Western Michigan Christian Athletics Weekly Results



MUSKEGON–WMC athletics teams have completed a busy week of competition; competing in the second series of conference doubles on Tuesday, April 26, the Kent City Elite Invitational on Friday, April 29, and a women’s distance medley relay on Saturday, April 30 at the GR Elite Invitational in Grand Rapids.

Tuesday April 26. The second set of doubleheaders took place at Orchard View competing against Orchard View and Muskegon Heights.

The boys went their separate ways that day beating Muskegon Heights 76-27 and losing to Orchard View 45-82.

Coach Gould, “The weather played a big part and OV capitalized on their depth in the hurdles and throwing events to put the competition away. We continued to show some small improvements and the 4 x 100 relay (Joel McKay, Owen Varnado, Joe Waller and Jaron Childers, all seniors) ran an improved run over a week ago, topping our regional rankings for now in this event. Against Muskegon Heights, we used runners from half distance/distance and most of the stints to get the win. It was good to come out of the day with the separation and hope for a better time for the sprints and jumping events in the future competitions.

Greg Gould, WMC athletics coach. Photo/Marc Hoeksema

The girls picked up a pair of wins, beating Orchard View 79-43 and Muskegon Heights 83-18.

Coach Gould, “The weather wasn’t great for a lot of things, but the mid/distance team used the day to look for additional qualifying spots for regionals in May. Our depth was much greater than our two opponents, so we looked to maximize and get some good efforts. In the discus throw, seniors Kyla Wiersema and Raina Luhring threw significant personal bests. Raina (91’9″) now in 9th place in all-time in WMC history and Kyla (96’1″) in 7th place. It was a strong team day to pick up two wins.

Friday April 29. Kent City Elite Invitational, our first ‘big’ game of the year, around 20 teams, scoring in two divisions. Scarlet for smaller schools, including WMC and White for larger schools.

Boys: 6e with 20 points, Scarlet was won by Saugatuck with 82 points.

Coach Gould, “The sun has come out and I think all the teams there went home with big improvements and we were no exception. The sprint team could see some good time improvements, especially our seniors Joe Waller in the 100 (12.07), Jaron Childers in the 200 (23.83) and Jalen Melvile in the 400 (58.41). The 4 x 200 relay (seniors, Joe Waller, Joel McKay, Owen Varnado and Jaron Childers) clocked a regional lead of 1:36.96 to place 3rd of 16 teams in this event. Varnado also picked up 2n/a in high jump (6’0″) and 3rd in the long jump (18’10”). In the distance, the Graeson Lawrence (So.) crew continues to close in on the 5:00 1600, passing 5:05.68 for a new personal best. All around a good day with plenty of personal bests to go along with the performances mentioned.

Girls: 3rd with 35 points, Scarlet won by Pewamo-Westphalia with 99 points.

Coach Gould, “The ladies came out ready to fight today, with mid/distance and field events topping most of our scores, but again almost everyone leaves with a personal or seasonal best In the first-ever track event for women, the 4 x 800 relay (Abby VanderKooi Sr., Grace VanderKooi Fr., Ava Rotma Sr. and Grace Folkema So.) defeated a field of ten teams en route to the No. 4 performance in WMC History with a 10:15.04 The other relay highlight was the 4 x 100 relay (Kyla Wiersema Sr., Maddie Wiersema Sr., Jessica Eenigenburg Jr. and Chalon Anderson- Williams So.) picking up some points with a 7e set arrival and new season best in event. In the Elite section of the 1600, Abby VanderKooi (Sr.) placed third in an overall finish that saw the old meet record broken by the top three finishers, who broke away from a group of runners quality. In the 800, Grace VanderKooi (Fr.) finished 6e (2:35.74) for a new personal best, just outside the WMC’s all-time top 10. In the 400m, Ava Rotman (Sr.) finished 7e (1:06.87) for a new personal best. The field trials were another highlight of the day. On discus, Kyla Wiersema (Sr.) and Raina Luhring (Sr.) made the final with Kyla finishing 7e (91′-09″) and Raina 9e (86′-02″). Kyla added an 8e in the high jump (4’08”) and her sister Maddie Wiersema (Sr.) a 7e in the long jump (14’02”) which was a new personal best. The twin sisters capped off our score in the last final of the women’s field event by placing 4e (Kyla) with 33’04” and 7e (Maddie) with 32′-06″ in the shot put, both efforts being new personal bests. A great day from this whole team of girls, so many improvements, giving us a boost of energy as May approaches.

Saturday April 30. GR Elite Challenge, Houseman Field Grand Rapids.

Girls Distance Medley Relay, relay stages of 1200, 400, 800 and 1600 meters in that order for a 4000 meter race.

WMC-1st place 13:10.58, WMC school record.

1200 – Grace VanderKooi (Fr.) 4:10.9 / 400 – Ava Rotman (Sr.) 1:09.0 / 800 – Grace Folkema (So.) 2:42.7 / 1600 – Abby VanderKooi (Sr.) 5:08.0

Old record 13:45.14 (2019) Josie Aardema, Ava Rotman, Sarah VanderKooi, Abby VanderKooi.

Coach Gould, “I will say the same thing I said three years ago when I coached the last group of record holders in this event…. I’ve been waiting for this opportunity since the minute we left Michigan International Speedway and the Cross Country State Finals in Nov. The chance to race the DMR is limited, so these girls had to come back from the 4×800 relay and individual events last night in Kent City to grab this opportunity. rain all day in Grand Rapids, the sky literally opened up as we made our way to the start line Grace VanderKooi put us in a great position on the first leg which is difficult due to the distance strange 1200m She put in a fantastic effort in an absolute downpour as WMC entered stage two essentially tied for the lead Ava ran a great 400 to keep us in touch with the leader and us entered stage three in second and third a bit back. Grace Folkema delivered a great 800 to keep us essentially the same distance behind the leader, third had come a bit close but we still enjoyed a gap on them entering the anchor leg. I felt that if Abby VanderKooi took over with a lead or could see the leader we had a great chance of winning, there wasn’t a girl in that field who could knock her down. It would only be a problem if we were too far behind, the other girls were holding us very close to the lead, so Abby attacked in the first round and never looked back. By then, victory and the school record were in hand, it was literally a question of how much Abby had left after the previous day’s efforts. His 5:08 1600 took us from maybe 4 seconds behind at the start of the final stage to an 18 second victory.

“To say I’m proud of this group would be an understatement, to come out the next day after racing so hard in the 4×800 and other events, trying your luck at this somewhat obscure and record-breaking event was a sacrifice, but they wanted go after. I also have to thank our backup, Nora Anderson (So.), who was with us in case anything went wrong during the warm-ups on Saturday.


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