Local Sports Journal

Graduation took a toll on the Fruitport Trojans’ girls track team, but Coach Randall Johnson isn’t too worried.

“We graduated a lot of great talent, but picked up some key newcomers who will fill in the spots,” Johnson said. “It will be fun to watch them blossom thi season as they learn the tricks of the trade.”

There is a solid tradition of track at Fruitport and Johnson said that will continue.

“We have some good numbers and hard working girls who want to keep the track tradition alive at Fruitport,” said Johnson, who is hoping his girls give league favorite Spring Lake a run for their money in the Lakes 8.

Two state qualifiers from a year ago are back including senior Brianna Pekel, a two-time all-stater in the 400 who will also be a team leader from the 100 up to the 800 and junior Heidi Klinger, who qualified in the 100 and 200 last year.

Other key returnees include senior Hannah Klinger (sprints), sophomore Kendra Johnson (sprints), junior Janelle Vest (distance), sophomore Emily Dupont (pole vault and sprints) and sophomore Jenna Vanderstelt (long jump, sprints).

Newcomers who have caught the coach’s eye in the early going include speedy senior Debbie Pekel (sprints) along with freshmen Brooke Rollston (distance), Skye Houtman (shot put, discus), Karley Dyer (shot put, discus) and Aleighsha Pryslek (high jump).

Fruitport also welcomes a pair of foreign exchange students in Birthe Seifert and Marie Schuetz, both of whom are expected to excel in the field events.