outdoor season.

During both of their high school careers, Emmorey was a state qualifier in the 3200m run and in cross-country, while Balczak was a state champion in the 110m high hurdles and holds school records in the high hurdles, 300m low hurdles, and the 800m relay.


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Track and field camp and meet results

This summer nearly 70 youth from the Cedar Springs area participated in the annual Track and Field camp put on in June by the Varsity coaches and athletes. The camp took place at Red Hawk Stadium and was run through the Cedar Springs Area Parks and Recreation Department.  During the two day camp the youth worked to learn many different track and field events including hurdles, softball throw (mimicking the shot put), standing long jump, relays, starting blocks and more. After they completed their training, the participants put their new skills to task and participated in a meet.

Hershey’s puts on track and field meets around the country and this event was the local one of its kind. The event is held to let the participants explore the sport of track and field, but also to act as a qualifier for a Hershey Track and Field state meet that was held on July 8th at Holt High School. To qualify for the state meet the athletes must win their event during the Cedar Springs Hershey Track and Field meet. They compete in various events based on age and gender. Thanks to all of the participants at this years camp, the high school athletes and coaches that helped instruct them and train them, and the support of their families. The first place finishers from the local meet are as follows:

Boys 9-10: 50 Meter-Dash Kaden Liggett; 100 Meter Dash-Graham Bayin; 200 Meter Dash-Brison Ricker; 400 Meter Dash-Logan Hull; Standing Long Jump-Grant Bisbee; Softball Throw-Brison Ricker; 400 Meter Relay-Kaden Liggett, Grant Bisbee, Graham Bayink, and Tyler Vanderlaan. This relay was 6th at the State Meet.

Girls 9-10: 50 Meter Dash-Morgan Reyers; 100 Meter Dash-Kaleigh Hull; 400 Meter Dash-Reese Gonzales; Standing Long Jump-Isabelle Korody; Softball Throw-Reese Gonzales; 400 Meter Relay-Paige Pierson, Emily Pierson, Tonya Tepin, and Katia Corwin.

Boys 11-12: 100 Meter Dash-Jake Mead; 200 Meter Dash-George Gonzales Jr.; 400 Meter Dash-Evan Lewis; 800 Meter Dash-Christian Holloway; Standing Long Jump-Jake Mead; Softball Throw-George Gonzales Jr.; 400 Meter Relay-George Gonzaeles Jr., Nick Rathemel, Christian Holloway, and Jake Mead. This relay won the State Meet.

Girls 11-12: 100 Meter Dash-Maddie VanDusen; 200 Meter Dash-Tara Tepin-she finished 8th at the State Meet in 31.85; 400 Meter Dash-Alexis Gonzales; 800 Meter Dash-Baylie Vandyke-she finished 3rd at the State Meet in 3:00.85; Standing Long Jump-Grace Dault; Softball Throw-Mariah Alger; Maddie Nichols represented Cedar Springs at the State meet in the softball throw and finished 4th with a throw of 113 ft 5inches; 400 Meter Relay-Grace Dault, Shelby Shotko, Tara Tepin and Baylie Vandyke. This relay finished 2nd at the State Meet.

Boys 13-14: 100 Meter Dash-Luke Dault-he finished 8th at the State Meet with a time of 13.22; 200 Meter Dash-Josh Bray; 800 Meter Dash-Remington Sawade; 1600 Meter Run-Cameron Umphrey-he finished 4th at the State Meet with a time of 5:37.35; Standing Long Jump-Luke Dault-he finished 2nd at the State Meet with a jump of 8 ft.; Softball Throw-Taylor Vandyke-he finished 8th at the State Meet with a throw of 188 ft.; 400 Meter Relay-Luke Dault, Lane Gott, Cameron Umphrey, and Taylor Vandyke. This relay finished 2nd at the State Meet.

Girls 13-14: 800 Meter Dash-Kenzy Hunter.

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