HUDSONVILLE — The constant rain and lightning delays didn’t help Pentwater and Walkerville’s track teams Saturday at the Division 4 state meet in Hudsonville, though each squad still earned one medal each.
Walkerville junior Shane Achterhof finished fourth in the 3,200-meter run, and Pentwater senior Julia Hall was sixth in the long jump, to highlight their teams’ performances at the meet.
“The rain delays made things pretty tough,” Pentwater coach Erika Fatura told the Ludington Daily News. “It took away some of our mental focus right before the preliminaries. Then we sat for a long time. It really affected my athletes, as I’m sure it affected many of the athletes there.”
Achterhof was directly affected by one of the delays, as it hit right before his run in the 1,600-meter final. He finished just off the podium in that event, taking ninth place with a time of 4:41.4, but bounced back in the 3,200 with an impressive race. Slicing 17 seconds off his regional time, Achterhof worked his way through the field for most of the race and posted a season best time of 10:08.0. It was a nice way to end what’s been an injury-plagued season for the Wildcats’ leader.
“I hope this race helps solidify his confidence moving forward,” Walkerville coach Ben Van Wyk said. “I have no doubt that he’ll be contending for an individual championship in cross (country) and track next year.”
The Wildcats’ other event besides Achterhof’s two individual events was the 3,200 relay. Although the team of Achterhof, Dillon Brown, Matthew Ashbrook and Alex Sheehy took 20th, Van Wyk said they beat several teams seeded ahead of them, so it was a successful run.
Hall’s leap of 15-11.5 in long jump was her season’s best. Hall also competed in the 100 and 200-meter dashes. She was 10th in the 200 (27.67) and 15th in the 100 (13.48). Eighth-grader Jocelyn Richison broke her own school record in the 300 hurdles (51.63) and finished in 15th place.
“For an eighth-grader to even qualify and make it to state (is amazing), and then this is probably the fourth time she has broken her own school record,” Fatura told the LDN of Richison.
For the Falcon boys, Austin Hofmann had the top finishes, coming in 12th place in the 200 (23.49) and 13th in the 100 (11.46). Brother Khole Hofmann was 16th in both hurdles events, with times of 17.19 in the 110 and 43.41 in the 300. Max Stoneman added a 16th-place finish in the 400 (55.95). The 800 relay team of the Hofmanns, Stoneman and Jordan Bales came in 18th place (1:37.4).
“It’s tough to end the varsity career for Julia, Max and Austin,” Fatura said. “It’s been an honor and pleasure to coach them.”