Onekama girls win first jamboree

by Dylan Savela, Manistee News Advocate
April 18, 2012

BRETHREN — The boys 1,600-meter run is just four laps, and typically lasts all of maybe five minutes.

During Wednesday’s West Michigan D League jamboree, all four seasons passed during the race, too.

On lap one, it rained. On two and three, hail pelted the track. And by the time runners were crossing the finish line, the sun had poked out from the clouds and shined brightly over Brethren.

“I’ve ran in some different types of conditions before,” said Onekama’s John Girven after enduring the wild weather, “but never hail. It hurt around the corners when it was blowing right at you.”

Mother Nature played a big role in the season’s first league meet — even interrupting the girls 800-meter relay when lightning caused a 30-minute delay — but eventually, winners were determined.

The Onekama girls placed first with 234 total points, winning 13 of the meet’s 17 events. Brethren was second with 126, followed by Crossroads Charter Academy (49), Mason County Eastern (39), Baldwin (16), Walkerville (16) and Pentwater (6). The Onekama boys placed second with 144 points to Crossroads’ 203.5. Brethren finished third with 71, followed by Baldwin (59.5), MCE (18) and Walkerville (6).

“The girls handled it well,” Onekama girls coach Bonnie Brown said of the less than perfect conditions. “I was kind of worried about the 800-meter relay — they got through two runners and Danielle (Ward) almost got to the exchange when they flagged them down to stop — but they laughed about it, and came back and did what they needed to do.”

Onekama’s Faith Moerdyk (right) and Danielle Ward (left) lead the pack in the 800-meter run during a West Michigan D League jamboree on Wednesday at Brethren. (Dylan Savela/News Advocate)

Aside from winning all four relays, the Portagers were paced by several multiple-event winners as Jaylee Brown won both hurdle events as well as pole vault; Keena Gilbert won the 1,600- and 3,200-meter runs; and Alycia Peterson won the 200- and 400-meter dashes. Onekama’s Faith Moerdyk and Nisha Collins also won individually in the 800-meter run and long jump, respectively.

The Bobcats were paced by a first-place finish from Jordin Wilks in the high jump, and the fact many Bobcat softball players entered in several events.

“It’s still hard to compete with a team like Onekama,” Brethren girls coach Melissa Baker said of last year’s regional champions, “but second is great right now, and it’s right around where I thought we’d be today.

“It was nice to have as many girls as I had to play around with,” she added. “We were able to put several entries in every event.

“It was definitely a tough day, and especially with the restart in the 800; that can be a killer. But I’m pleased with what the girls were able to do today.”

In the boys competition, Crossroads won 10 of 17 events en route to first place overall.

Onekama’s Shane Peterson (left) and John Girven (middle) and Brethren’s Dylan Richardson run the 1,600-meter run as hail falls on Wednesday at Brethren. (Dylan Savela/News Advocate)

The Portagers were paced by two winning relay teams — the 400 and 3,200 — while Tyler Groenwald won the 800 and Tyler Fogarty placed first in the pole vault, which was delayed until the very end of the meet.

“(The weather) made for some interesting running conditions today,” Onekama boys coach Anthony Torres said. “Especially for my milers; they were already warmed up, they announced their final call, and then the lightning struck. But they came back out and still ran well.

“There’s always adjustments we can make to pick up points here and there,” he said of trailing Crossroads in the league opener. “(Early in the season) you want to get a feel for how the team works best, and you want to make sure you’re clicking by the end of the year.”

Aside from several PRs from the Brethren boys, Andrew Darling paced the Bobcats with a first-place finish in the 300-meter hurdles.

“We got some extra help today from the guys whose primary sport’s baseball, so numbers always help,” said Brethren boys coach Travis Walker of the third-place finish. “(Darling) had a first in the 300-hurdles, and last Friday was his first time ever in that event. So, for him to be leading the conference in it now is good to see.

“We’re still trying to feel out where we can best use people,” he added. “We’ve got kids who can run four events, but you want to make sure you’re putting together good relays, too. We’ll take a better look at the times from today and see where we can benefit most as a team.”

Brethren’s Andrew Darling takes the baton in the 1,600-meter relay. (Dylan Savela/News Advocate

  • Article by Dylan Savela from Manistee News Advocate (photos within article also by Savela)


  • Photos (outside of article)
    by Terri Barto & Suzanne Gilbert


  • April 18, 2012 Serving Onekama School since 1997