ONEKAMA — Gamesmanship was abound Wednesday in the second West Michigan D League meet of the season.
Coaches changed relay combinations and athletes entered in new events from last week’s opening jamboree. Tiny tweaks, minor adjustments — all in hopes to gain a bit of ground on whichever team you’re trailing.
Though the Onekama girls didn’t need to posture for points by any means, the reigning league champions joined in on all the change.
“We did a lot of moving around today,” Portagers coach Bonnie Brown said while looking over the final results. “I’ve just never had this many girls to work with.”
Even with the different look, the depth of the Portagers dominated again as 12 first-place finishes led to a second straight league win with 238 points. The Brethren girls placed second with an improved score of 121 while Mason County Eastern (56) was third, Crossroads Charter Academy (23) fourth, Baldwin (20) fifth, Walkerville (19) sixth, and Pentwater (12) seventh.
For the boys, both Onekama and Brethren made fruitful adjustments, despite placing second and third, respectively, again. The Portagers (161) closed the gap on first-place Crossroads (197) by more than 30 points from last week while the Bobcats (87) gained ground on Onekama. Baldwin (48) placed fourth while MCE (22) took fifth.
“Well, we’ve got about six to seven sprinters and we’re trying to find ways we can utilize them the best,” Brown cited as an example of the Portagers’ depth. “We’re looking for a number of different places we can put people toward the end of the season. They put a lot of pressure on themselves tonight, in the open events, to perform well. … But all we were doing is just getting a better look at what we have.”
The usual suspects led the way for Onekama as Jaylee Brown and Keena Gilbert each won a pair of individual events. Brown took first in pole vault (9-foot-6) and the 100-meter hurdles (17.49) while Gilbert won the 1,600-meter run (6:12.43) and the 3,200-meter run (13:48.88). Also finishing first for Onekama were Nisha Collins in the long jump (15-4 3/4), Breanna Fink in the 100-meter dash (13.39), Faith Moerdyk in the 800-meter run (2:45.82) and Alycia Peterson in the 200-meter dash (28.11).
The Portagers also won all four relays.
The Brethren girls sustained second place in the league, but made a huge jump in points from the last jamboree.
“We’re getting quicker, getting closer,” said Brethren coach Melissa Baker.
Brethren’s Jordin Wilks took first in the high jump with a leap of 4-6 while the Bobcats swept the top three spots in the 300-meter hurdles, led by Emily Krause (54.90). Krause took second in in the 100-meter hurdles (18.5) while Kristen Santa was second in the 300 (56.50). Brethren’s 3,200-meter and 800-meter relay teams took second as well.