By Dan D’Addona
Special for Second Half
ZEELAND — It was a battle of familiar opponents in a familiar place with the Lower Peninsula Division 2 girls track & field title on the line.
Zeeland East went toe-to-toe with Ottawa-Kent Conference Green rival Holland Christian on Saturday at Zeeland Stadium — and every point counted.
Led by strong field events and hurdles, the Chix held off the runner-up Maroons by just two points, 64-62.
“Coming into the season, we knew it was a possibility with how close it was. We didn’t think we were losing that many points, and we had Maleigh (Vanderbeek) get hurt and Lia (Maggini) get hurt and Kianna Em transferred, and we had to work for it. But our girls never took it for granted,” Zeeland East coach Josh Vork said. “They knew they had to come out and work. Every day at practice you could see it. They wanted this to be special.”
Detroit Country Day was third (42), followed by Lansing Catholic (40), Dearborn Divine Child (35.5), St. Clair Shores South Lake (23), Corunna (21), Bridgeport (20), Adrian (19) and Battle Creek Harper Creek (19) among the top 10.
It was a strong day for Zeeland East’s Suenomi Norinh. The senior won three events and finished second in a fourth.
Norinh won the high jump at 5-8, edging Divine Child’s Avery Budz (5-7). Zeeland East teammate Sophie Riemersma took fifth (5-5).
Norinh also won the long jump (18-1¾) and the 100-meter hurdles (14.63), taking second in the 300 hurdles (44.91).
“This means the world to us. We have been working so hard for this,” Norinh said. “I am so proud of my teammates. I was going to be really upset if we lost, and I am really, really happy that we won — going out with a bang.”
Divine Child’s Allie Filiatraut won the discus in 136-0, edging the Zeeland East duo of Taylor Waterway (135-0) and Aliyah Boeve (134-1). In the shot put, Whitehall’s Brianna Copley won with a throw of 42-5, holding off Boeve (40-9).
With just five athletes scoring, Holland Christian kept it close until the end of the meet, winning the final relay to close within two points of the Chix.
Holland Christian’s Kayla Windemuller won the 1,600-meter run in a Division 2 meet-record time of 4:49.55.
Windemuller, Mady Vander Zwaag, Michelle Kuipers and Elizabeth Bruxvoort won the 3,200 relay in 9:10.01. Kuipers, Dolly Slenk, Bruxvoort and Vander Zwaag won the 1,600 relay (4:00.09).
Kuipers won the 800 (2:13.49), and Windemuller was fourth (2:14.68).
“Running with these girls, it is just like, ‘We got this.’” Kuipers said. “It was a lot of fun.”
Lansing Catholic sisters Olivia Theis (10:37.08) and Jaden Theis (10:48.52) went 1-2 in the 3,200, finishing ahead of Windemuller (10:58.87).
“It was all about the team,” Windemuller said. “We knew we had a chance at winning, but finishing second and getting a trophy is incredible. I am really happy I could run four events at a high level. I gave everything I had so I could score points for the team.”
Allendale’s Brianna Bredeweg set a Division 2 meet record to win the pole vault in 12-7.
Bridgeport’s Payten Williams won the 100 meters (12.06) and 200 (24.73).
Country Day’s Jasmine Powell, Taylor Aibana, Ahvon Mitchell and Alexis Officer won the 800 relay (1:45.10). The same quartet won the 400 relay in 49.14.
Ludington’s Emma Fountain won the 400 meters in 57.49.
Harper Creek’s Arabia Bacon won the 300 hurdles in 44.74, ahead of Norinh (44.91).
Click for full results.
PHOTOS: (Top) Zeeland East's girls pose with their championship trophy Saturday after winning the LPD2 title. (Middle) Lansing Catholic's Jaden Theis (1), Olivia Theis (2) and Holland Christian's Kayla Windemuller (3) set the pace. (Photos by Janina Pollatz. Click for more from RunMichigan.com.)