Local Sports Journal

A field of up to 14 schools is expected to be entered Friday when Reeths-Puffer holds its 14th Annual Rocket Invite prep track meet.

The invitational helps kick off the big meet events on the West Michigan high school track schedule.

Area teams expected to compete are Fremont, Fruitport, Holton, Ludington, Mona Shores, North Muskegon, Orchard View and host Reeths-Puffer.

Rounding out the competing teams will be the boys team from Traverse City Central, and the boys and girls teams from Traverse City West, Benzie Central, Holland, and Manistee.

The invitational scores six places in each event and awards team champion and runner-up trophies for the boys’ and girls’ teams in both large and smaller school categories.

The meet started in 2001 and has yet to be won by a West Michigan area boys team. Ludington finished second in a weather-hampered 2013 meet, Reeths-Puffer was second in 2009 and Orchard View was second in 2008.

In the girls meet, Reeths-Puffer won the team title in 2006, 2008, 2010 and 2011 while Grand Haven captured the first meet in 2001.

Defending team champions are Traverse City West in the boys meet and Traverse City Central in the girls competition.

Returning individual girls champions include Brandy Thomas of Ludington in the shot put and discus.

Competition will start at 1 p.m. with the girls pole vault and men’s long jump. The other field events will begin at 2 p.m. with the running events at 3 p.m.