The boys track and field team ended one of the best seasons in team history by earning 13 all state certificates at the MHSAA state meet in Zeeland on Saturday. The team’s performance allowed 8 athletes to claim all-state honors.
In individual events, Jayk Slager finished off an excellent high school athletic career by earning all state honors for the second straight year in the discus. Jayk’s throw of 163’0″ was good enough to place 4th in the event bettering his 6th place performance from the previous season. In the shot, Jayk placed 9th with a throw of 40’9.5″ Daniel Quintanilla represented the team in the long jump. His jump of 20’3.25″ in his home pit was good enough to finish 14th in the state. With his drive and dedication expect to see Daniel return next season to earn all state honors in the event. Matt Converse kept up with a fast field in the open mile for 2 laps, but the pace was a little more that the young sophomore was used to. He crossed the line in 4:37.48 for 19th place in the state, a great accomplishment for the 3rd fastest sophomore in the state. John Garnsey made a valiant attempt in the pole vault. John had one the best and most consistent vault seasons in the state only to have a hamstring injury 10 days before the finals. The injury prevented him from earning certain all state honors. Despite the injury John made two attempts in the event before deciding in was not to be. I am so proud of John’s effort, commitment and dedication to our team. John finished his career as the 2nd best vaulter in school history.
Relays were the name of the game for the DUX for most of the day. This was no surprise. Throughout the season it was apparent that despite the lack of state level individual fire power in most events the team was deep in talent. This talent allowed the DUX to be the only team in the state to qualify to compete in all 4 relays at the state level. The relay performances were strong from beginning to end. The 4 x 800 team began the day by dropping 13 seconds of their season best time to run an excellent time of 8:05. Many years this performance would have seen the boys on the medal stand, but this season the depth in the event went unparalleled. The perforce by Bryce Arredondo, Matt Converse, Gabe Harris and Dylan Mulder was good enough to place 13th on the day and 5th overall in team history. Next up for the team was the first of the sprint relays, the 4 x 200m. Heading into the event the team was ranked 10th in the seedings and 5th in the state. The team of Daniel Quintanilla, Badr Semia, Nate Kuiper, and Hunter Anderson did not disappoint as they won their heat, placed 5th in the state, and ran to a school record of 1:30.10. The performance earned the guys all state honors. In the second sprint relay of the day, speed and handoffs are essential. The 4×100 is one of the fastest and most exciting events in track and field and has become one of the DUX team strengths. The team of Kuiper, Semia, Chase Peddie, and Anderson entered the event prepared and ready to show that with preparation there becomes opportunity. The team cruised the track with excellent handoffs and a solid chase down performance from Anderson to finish with the 3rd best time in school history (43.69) and a 6th place finish. Every fraction of a second mattered as the 4th – 8th place teams were separated by .10 seconds. This performance earned the members all state honors. The last event of the day, the 4 x 400 relay, has been a team strength for over a decade. This years team of Mulder, Harris, Semia and Kuiper proved late season that they had what it would take to compete for not only all state honors, but a state title in the event. The team entered the event with high hopes as they were seeded 1st in the state. The guys raced to a season best time (3:25.25) but left a bit down as this was good enough for a 4th place finish in the event. As their coach, I want to let them know that it was an excellent performance and I am proud of their effort. The finish allowed the guys to earn all state honors. The relay performances on the day will go down as one of the best team performances in school history. Congratulations to the guys on a great team season!! The effort and attitude allowed for solid accomplishments and a strong foundation for next season. Thank you to our seniors for you commitment, consistency and care of our younger team members. Your legacy is solidified.