Allegan County News & Union Enterprise Sports

Plainwell wins three events at regionals, Otsego claims two events

By Jason Wesseldyk
Sports Editor

RICHLAND—The Plainwell quartet of Hiro Nguyen, Donovan Ryan, Henry Cox and Isaac Veen entered the Division 2 boys track regional at Gull Lake High School ranked first in the 4×800 relay.
And they didn’t disappoint, shaving four more seconds off their best time of the season to turn in a winning time of 8:12.0.
“I’m really proud of those guys,” Plainwell coach Scott Evans said of his 4×800 crew. “They continue to improve. I hope their time today will be enough to make it into the fast heat at the State Finals.”
The Trojans placed fourth in the team standings with 62 points, while Otsego was seventh with 44 points. Allegan didn’t score.
In addition to their success in the 4×800, Veen and Cox each won individual events.
Competing in the 800, Veen ran a personal-best time of 1:57.84 to pull away from Dowagiac’s Owen Saylor (158.9) and Three Rivers’ Sullivan Zietlow (1:59.28).
“Isaac ran his best race of the season in some pretty tough conditions,” Evans said. “The temperatures were nearly 15 degrees warmer than what we trained for, but everyone—including Isaac—powered through and ran great.”
Cox, meanwhile, battled a familiar foe in the 3,200 in the person of Otsego’s Caleb Wesseldyk. In the end, Cox prevailed by a margin of two seconds as he ran a 9:42.56 compared to a 9:44.6 for Wesseldyk.
“Henry ran great to win the 3,200, but I know the heat had to be setting in and I think it was affecting him like other competitors in the last three laps,” Evans said. “I’m hoping temperatures will be a little cooler for everyone at the State Finals”
Plainwell’s other state-qualifying effort came from the 4×200 team of Ryan McDaniel, Trent Hansen, Ronaldo Nunez and Carter Monette. That group posted a time of 1:32.01 to place third.
“The 4×200 team had its best race and best individual performances of the season,” Evans said. “The handoffs went great and we are about three-tenths of a second from the school record, so we are hoping to get that at the State Finals.”
For Otsego, Wesseldyk added a win in the 1,600 to go along with his runner-up showing in the 3,200. He edged out Saylor 4:22.14 to 4:22.8 in the 1,600.
Sophomore teammate Alex Robbins joined Wesseldyk in qualifying for two events. Robbins set a new school record in winning the shot put (52-3.5) and was seventh in the discus with a qualifying distance of 140-1.
“It’s always exciting to see athletes reach their goals,” Otsego coach Julie Tollas said. “The fact that Alex has two more years to grow in his high school career is very encouraging and I’m sure he will be exceeding his own record in the future.
“Caleb’s performance in the 1,600 and 3,200 is the result of many years of hard work and dedication to this sport. We are all looking forward to our trip to the State Finals and supporting these two young men.”

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