Friday was cold, wet, and rainy, but the OK Red Conference Meet scheduled for that day continued. Grand Haven, Grandville, Hudsonville, Rockford, West Ottawa, and host East Kentwood duked it out for a total of nine hours. East Kentwood came in as one of the best track and field teams in the entire state and expected to win. Rockford again brought their A game in the distance events and earned major points in that category. Hudsonville, Grandville, and West Ottawa had been close the entire season which meant third, fourth, and fifth place were on the line. Grand Haven, after a top two finish at the regional finals only a year ago, was ranked dead last coming in and would stay there at the end of the meet.
West Ottawa had one first place finish which came in the long jump. West Ottawa Sr. Ato Condelee edged out East Kentwood Sr. Houston Glass by two and a half inches to record a winning jump of 22’2½”. Condelee scored again in the high jump with a second place leap of 6’1″.
The Panthers took second in two more events as the 4×200 Meter Relay team of Sr. Jacob Arvidson, Frosh. Jesse Grover, Soph. James Lacy, and Jr. Christian Ramirez held off Rockford to take second behind the East Kentwood team who posted the second fastest time in Division 1. Ramirez ran a season best of 51.48 seconds in the 400 Meter Dash to claim the third silver metal of the meet for West Ottawa.
Sr. Steven Benevides secured third place in the discus with his best throw of of the season at 135’3″. Benevides also scored in the shot put with a heave of 43’3¾” which gave him sixth place.
A big lift came in the 100 Meter Dash and the 200 Meter Dash. West Ottawa got three entries for each event; Condelee, Lacy, and Grover for the 100 and Arvidson, Vasquez, and Lacy again for the 200. Before anyone could reach the finals, each athlete had to qualify first through the premlims. In both events all three of West Ottawa’s entries made it to the finals. It was the first time the Panthers went three-for-three in both events for the first time in several years. In the 100 Meter Final, Lacy, Condelee, and Grover finished sixth, seventh, and eighth respectively. Vasquez shocked many with a personal record time of 23.48 seconds to take third in the 200, while Lacy took sixth and Arvidson finished eighth.
The Panthers will travel to Grand Haven on Friday, May 17 for the Regional Finals. The top two places in each event will then advance to the State Finals on Saturday, June 1 at East Kentwood.
The final results for the OK Red Conference Meet were: