Rockford’s women’s track and field team capped a successful season with a MHSAA state championship runner-up finish Saturday, May 30 at East Kentwood High School, when they finished one point behind state champs Detroit Romulus.
The Rams had individuals in 12 of the meet’s 17 events and scored in six events by the end of the day.
The pole vault saw the Lady Rams score 12 points when Sarah Birkmeier defended her individual state championship from last year and teammate Danielle Putterman claimed a seventh-place finish. Birkmeier’s winning vault of 13’0″ established a new Michigan state finals record and Michigan state record as she became the highest female vaulter ever for the state. Putterman vaulted 11’2″.
Out of 22 Lady Rams, 37 points came in the sprint relays: 4×100 meters, 4×200 meters and 4×400 meters. Seniors Krysten Fischer, Emma Breen and Becky Caywood, along with sophomore Abby Blanchard recorded a state championship performance when they ran a Rockford High School (RHS) school record of 47.97 in winning the 4×100-meter relay. Caywood, Breen, Blanchard and junior Margaret Smiley claimed a fifth-place finish in the 4×200-meter relay in a time of 1:43.56. The 4×400-meter relay saw yet another RHS school record when Caywood and Breen paired up with juniors Rachel Jerrils and Katie Carlson to claim second place in a time of 3:54.28.
Jerrils and junior Kylie Basarabski concluded the scoring for the Lady Rams by finishing seventh and eighth in their respective events. Jerrils claimed a seventh-place finish in the 400-meter dash by running a time of 58.48, while Basarabski claimed an eighth-place finish in the discus with a throw of 117’7″.
Other Rams competed at the state finals in a number of events. Senior Danielle Putterman competed in the 100 high hurdles, while fellow senior Kelcie Severson competed in the 4×800 relay and 1,600-meter run. Junior Rachel Herald competed in the high jump, while classmate Alyssa Durkin competed in the 4×800 relay. Sophomores Stephanie Birkmeier, Sarah Neideck, Abby Blanchard and Catie Rietsema competed in the pole vault, 4×800-meter relay, 200 dash and 3,200-meter run respectively. Freshman Jane Hawks ran the lead-off leg of the 4×800-meter relay.
The Lady Rams’ track and field season included the following accomplishments: invitational championship at the Wyoming Park Relays, Grand Rapids Public Schools and Cedar Springs invitationals, runner-up finish at the Dayton Memorial invitational, OK Red conference champions, regional champions, MITCA team state champions, and MHSAA state finals runner-up.