By Travis Smola
The Vicksburg varsity girls’ track team had an outstanding season, winning the Wolverine Conference meet.
Vicksburg just barely edged out Otsego by 1.4 points to pick up the victory. “It was kind of a barn burner,” Head Coach Lucas Wolthuis said. “We did enough. We scored more points than we were supposed to on paper, which is always good to see.”
In the relay events, the 4×400 team of Wile, Kendall, Ruger and Mulhearn came in second. The 4×200 team of Wile, Sam Richardson, Cate Curtis and Riddle took first. But the most notable time of the meet was set by Wile, Kendall, Richardson and Curtis in the 4×100 meter relay. Not only did the team win the event, but they also set a new school record of 51.27 seconds in the process.
One of the big difference makers in the meet was the 4×400 meter relay, won by the team of Grace Wile, Riley-Ann Bierema, Amelia Ruger and Mia Mulhearn. The Bulldogs got some extra help in that event with Plainwell finishing second, which meant Otsego needed eight points in discus to pass Vicksburg. When the results came in, Otsego had enough for second and a share of the season title, but not enough to win the meet.
The strength of the relay teams and shorter events like the 100 and 200-meter dash and hurdle events has been key to the team’s success all year. The team didn’t always win these events, but they racked up key points with high finishes.
“That was kind of the theme of the meet, winning with depth,” Wolthuis said. “That was a strength coming in, but then it was just going to be a matter of where does everyone else place? What points go where and kind of letting the meet fall where it falls.”
The depth played a key role in the Lady Bulldogs finishing second at Regionals the following week. Megan Kendall won the 100-meter dash. Kinsay Riddle took second in the 100-meter hurdles and Mia Mulhearn took second in the 300-meter hurdles.
The team had so much depth at the relay events this year that the coaches actually had difficulty picking who would run. “We challenged the girls early in the season to make our jobs hard on decisions on relays and they’ve done a great job of doing that,” Wolthuis said.
“We have just a plethora of great young ladies who put a lot of work in over the course of the season,” Wolthuis said. “We’re talented from seniors down to freshmen. We have people contributing from every age group and that’s been a big part of why we’ve been so successful – we have so many options to go to and so many people. We’re not just depending on one or two people.”