Vikings continue to show fighting spirit

Published 9:30 am Wednesday, May 3, 2006

By Staff
On Saturday, April 22, the Ring Lardner Vikings traveled to Buchanan for the Buck Relays. There, the Vikes competed with 17 teams, where the boys and girls both captured first place.
Ring Lardner held its own “Don Bender Relays” for the 18th straight year on April 28. Originally, these relays were started by former Ring Lardner athleitc director and track coach, Don Bender, who has been a fixture at the school and in Niles for many years. The meet was named for Mr. Bender back in 1988 to honor his contributions to the school and athletics. Mr. Bender surprised the participants and fans at this year's meet by making a special appearance.
The Vikings continued to show their fighting spirit in another meet on Friday. Both the boys and girls teams have struggled in the opening races and field events of each meet this season and Friday was no exception.
The boys fell behind early, receiving 15 out of a possible 40 points in the first four events. They started the comeback in the second running event, the distance relay, by taking second place.
Record holder Mark Calhoun, Anothony Horvath, Mitch Peterek and Justin Horvath are the team leaders. The boys then took first in four of the next five races. These same young men, along with Cameron Sly, Rashaad Harris, David Garner, Shawn Holland, Zak Prenkert, Ronnie Smith and Jordan Smith brought the Vikings back. The boys finished in first place, keeping St. Joe in second place by four points and beating nine other teams.
The story was the same for the Lady Vikings. They also scored only 15 points in the field events and their first race. Ten of those points came from the effort of Devyn Roberts and Morgan Farmer, who captured first in the high jump. Brittany Buti, Jessie Sebastian and Sarah Smith tried to help by chipping in four points in the shot put.
Then the team leaders took charge.
Sarah Crabtree, Madie Rodts, Shannon McKeel, Ashley Allison, Allie Hoyt, Jordan Brown, Liz Coulston, Gabie Ezell, along with newcomers Savannah Wolnik and Alex McIntee brought the girls back into contention. The girls made it a two-team meet, leaving the other nine participants behind by winning five of nine events.
It still wasn't enough as they finished second to St. Joe by a score of 74-65. The next closest competitor was Berrien Springs with 35 points.