by RANDY GREGORY
The boys track team from Rockford opted not to send their team to the Michigan Interscholastic Track Coaches Association (MITCA) team championships despite their first-place showing in the regional. They instead sent a limited number of athletes to the Metro Health Sports Medicine Scholarship Invitational held at Grand Rapids Christian on Thursday, May 24. Though their numbers were few, the results were excellent as the Rams amassed 91 points to claim second place behind the host school from G.R. Christian (105 points).
“We really wanted to use this meet to stay on track for the state meet next week and to settle on our foursome for the 4×800-meter relay,” said Rockford Coach Andy Martin. “It helped us in both areas as some kids kind of set themselves apart and, by and large, we had some very solid performances. I think the highlight of the day was the 4×100 relay team that ran a 43.02. That was one of our best times of the year and we edged out an excellent team from Grand Rapids Christian. Chris Eggenberger had a good night as well.”
Eggenberger took first in both the 100- and 200-meter dashes with times of 11.56 and 21.90 respectively. He was also a part of the winning 4×100 relay team and a member of the 4×200-meter relay squad that finished third. Tim Gilbert and Scott Kaule were a part of both quartets, while Jeremy Blauser ran a leg of the 4×100 and Nick Simms was part of the 4×200.
Blauser was also the runner-up in the pole vault with a vault of 13 feet.
Other notable performances were turned in by Austin Benoit and Drew Woznick, who went one and two in the 3,200-meter run with times of 9:52.82 and 10:11.49 respectively. Tyler Harney finished third in the 1,600 meters with a time of 4:41.57. Casey Aman and Chris Coles also finished in a dead heat for third place in the 800-meter run with a time of 2:02.55.
The Rams will now bide their time and prepare for this Saturday’s state meet at East Kentwood on June 2. Rockford will not only have multiple athletes entered in multiple events, they will have several individuals and relay teams sitting in a seeded position. Martin thinks it will be a much closer competition this year from a team perspective for everyone.
“It looks like there won’t be a big scoring team like East Kentwood has been over the last several years,” said Martin. “I think there will be a bunch of teams scoring in the 20s or low 30s. We have several athletes and relay teams that have a pretty good seed and a pretty good chance at scoring some points for us. If we can not only hold our seeds but maybe move up a couple of spots, we think we can be in the mix. The kids will give it their all and we will hope for the best.”