Five Niles track and field members take All-State honors
Published 3:18 pm Monday, June 5, 2006
GRAND RAPIDS -The Niles track team competed Saturday in the state championships held at Forest Hills High School in Grand Rapids.
The weather started out near perfect, but before the day could end there was nearly four hours of rain, thunder and lightning delays. Despite the weather, the Vikings would not be denied their chance at the big dance.
With only Kurt Poehlman in the high jump and the 4 X 400 relay team left to compete, Niles emerged from its rain soaked tent still ready to go.
Poehlman needed to clear 6-feet-6 to secure a top two finish and he did just that and gave the Vikings their highest finish as state runner-up.
The 4 X 400 relay team followed Poehlman. By this time, the Niles team had been at the meet for nearly 13 hours. They were tired, cold, wet and hungry, not just for food, but their chance at All-State honors.
All but one member of the relay team had fallen short throughout the day. Luis Del Muro had run the 4 X 200 relay, Nick Shuck had run the 4 X 800 and the 4 X 200 and Isaiah Glaze did not make the finals in the 100 and 200 meter dash. This was their last chance and they made the most of it.
The team ran their best race of the year with a time of 3:25, which was good enough for seventh place and All-State honors.
In all, Niles had five All-State runners. Poehlman had the highest finish as state runner-up in the high jump.
The only two-time state runner-up, C.J. Rumpf, placed a respectable fifth in the 400 and seventh in the 4 X 400 relay. Del Muro, Shuck and Glaze were also part of the 4 X 400 All-State team.
Todd went on to say that this was the third straight year the Vikings were undefeated and won the Big 16 West Division title, and, the second straight year as regional champions.