GREENVILLE — Though sandwiched between the regionals and the state finals, the annual Daily News track meet Wednesday was well enjoyed as it provided one last hurrah for many and, for others, monumental achievements.
Many personal records and some school records were shattered at the meet, which included competitors from Greenville, Belding, Central Montcalm, Lakeview, Carson City-Crystal, Vestaburg and Cedar Springs.
“I think it’s a fun meet for our athletes. End of the season, and, for many seniors, the last time competing,” Greenville boys track coach Tim O’Brien said. “It’s a good meet. It’s run well. A lot of our boys got good PRs (personal records), best times and best splits, so it ends the season on a positive note.”
Greenville’s Landon Kemp, who qualified for three events for the state finals, including pole vault, in which she is the reigning state champion, competed in only one event — the long jump — at Wednesday’s meet owing to a nagging foot injury.
Though it was only one event, Kemp made the best of it, winning the event while breaking the school record of 18 feet, 10.5 inches by jumping 18 feet, 11 inches. The previous record held up for 30 years … until now.
“I feel pretty good. Had a week off since regionals to try and rest my foot,” Kemp said. “That’s the biggest thing for me is rest. Your mind knows what to do but it’s getting your body to do want your mind wants it to do.”
Kemp has been hampered by a soreness in her left foot that carried over from last year. Last month, however, she decided to learn how to launch off her other foot, to ease the soreness, which she has mastered.
“My mom (Greenville girls track coach Tammy Kemp) said I wasn’t doing anything until state meet, but I told my mom I switched my take-off leg in long jump just so it wouldn’t hurt, so if my right leg doesn’t hurt then I’m long jumping,” she laughed. “It was super awkward not going off my left foot, but I just had to do the exact same thing but opposite. So, it was like, ‘How do I tell my brain to do that?’ But that’s kind of what pole vault is like, getting your brain to work in opposite directions. It’s all about adjustments. You gotta learn to adjust.”
Belding’s Hallee Breimeyer and Central Montcalm’s Libby Ledford also broke a record.
Breimeyer, a senior, broke her own school record in the high jump, clearing 5 feet, 3 inches, beating her previous record she set earlier this year by an inch. She beat second-place finishers Adele Kemp and Rachel Lefor of Greenville by seven inches.
“I felt great,” Breimeyer said. “I thought I’d try and break it today and I did and it was sweet. I’ve been doing pretty good this year.”
Ledford was only looking to improve her personal record of 103 feet, 11 inches in the discus and ended up with a school-record 109 feet.
“It was a little bit of luck, a little bit of wind. Probably a lot of luck,” laughed the sophomore, who will be competing in that event at the state finals. “I’ve improved a lot from last year. This year I made it to the state finals, so it’s a big improvement. The biggest thing from last year is I think I’m just more experienced now.”
Belding junior James Daniel, a state qualifier in the 100-meter dash, used The Daily News meet to improve on his starts in the 100- and 200-meter dash. He took first in the 100 with a time of 11.30 seconds and first in the 200 with a time of 23.47 seconds.
“I was getting ready with blocks this week because that’s a big thing for me, and since regionals are over, I wanted to work on my starts, and today felt pretty good on the blocks,” he said. “I feel like I hit a plateau in the middle of the season and I wasn’t cutting time at all. Then I decided to work on my starts a lot and now I’m starting to cut time again. I feel good going into the state finals.”
Carson City-Crystal senior James Smith won both the discus and shot put event, besting his personal record in the discus by two feet, throwing 153 feet and one inch. In shot put, he thew 50 feet, 6.5 inches, six feet more than second-place finisher Sawyer Maxson of Tri County.
Belding coach John Carlson was quite proud of his entire team’s performance at the Daily News meet.
“We wish the track season was a week longer because we’re running very well today. Lots of good efforts,” he said. “James Daniel looked great in the 100-meter dash. Hallee Breimeyer broke a school record in high jump and our girls 100-meter relay ran a real fast time and Alyssa German did really well in the pole vault. She hadn’t hit 9-foot, 6-inches all season but she did today.”
German finished first in pole vault.
Tri County’s Summer Longstreet took first in both the 800-meter run and 1,600-meter run with times of 2.30.31 and 5:33.99, respectively.
Other local first-place finishers were:
• 800-meter relay: Tri County (Cayden Luchies, Ludek Cizinsky and Adam and Aaron Jason — 8.29.82)
• 200-meter relay: Central Montcalm (Austin Proctor, Zach House, Blake Ryan and Devin Williams — 1.35.20)
• 1,600-meter run: Ellis Mason of Greenville (4.37.59)
• 400-meter dash: Keegan Goetz of Greenville (53.74)
• 800-meter run: David Larsen of Lakeview (2:06.84)
• 3,200-meter run: Stephen Hilliker of Greenville (10:54.94)
• 400-meter relay: Greenville (Noah Greenway, Ryan Olsen, Jake Rasmussen and Keegan Goetz — 3.38.78)
• High jump: Ryan Olsen of Greenville (6 feet)
• 800-meter relay: Belding (Alexa Syrjala, Victoria Wittenbach, Kassidi Gross and Hailey Thomas — 10:45.66)
• 100-meter dash: Johanna McCully of Belding (13.18)
• 200-meter relay: Greenville (Hailey King, Rachel Lefor Riley Kinnee and Jocelyn Holmberg — 1:54.10)
• 100-meter relay: Belding (Johanna McCully, Summer Eubank, Hallee Breimeyer and Lauren McDowell — 51.20)
• 400-meter relay: Greenville (Rylie Croy, Adele Kemp, Riley Kinnee and Madisyn Roderick — 4:24.64)
• Discus: Haleigh Hubbell of Carson City-Crystal (111.08 feet)
• Shot put: Paige Hallock of Greenville (33 feet, 3.25 inches)