The Rockford men’s cross country team used the final 50 meters of the 5K race to great advantage, out-kicking their opponents to win the Bath Invitational on Saturday. Drew Woznick led the way for the Rams, out-racing Northville’s Dan Sims and taking the tape with a winning time of 16:06. Austin Benoit followed suit, sprinting by another opponent near the finish line to take third place. Next across the finish line for the Rams were Grant Aman, Chris Coles, freshman Isaac Harding, Mark Cruickshank and Tyler Aman, all out-sprinting opponents in the final meters of the race. Harding was given the opportunity to run in the varsity race when Rockford Coach Andy Martin decided to rest Casey Aman, and he made the most of it, carving a minute off his best previous finish. Rockford’s Mitch Switzer led the junior varsity race from start to finish, winning it with a personal record time of 17:36. Next week, the Rams will split their squad, with the varsity team heading to East Lansing on Friday to compete at the Spartan Invitational and the reserve squad competing at the Sparta Invitational on Saturday.
The Rams’ talented senior class firmly took hold of the leadership mantle Saturday, taking eight of the top 11 places and winning the upperclassman race of the Rockford Invitational cross country meet. Rockford’s Austin Benoit and Drew Woznick led most of the race, but in the end, it was their teammate Casey Aman who took the tape with a winning time of 16:50. Benoit finished second, Woznick finished third and Chris Coles finished in fifth place. Next across the line for Rockford was the remainder of the Aman brother trio, with Grant in sixth place and Tyler in eighth place. Fellow Ram seniors Mark Cruickshank and Caleb Cuneo finished in 10th and 11th place, respectively. The Rams also won the underclassman race, allowing Rockford to win the overall invitational tile. Leading the way for the Rams was freshman Isaac Harding, who took second, followed by teammates Mitch Switzer (fourth), Colin Reichenbach (fifth), Connor Johnson (sixth), Grayson Harding (eighth), Ben Parsell (ninth) and Grant Gabriel (10th). The Rams’ next competition is the Bath Invitational to be held on September 8.
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 […]
by RANDY GREGORY Drew Woznick set a new school record in the 800-meter race for the Rockford boys track team in a dual meet against Grand Haven on Thursday, May 3 at Rockford with a time of 1:54.68. The record had been held since 1998 with a time of 1:54.9 by Jason Hartmann. Not to put any pressure on Woznick, but Hartmann has since gone on to a storied career that included a fourth-place finish at this year’s Boston Marathon. Woznick took an early lead in the race as he kept Buccaneer standout Schalk Vanniekerk at bay until the final 130 meters. Vanniekerk nosed ahead at that point, but Woznick stayed right on his heels as the two frantically raced for the finish line. With 20 meters to go, Woznick pulled even with Vanniekerk and out-leaned him at the wire to win by .13 seconds. “It was one of the most exciting races I have ever seen,” said Rockford Coach Andy Martin. “You usually see finishes like that in a 100- or 200-meter race. Drew just refused to lose and everyone in the place was on their feet cheering both of them on. Earlier in the meet he had run a 1:57 800-meter split in the 3,200 relay and to come back with a race like that is unbelievable.” As a team, Rockford easily outpaced both Jenison on Tuesday and Grand Haven on Thursday to close out the OK Red regular season at 6-1 and finish one spot behind East Kentwood. They finished the week by sending a limited squad to the Red Hawk Invitational on Saturday, May 5. Several other Ram athletes also had notable performances on the week. Ben Braden swept the discus and the shot put in both dual meets. In the process, Braden set a new personal record of 162′ 7″ in the discus on Tuesday, May 1 at Jenison. That topped his old mark by better than six feet. Justin Wustman went 19′ 10.25″ in the long jump to better his previous best by a foot and a half. And Casey Aman ran a 9:45.12 3,200-meter at the Red Hawk Invitational to shatter his previous best mark as well. The stage is now set for the OK Red conference track […]
In another dominant performance, the Rockford men’s cross-country team won the conference meet on Thursday, Oct. 20, claiming the conference championship over second-place finisher Grand Haven. Drew Woznick and Austin Benoit led the way for the Rams, taking first and second place. Casey Aman took fourth place and was followed by Chris Coles (seventh), Tyler Harney (10th), Andrew Pitcher (11th) and Gran Aman (15th). The Rams also dominated the junior varsity race, taking four of the top five places. Conner Jewel took first place, followed by Marc Lehman (third), Mark Cruickshank (fourth) and Caleb Cuneo (fifth). Rockford’s harriers head off to the regional meet to be held Saturday, Oct. 29 at Allendale High School.