Rockford girls track takes second at Spartan Classic, stay on top of OK Red

by RANDY GREGORY

Kelsey Kaczor hands off to Savanah Huizingh during the 1,600-meter relay against Hudsonville on Thursday, April 26. Rockford finished second in this event.

The girls track team from Rockford stayed firmly atop the OK Red standings with a pair of dominant wins last week. The Rams began the week by topping Grandville 89-48 on Tuesday, April 24, and followed that up by trouncing Hudsonville 99-38 on Thursday, April 26. They then ventured to East Lansing on Friday, April 27, to take part in the Spartan Classic at Michigan State University. The defending state champs from Grosse Pointe South were there and it gave Rockford a chance to see how they matched up with them this year.

Grosse Pointe South captured the title, but the Rams were fairly close behind and knew it could have been much closer save for one thing.

“We left some points out there where we knew we should have scored,” said Rockford Coach Randy VanderVeen. “Grosse Pointe South has a lot of the team back from last year and added a couple of talented transfers. They will definitely be the favorites again, but I think we were able to see the things we need to improve on and some of their weaknesses that may enable us to keep it in the ball park the next time around.”

Morgan Harney hands the baton off to Taylor Manett during the 3,200-meter relay against Hudsonville. Rockford went on to win this event.

Courtney Klaweiter won the 100-meter dash for the Rams and also ran a leg of both the 4×100- and 4×200-meter relays that took first place. Rachel Raab was a double individual winner for Rockford as she took the shot put at 38’11” and the discus at 112′. Sammy Cuneo, Elise Schierbeek and Allison Kelley were the other three members of the winning 4×100 and 4×200 relay teams. Katie DeHaan was second in the pole vault at 10’6″. The 4×800 relay team of Jane Hawks, Morgan Harney, Taylor Manett and Kerianne Schoff placed second as well as the 4×400 quartet of Maria Anel, Olivia Gilbert, DeHaan and Klaweiter. Manett was second in both the 1,600- and 3,200-meter runs. Anel was also second in the open 400-meter race.

“Things are shaping up pretty nicely for us as a team so far,” said VanderVeen. “The girls are a little tired after all of the races we ran last week, but that happens occasionally when you have to cram so many conference meets into such a short window. We just need to stay healthy and continue to improve, and then we will see where that leaves us as the season progresses.”

The Rams square off with Jenison on Tuesday, May 1, and Grand Haven on Thursday, May 3, in a pair of OK Red meets before concluding the week with a trip to Cedar Springs for the Red Hawk Invitational on Saturday, May 5.

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