By Ron Rop
Local Sports Journal
Mona Shores boys track coach Todd Conrad was trying to remember when the last time the Sailors’ boys captured the city meet title.
In any case, the drought is over after Conrad’s Sailors racked up 99 ½ points to outdistance runnerup Whitehall, which finished with 73. Oakridge was third with 57 ½ points, followed by Fruitport with 47 and Muskegon with 46.
The meet, which began in 1954, was run at Reeths-Puffer High School.
“I don’t think we’ve done it in a while,” Conrad said. “I coached in 2004 and 2005 and I don’t think we’ve won it since then so it’s been about 10 years, and to be honest, 2 years ago when I took this job, we were so far away from that. Walking into this, I really thought we had a chance, but I didn’t think our kids have that big a disparity in the score toward the end of the meet. I was pleasantly surprised.”
The biggest surprise from his team, according to Conrad, was the 1600 relay team that was thrown together at the last minute and won.
“We didn’t have anyone run under 54 seconds in the open all year long and Ben Cry ran a 52.1 and Michael Grissom ran a 51.5 split and we just threw it together,” Conrad said. “The way this goes at the end of the meet, it’s whoever is left standing. We just throw them in there and those kids were the ones who volunteered to do it and did a great job.”
That first place was one of five for the Sailors on the evening.
Marquon Sargent won a close battle with Johndries Betts-Render in the 100, Jacob Baker won the 1600, the 400 relay team took first place and Adreon Billups won the high jump.
Justin Hunter-Smith had a solid day in winning three events. He ran away from the field in both the 110 and 300 hurdle events races and won the long jump by more than 1 foot.
Muskegon Catholic’s Cari Campbell was a double winner with titles in the shot put and discus.
The Muskegon Big Reds received first-place finishes from Demetrius Brown in the 200 and the 800 relay team was victorious.
Oakridge’s Austin Wright won the 400, North Muskegon’s Jacob Walton won the pole vault, Reeths-Puffer’s Jon Meier won the 800 and Whitehall’s Alex Dennis won the 3200
Whitehall’s 3200 relay team also captured a first-place finish.