Hamilton girls take third place at MITCA; Otsego girls and Hawkeye boys also compete
Hamilton senior Erika Freyhof put together quite the memorable performance at the Michigan Interscholastic Track & Field Coaches Association Team State Meet on Saturday, May 27.
In addition to winning both the 1,600-meter run (5:15.55) and the 3,200 (11:27.77), Freyhof also placed third in the 800 with a 2:26.82.
That effort helped Hamilton finish third with 810.5 points, while Grand Rapids Christian claimed the win with 860 points and Dearborn Devine Child was second with 845 points.
Otsego’s Sophie Hirzel finished runner-up to Freyhof in both the 1,600 (five minutes, 21.34 seconds) and the 3,200 (11:49.35) to highlight her team’s 10th-place showing of 502.5 points.
Hamilton also competed in the boys’ meet, earning an eighth-place finish with 785.5 points. Zeeland East won the title with 1,144 points, followed by neighboring Zeeland West in second with 1,096 points.
While Freyhof provided the only events wins for the Hamilton girls, teammates Jennica Schaffer, Rayah Blood and Franesha Robinson also turned in noteworthy performances.
Schaffer placed second in both the 300 hurdles (47.08) and the pole vault (10-feet, six-inches) in addition to coming in third in the 100 hurdles (16.45). Blood was second in the 100 at 12.79 and third in the 200 at 26.93.
Robinson, meanwhile, was third in the discus at 125-0, fourth in the shot put at 37-5.75 and sixth in the 100 at 13.16.
Blood and Robinson also teamed with Emily Woodke and Autumn Hancock to take second in the 400 relay at 50.56, while Schaffer and Blood were part of the third-place 800 relay team that finished third and also featured Woodke and Hancock.
Hamilton’s 3,200 relay team of Freyhof, Maya Klanderman, Brooke Jipping and Shyla Tomsa was sixth at 10:01.33 and the Hawkeyes’ 1,600 relay team of Josie Kragt, Klanderman, Brittany Driesenga and Tomsa was eighth at 4:25.86.
Hamilton got an eighth-place finish from Annaka Ediger in the high jump (5-0), while Alex Edsall tied the Otsego duo of Ryley Hoogstraten and Payden Williams for 10th in the pole vault at 7-6.
In addition to two second-place finishes from Hirzel, Otsego also got a runner-up showing from Sydney Kubiak in the 800 with a 2:24.85.
“We had some fantastic performances,” Otsego coach Justin Scott said. “While we finished 10th out of the 10 competing teams, I think in the broader context a top-10 finish in the state of Michigan is a considerable achievement for these girls.”
Madelyn Marciniak also ran well for the Bulldogs, placing fifth in both the 1,600 at 5:27.32 and the 3,200 at 12:08.77.
Sadie Bronkema had Otsego’s best showing in the field events. Bronkema placed seventh in the shot put at 35-11.5 and was eighth in the discus at 101-04.
“I was so excited for (Bronkema) to have a good day after falling only a half inch short of qualifying for the state meet in the shot put at regionals,” Otsego coach Justin Scott said. “ Her throw was her lifetime (personal record) in the shot put. I’m glad she was able to end her career in high school track and field with success.”
Kristen Brylowski (1:04.49 in the 400) and Serena Carter (14-7.75 in the long jump) each turned in a 10th-place showing for the Bulldogs.
The best relay for Otsego was the 3,200, as Hirzel, Katherine Theis, Marciniak and Kubiak ran a 9:48.25 to place third. That marked a new school record.
“That was 15 seconds faster than we have run all year,” Scott said. “It was our toughest matchup of the season and those four girls absolutely rose to the occasion.”
In the other three relays, the Bulldogs placed ninth as the 400 team of Karissa Vea, Carter, Marissa Johnson and Macy Proctor ran a 55.13; the 800 team of Brylowski, Vea, Carter and Proctor ran a 1:55.23; and the 1,600 team of Brylowski, Maria Germain, Julia Robinson and Kubiak ran a 4:34.36.
“Another highlight of the day was senior Karissa Vea’s performance on sprint relays and in hurdles,” Scott said. “We knew coming in that we were going to be shorthanded with some of our athletes unable to compete and Karissa volunteered to take on additional races and a heavier workload. She had her busiest day of the year and was still able to set a personal best in the 100 hurdles and a season-best time in the 300 hurdles.”
In the boys’ race, Hamilton’s Teghan McMahon turned in the best effort from his team with a second-place showing of 6-3 in the high jump. He also placed ninth in the pole vault (12-3), which was three spots behind Sawyer McMahon, who also posted a 12-3.
Sawyer McMahon was 10th in the high jump at 5-7.
Luke Koopman and Trenton Lane each had a pair of top-10 finishes for the Hawkeyes.
Koopman was third in the 3,200 (9:59.89) and eighth in the 1,600 (4:33.07), while Lane was third in the 300 hurdles (41.89) and seventh in the 110 hurdles (16.44).
Brendon VandeVusse placed ninth in the shot put at 45-4.5. Caleb Topp was 10th in the 800 at 2:05.71, with Nolan DeJonge securing the same finish in the 110 hurdles at 16.58.
In the relays, Hamilton’s 400 team of DeJonge, Lane, John Dekkinga and Dylan Taylor was fifth at 44.62, while the 1,600 team of Caden Klanderman, Henry Soerens, Trenton Peters and Topp was 10th at 3:39.62.