Varsity track and field takes on the OK White Quad

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Varsity track and field takes on the OK White Quad

On Tuesday, the FHC track and field team went out to Greenville to partake in the OK White Quad. The boys tied with Cedar Springs and lost to Greenville 86-50. The girls won over Cedar Springs 95-42 and lost to Greenville 70-67. Head coach Joel Harner feels as if this was and will be one of the most difficult meets of the season.

“Tuesday was our toughest meet of the season for both the boys and girls,” Harner said. “Greenville has depth in the field events, where we traditionally struggle to put up points with the exception of Pole Vault.”

The Rangers’ loss to Greenville was a hard one to take, as the Yellow Jackets are big competition for FHC.

“Greenville is the team to beat for us,” senior leader and runner Susannah Bennett said. “We (the girls) lost by 3 points; we were really close, and it really came down to those last events.”

In this meet, senior Ryan Talbot and senior Kelsey Becker gave the Rangers big points, with both placing first in Pole Vault. FHC also found success in the boys 400-meter, claiming three out of the top five spots. Senior Geoffrey Batterbee came in second, senior Kai Hagadorn in third, and junior Patrick Ho in fourth. The 800-meter was successful as well, as Geoffrey took second and senior Jacob Ball in third.

Coach Harner is proud of the way that the 400-meter and 800-meter distance groups ran as well as the runers in the 1600-meter and 3200-meter.

“The guys mid-distance and distance groups continued to have strong showings, which we will build upon this Friday in preparation for Regionals,” Harner said.

The 1600-meter had two placers for FHC in the top five: sophomore Kyle James-Heer in second and junior Gabe Carlson in third. Gabe also placed second in the 3200-meter, followed by fellow junior Alex Souza in fifth. Out of the four relays on the day for the boys, FHC placed in second three times and took one first place as well. In the field, junior Brendan Guitar placed fourth in Discus.

The girls were able to pull off one win on the day. However, according to one of the team members, junior Olivia Jeong, more dedication and technique could have changed the outcome of the meet.

“I think that how hard everyone works and their individual successes are showing through,” Olivia said. “We could definitely work on more technique stuff.”

FHC got the ball rolling in the 200-meter with two Rangers placing in the top five. Senior Claire Baguley placed first, followed by fellow senior Madisyn Bunke in third. Claire also placed first in the 400-meter with junior Nicole Marco coming in fourth. The girls did even better in the 800-meter, with three of the top five finishers being Rangers. Senior Courtney McAlindon placed second, junior Chloe Zeien placed third, and freshman Rachel Marco placed fifth.

In the longer distance races, it was harder for many FHC runners to place high because of lack of endurance; however, there were some runners that were still able to place.

“Something we need to work on is endurance,” Susannah said. “We work a lot on speed, and we’re really fast. We just need to work on keeping that speed for longer distances because I know that’s a struggle.”

Despite a lack of endurance overall throughout the team, Susannah placed third in the 1600-meter and the 3200-meter. Rachel also placed in the 3200-meter right behind Susannah in fourth. Junior Megan Raisch placed third in the 100-meter hurdles, followed by Olivia in fourth. In the 300-meter hurdles, Olivia placed fourth and Megan came in fifth. Out of the four relays, the girls placed first in one of them. To end the day in the field, Madisyn placed second in the long jump for FHC.

“The ladies were led by Courtney McAlindon and Claire Baguley,” Harner said. “They both had strong wins and are ready for MSU to race some of our Regional Competition. Nicole Marco blazed her first 400 open race, and Rachel Marco jumped into the two-mile to earn the ladies second place in the event.”

Overall, the performances from both the boys and girls were great; they performed to the best of their ability. The next meet will take place Friday, April 26 at MSU for the Spartan Classic.

“The next two Fridays are key meets in helping our team prepare for Regionals with the goal of qualifying for States,” Harner said. “Our key competitors will be at these races and will give our varsity racers some experience they will need to beat them and make it to States.”

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