Rockford High School junior Sarah Birkmeier has done it again. Competing in the MHSAA Division I state track and field meet at East Kentwood High School on May 30, Birkmeier jumped an incredible 13 feet even to capture her second straight state championship. Her record jump beat the previous Division I state meet record by 10 inches, and set an overall state of Michigan record. “My goal was to be the first girl to jump 13 feet from the state of Michigan” said Birkmeier. Senior Danielle Putterman also earned All State accolades, taking seventh with a personal best of 11 feet 2 inches. Coming off an incredible indoor season where Birkmeier won the indoor state championship and set a state of Michigan record of 12′ 8″, much was expected of the outdoor season. An early season foot injury, combined with our poor spring weather, hampered performances during the outdoor season. “We didn’t jump in five or six meets this outdoor season due to weather,” pole vault Coach Kevin Patterson said. “The past two weeks have been structured practice and rest. She’s as fast as ever right now, and that helps. Sarah set a goal of jumping 13′. We originally thought that goal might happen by the time she graduated next year. We are a little ahead of schedule, which is great.” Birkmeier’s second title adds to the list of pole vault state champions for Rockford High School. The title is the fifth in the last eight years, joining previous winners Bethany Hecksel (2002), Stacy Orosz (2004), and Christi Kettlehut (2005), all of whom went on to college to jump. “We’ve been blessed with great kids, awesome parents, phenomenal support from the athletic department and boosters, and facilities second to none. This is our key to success,” Patterson said. Currently ranked seventh in the nation, Birkmeier will be attending the Nike Outdoor Nationals in North Carolina later this month. Her 13-foot jump also qualifies for the prestigious USATF Junior Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Oregon.
Articles by Squire News
Freshman selected to CRCA All-South Region First Team The Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association (CRCA) recently announced that University of Central Flordia (UCF) rower Chelsey Lauzon of Rockford earned CRCA All-South Region accolades. Lauzon was named to the nine-member All-South Region First Team, becoming only the fourth Knight, and the first freshman, in program history to earn the distinction. Lauzon earned a seat in the varsity eight boat in all five of UCF’s events this season, rowing in the fourth seat for the Longhorn Invitational and the sixth seat in the Knights’ final four events. Earlier this season, the freshman was one of only 20 rowers selected to attend the USRowing Women’s National Team Freshman Camp this summer. She helped lead the Knights’ top boat to a third-place finish in the South Region at the Aramark Sprints South/Central regional championships and an overall 10th-place finish at the regatta, after the squad competed in the Petite Final against some of the nation’s top programs. The daughter of William and Gerri Lauzon, Chelsey graduated from Rockford High School in 2008. While there, she earned three varsity letters in rowing, led the varsity four team to fourth place at the Scholastic National regatta, earned Athlete of the Month honors as a junior, was awarded the Hammer Award in her final two years, and was a member of the National Honor Society, Spanish Club, FCA, and Youth Initiative. She is currently majoring in social work at UCF.
The Soccer Club of Rockford (SCOR) will be hosting 2009-2010 season tryouts the week of June 15 at Rockford Christian Schools, 6060 Belding Road, Rockford. Children ages 7 and older are encouraged to try out for these select soccer teams and enjoy fun games and tournaments! For more information, visit www.scorsoccer.net.
The Soccer Club of Rockford (SCOR) U12 girls team, coached by Pat Dalton and Barb Engelkes, won the Canton Cup Tournament, playing up in the U13 age bracket. After four very physical games, the girls emerged victorious with a 2-1 win in the finals against PASS. This was the team’s fifth year playing in this tournament and, after many close victories over the years, they finally captured the Cup.
Captain Kayla Knoll (#18) outplays her Mustang opponent. Photo by BRET DOUD by JACKIE HOLLAND-DECKER In the Bible, the little shepherd boy David slays the mighty Goliath with nothing but a slingshot and a heap of faith. The Rockford girls soccer team had the faith, but their skills were no match for Portage Central, the top-ranked team in Division I. The Mustangs ended the Rams’ tournament run June 2 with a decisive 4-1 victory in the regional opener at East Kentwood. “They are the best high school team I have ever seen,” said Rockford Coach Amria Ponne. “They could beat many small college teams. I can take a loss to a team that is that great.” The Rams were well-prepared for the Mustangs and knew their weaknesses. While watching game film from Portage Central’s district win, a handful of the Rams evaluated what they needed to do to win. What they didn’t know was that the Mustang’s speed, coupled with their sharp passes and great ball-handling, would be too much to overcome. The Mustangs struck early on their way to victory. Sophomore Charlie Socia scored the first of her four goals just six-and-a-half minutes into the game. Rockford’s Samantha Decker headed the cross from Portage Central’s Mara Bennett away from the goal, but Socia got the rebound, snuck in behind the defense, took advantage of the chaos in front of the net, and shot it in from close proximity. Rockford goalie Kristin Darby never had a chance. That became the story throughout the game: textbook perfect crosses or short passes in front of the net with Socia always taking advantage of frenzied activity in the box to finish. Four different Mustangs assisted on her goals. “They are very fast and great ball handlers,” said Ponne. “They play beautifully together. They always know where each other is, especially 23 [Socia] and 25 [Paige Wester]. “They are pretty tough to stop, and I would say impossible to shut out. No matter how great our defense is, No. 23 or 25 is going to score. When they have a chance to score and you think ‘this should go in,’ it’s in.” The Rams scored their lone goal 1:28 into the second half. Decker received the pass from Lyndsey […]