by RANDY GREGORY
Beating East Kentwood was going to be a nigh unto impossible task for the boys track team from Rockford at the OK Red conference meet at West Ottawa on Friday, May 11. Things played out pretty much as expected as the Falcons rang up 190.5 points to the Rams’ 130.5. The two top teams in the conference meet ended up just as the regular season played out with East Kentwood first, Rockford second and everyone else an indistinct blur.
“I thought the kids showed up real well,” said Rockford Coach Andy Martin. “We had three kids in the 100-meter finals for the first time I can remember at Rockford and our 4×100 relay team did some damage. Chris Eggenberger, Drew Woznick and Austin Benoit all had great days as individuals, but we dropped the baton in the 4×800 relay and that really cost us. Overall, though, it was a good day for us as a team.”
Woznick took first in both the 800- and 1,600-meter runs. His winning time in the 800 was 1:59.92 and in the 1,600 it was 4:24.43.
Eggenberger took the 200-meter in a blistering 22.27 and finished second in the 100-meter dash at 11.22 seconds. He was also part of the Ram 4×100-meter relay team that topped the field with an excellent time of 43.19 seconds. The other three members of that winning contingent were Brandon Lubenow, Nick Simms and Tim Gilbert.
Benoit had a pair of runner-up finishes for the Rams. He ran a 9:51.89 3,200-meter and narrowly lost to Woznick with a time of 4:24.73 in the 1,600 meters.
“That was great seeing a pair of Rockford runners out in front of the pack at the finish line in the 1,600,” said Martin. “If Austin [Benoit] had another ten meters he may have passed Drew [Woznick], but they both ran a fantastic race.”
Next up for Rockford is the Division I regional at Houseman Field in Grand Rapids on Saturday, May 19. The Rams will be joined by a host of fellow OK Red members and several other West Michigan schools for the meet that will determine how many Rockford athletes will advance to the state finals two weeks later at East Kentwood.
“We want to go into the meet and win,” said Martin. “We have faced and beaten just about every other team that will be there. This is a meet we have been focusing on, and I think you will see an outstanding effort by everyone in orange and black.”