By: John Raffel
Beal City girls enjoys strong state track meet
Beal City girls track coach Dave King will soon realize, if he hasn't already, how much quality matters on a track team, compared to quantity. Not that he has anything against quantity.
“I have some very good athletes and all of my athletes work hard,” he said. He started the year with 12 girls and went most of the season with nine. “It's made it very difficult to try to fill out our lineup and competed as a team, in dual meets and even some invitationals.”
Five girls qualified for the Division 4 state meet with two relays and three individuals.
“We placed in four out of the five events,” King said. “We scored 22 points and finished ninth at the state meet. That was a satisfying end to what had been kind of a difficult season.”
But it wasn't necessarily unexpected for the Aggies coach.
“I knew we could do well in those events,” King said.
The Aggies were less than four points away from sixth place.
Junior Ashley Reihl was fourth in the long jump at 16-2 ¼, and was also on the second place 4x800 meter relay team with freshman Gaby Gamble, junior Natalie Gross and senior Kayla Bierschbach (9:51.25). Bierschbach was sixth in the 400-meter dash (1:00.50). The Eagles were third in the 4x400 meter relay with Reihl, sophomore Amy Schwerin, Gross and Bierschbach (4:11.03).
“We had our best performances of the season at that state finals meet in three out of the four events we placed in,” King said. “Our 3,200-meter relay had qualified for the state meet third in our regional at 10:21. In the last two weeks of the season between the state and regionals, we took off 30 seconds and beat both of the teams that had finished ahead of us at regionals and took the runner-up spot at the state finals.
“We had already brought our time down to 9:56 at the Mid-Michigan Meet of Champions on that Tuesday before the state meet. We felt we'd do well at the state meet. But the fact we ran our best time of the year (and finished second was excellent for us. In the 400 relay, we ran a new school record at the state meet. All our girls ran their best relay leg of the year at the same time. My long jumper had her lifetime best long jump. We knew we had talent and could do well. The girls put it all together that day.”