Niles, Buchanan track teams sweep track meet

NILES — The Niles and Buchanan track and field teams took care of business in their first meets since coming back from spring break.

The Buchanan boys team defeated South Haven 97-35 and the girls team won 60-48, while the Niles boys defeated Comstock 93-34 and the girls team 64-45 Tuesday at Niles High School.

Buchanan junior Walker Barz earned first-place finishes in the 800 (2:25.28), 1600 (5:11.99) and 3200-meter runs. Bucks senior Caleb Stewart took first in the discus with a throw of 119-11 and Caleb Graham won the pole vault with a vault of 8 feet, while the 400 and 1600-meter relay teams earned first-place honors.

“The relay teams have been doing well,” said Buchanan boys coach Ryan Mohney. “Our sprinters have been tough this year. One of our throwers [Stewart] has improved from about 90 feet last year to 120 feet now. We’re gonna try to get him some help so he can make a state run.”

Niles senior exchange student Murry Allen took first place in the 200 (25.5), shot put (37-0) and high jump (5-10) for the Vikings, while senior Parker Lynden (49.52) took first in the 300 hurdles and Kimoni McLean (19.16) in the 110 high hurdles.

“He was the bright spot of the day for us,” said Niles boys coach Tony Todd. “There was a lot of good effort out there today.”

On the girls’ side, Niles junior Marika Ruppart placed first in the high jump (4-10), shot put (26-10.25) and discus (74-10).

“That’s a huge thing for us,” said Niles girls coach Jani Foster. “That’s 20 points, which made a huge difference toward us winning.”

Foster said the team has several kids out due to quarantine right now.

“We have injured kids, quarantined kids and COVID kids out right now,” she said. “I’m just happy we got through our first meet with a win.”

For Buchanan, freshman Eleanor Young (14:45.04) earned a first-place finish in the 3200-meter run, and Buchanan’s 1600 and 3200-meter relay teams finished in first. Kylie Boller (14-5) took first in the long jump.

“We really focus on personal records,” said Buchanan coach Megan Watkins. “We want to try to better ourselves every single chance we can get.”

Next up for Niles is Saturday’s Paw Paw Invitational, while Buchanan’s girls track team will participate in Friday’s Watervliet Invite at Watervliet while the boys’ Watervliet Invite takes place Saturday.

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