Courier-Leader & Flashes

Otsego boys secure Wolverine Conference championship

By Jason Wesseldyk
Sports Editor
PAW PAW—Following a one-year hiatus, the Otsego boys track team is back atop the Wolverine Conference standings.
The Bulldogs racked up 145 points at the Wolverine Conference Championship on Saturday, May 14, to easily claim the league crown.
Otsego had won three titles in a row before being knocked off the pedestal by Edwardsburg last season, meaning the Bulldogs have now claimed four of the past five championships.
Sturgis earned runner-up honors with 103.5 points, followed by Edwardsburg (97), Vicksburg (85), Plainwell (72), Allegan (50), Niles (40), Paw Paw (37), Three Rivers (19.5) and Dowagiac (10).
As has been the case in recent history, Otsego proved to be particularly strong in the distance and mid-distance events.
The Bulldogs took the top three spots in the meet’s longest event, as Chase Brown (10:17), Luke Aldrich (10:32) and Caleb Wesseldyk (10:40) finished first through third, respectively, in the 3,200-meter run.
Brown also won the 1,600 with a time of 4:25, followed by teammate Nick Cockerel in second at 4:29. Pierce Bentley placed sixth at 4:52.
In addition to his individual events, Brown anchored the winning 4×800 relay team that posted a time of 8:29 and also included Mason Kolhoff, Bentley and Tristin Canales.
Jacob Zartman starred in the hurdles for Otsego, as he won the 300 (41.36) and took second in the 110 (15.96). He also finished third in the 100 at 11.43.
Jalen Radke provided the Bulldogs’ other event win, as he took the long jump with a personal-best showing of 21-4.5. He was third in the 200 at 23.44.
Michael Griffey won both of the throwing events for Plainwell, taking the shot put at 44-5.25 and the discus at 147-5. The Trojans also got wins from Eli Veen in the 800 and (2:03) and Zachary Miller in the pole vault (13-6).
For Allegan, meanwhile, Luke Ellis won the 400 at 53.13 and was part of the winning 4×400 relay team. That team, which put together a time of 3:38.95, also included Titus Smith, Drew Ellis and Josiah Flora.
“Finished in sixth place was not our goal at the beginning of the season, but I cannot be more proud of our performances today,” Allegan coach Evan Williams said. “Ultimately, even though we didn’t finish as high as we wanted, when kids are throwing, jumping and running personal best times at the championship meets that’s all we can ask. 
“And even though a lot of the kids didn’t show up on the score sheet, they still had their best performances and that’s what track and field is all about. I was proud of the effort they put in, and the boys have earned these types of performances with the hard work they have put in all season.”

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