By Local Sports Journal
SHELBY – The Whitehall Vikings and Mason County Central Spartans slugged away at each other Tuesday, but it was Whitehall which came away as the boys’ track champions in the West Michigan Conference league meet.
Whitehall turned back Mason Central by one slender point. The Vikings garnered 145 points and the Spartans 144,. A second-place finish by Whitehall in the meet’s final race clinched the title in the meet at Shelby High School.
The Vikings finished second in the 1,600-meter relay to offset most of the points earned by the Spartans, who won the race. Mason Central had a 3:34.89 clocking while Whitehall turned in a 3:36.92 time.
 However, the ebb and flow showed up in the previous race where Mason Central finished one-two, but Whitehall earned points by taking three places – three, four and six.
Each team had standouts. For Whitehall coach Kirk Mikkelsen, the Vikings had five first places. Patrick Johnson won two by capturing the high jump and long jump. The other Viking first places came from Matt Russell in the 110-meter high hurdles, Sky Christenson in the 300-meter hurdles and the Vikings’ 800-meter relay team.
Mason Central, which won last year’s league meet by three points, had seven first places. Chase Barnett won the 800-, 1,600- and 3,200-meter runs while Drew Griffis won the 400-meter dash and John Trivisonno the 200-meter dash for the Spartans. Mason Central’s other first places came from its 1,600- and 3,200-meter relay teams.
The other first places in the meet went to Ravenna’s Korson Mundinger in the 100-meter dash, Alex White in the discus and Ravenna’s 400-meter team; North Muskegon’s Jacob Walton in the pole vault and Oakridge’s Tony Curry in the shot put.
The final team scores had Ravenna earning third with 76 points. Oakridge had 63 points, Hart 36, North Muskegon 29, and Shelby and Montague 17 each.
Mason Central had some satisfaction during the regular season by handing Whitehall its first dual-meet loss since 1997, according to a league observer.