Portagers place 2nd, 4th at Bobcat Invitational

BRETHREN — The Onekama girls track and field team placed second among the 10-team field at the Bobcat Invitational in Brethren on Saturday while the Bobcats placed fifth.

The Portager boys placed fourth and the Brethren boys eighth, while Manton swept the invitational as the Rangers took first in both boys and girls action.

The Onekama girls, whose individual results were unavailable at time of press, scored 106 total points to the Rangers’ 121. The Bobcats scored 48.

“I was really impressed with the girls,” said Brethren girls coach Melissa Baker of the fifth-place finish. “Even the girls that aren’t placing are still improving. Everyone’s getting quicker, or in field events, better distances.

“It’s nice to see that improvement across the board.”

The Bobcats’ Emily Krause paced her team by medaling (top six finish) in each event she entered, including a first-place finish in the 100-meter hurdles (18.20) and second in the 300-meter hurdles (52.27).

Brethren’s Jordin Wilks placed third in the high jump with a leap of 4-foot-4, while the 1,600-meter relay team of Krause, Mia Sacksteder, Haley Wade and Annie MacNeil also took third in the time of 1:59.26.

“We had some good weather, and I think that helped,” Baker said. “It was successful, and I’m really happy with where we ended up.

“This was a good meet to kind of start prepping, and start thinking about regionals.”

The Brethren boys were missing some key pieces to its team en route to 23 points for eighth place, but that didn’t stop a handful of Bobcats from having some standout performances.

In his first year on the team, sophomore John Grocholski continued his climb in the throwing events with a second-place finish in the discus (101-1) and fifth in the shot put (34-5 1/2).

Josh Davis took third in the 1,600-meter run in the time of 5:08.20.

“It was really nice to see Davis get third in the mile and John Grocholski, in his first year, has just been steadily improving,” said Brethren boys coach Travis Walker. “In the past, we’ve struggled to score points in those throwing events, so that’s really good to see.”

Walker said the Bobcats should be at full strength at the West Michigan D League championship meet this Wednesday.

“We were without three of our big point getters,” Walker said of James Connolly, John Cullar and Andrew Darling. “They probably would have placed yesterday had everything gone the way they have been for them.

“We should be at full strength and healthy Wednesday,” he added. “So, we’re hoping to bring home some high honors at the the conference finals.”

Onekama’s John Girven (center) and Brethren’s Josh Davis (left) finished second and third, respectively, in the 1,600-meter run at the Bobcat Invitational in Brethren on Saturday. (Dylan Savela/News Advocate)

Running in their third meet in one week, the Onekama boys took Saturday as an opportunity to shift some athletes around, and rest some others.

“With such a hard week with three meets, we wanted to rest up just a bit, so a lot of the guys ran just one or two events,” Onekama boys coach Anthony Torres said. “It’s a lot on their legs late in the season, so we just didn’t want to over-push them.”

The Portagers scored 68 team points for the fourth-place finish.

“It was a day to get different kids in different events,” Torres said. “But overall, I was really happy with where we placed. With kids in different events, we were still able to score some points, which was great.”

Onekama was paced by Tyler Fogarty who had two second-place finishes, each in the pole vault (12-0) and 100-meter dash (11.85).

John Girven took second in the 1,600-meter run in the time of 4:58, while the 3,200-meter relay team of Shane Peterson, John Schoedel, Parker Sternberger and Alex Barto placed third in the time of 9:32.44.


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