Local Sports Journal

The 35th Annual Meijer West Michigan Track Invitational will be off and running Wednesday, May 22, at Reeths-Puffer High School’s Rocket Stadium.The non-scored meet remains a highlight of the West Michigan high school track season. It allows for matchups between athletes and relay teams from all size schools to meet in a neutral environment as a tune-up to the June 1 state meets.

The meet draws entries from the Grand Haven area on the south, to Ludington on the north and east out to Newaygo County.

Among the top individuals expected to participate are Grand Haven pole vaulter Grace Kendra and middle distance runners Will Wilson, of Kent City, Mason County Central’s Chase Barnett and Luke Johnson, of Ludington.

Kendra tied the all-time area girls’ pole vaulter record earlier this spring by clearing 11-9 in a dual meet.

Wilson, who has elected to run the open 800-meter race, Barnett and Johnson all tripled to three individual first places in their respective league meets recently. Each won the open 800-, 1,600- and 3,200-meter races.

Starting times are 3:30 p.m. for the boys pole vault followed by the girls. The other field events will begin at 4 p.m. with the boys going first in the high jump and shot put, and the girls starting the competition in the long jump and discus.

The first running event will be the girls’ 3,200-meter relay followed by the boys race.

The field event and 3,200-meter relay awards will be presented at 6:10 p.m. followed by the national anthem at 6:25 p.m. The running finals will begin with the girls 100-meter hurdles at 6:30 p.m.

Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for students. Each spectator group also will receive a souvenir program.

Meijer is the main sponsor for the meet with its participating stores being three in Muskegon County and the Grand Haven Township and Ludington stores.

The invitational is organized by a volunteer committee for the non-profit sponsoring group, the West Michigan All-Star Committee.

Mike Smith, of Reeths-Puffer High School, is the meet manager.