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Boys Cross Team Rocks Conference

By Jeannie Gregory, 10/19/18, 8:00PM EDT

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The conference runner-up Rams varsity team (L-R) Kyle Sweeney, Alex Fahey, Jude Parks, Jacob Majoor, Ian Cook, Nick Forrest, and Jack Grimm. ~ Photo by Elizabeth Geshel

GRAND RAPIDS – The Rockford boys varsity cross country team picked a great time to start to peak – with the Rams claiming second place in the final OK Red Conference Meet. The Rams combined to tally 67 points, Thursday, Oct. 18, at Riverside Park in Grand Rapids. The finish was good enough to earn the Rams runner-up status not only in the meet, but in in the final conference standings.

“We had a strong showing by the team this evening,” shared coach Andy Martin. “Going into this meet, we had taken fifth place in our first conference jamboree, with seven teams in the OK Red, and third place at the second jamboree. We were happy to know that we have been steadily improving throughout the season and racing our best in the end. We edged out Grand Haven by seven points to take second. Grand Haven has been beating us all year long when we have seen them. This gives us confidence moving forward. We will face Grand Haven next Saturday at Regionals.”

For the meet, Hudsonville claimed first with 26 points and was followed by the Rams with 67 points. Grand Haven placed third with 74 points, and Caledonia landed fourth with 80. Grandville placed fifth with 106 points, East Kentwood sixth with 172, and West Ottawa seventh with 198 points. To establish standings in the conference, there is a combination from the three jamborees’ placements of the teams. The first two jamborees are each 25 percent of the final score, and the third is 50 percent of the final score. (See chart for final standings.)

Senior Jack Grimm led the Rams by placing second, clocking in at 16:22.2. He was followed by sophomore Jude Parks, who landed fifth, with a time of 16:30.5. Ian Cook placed 14th, timing in at 16:41.7, and Jacob Majoor landed 20th, with a time of 16:59. Placing 26th for the Rams was Kyle Sweeney, who finished with a time of 17:22.3. Also placing for the Rams were Nick Forrest who landed 29th with a time of 17.26.1, and Alex Fahey, who placed 31st, with a time of 17:27.4.

A huge congratulations goes to Jack Grimm and Jude Parks for earning the honor of being named All-Conference, and Ian Cook for earning All-Conference Honorable Mention.

“They guys were gritty and it showed,” concluded Martin. “The guys now know that they have the ability to win our Regional and make it to the state finals in November. This is a young squad that is finding its identity at the right time of the season.”

The junior varsity team also ran in the conference meet and claimed fourth place with 81 points. Hudsonville placed first with 50 points, just edging out Caledonia by one point for the win. Grand Haven placed third with 57 points, followed by Rockford. Rounding out the teams were Grandville in fifth with 116 points, West Ottawa in sixth with 192, and East Kentwood in seventh with 202.

The meet saw 203 runners toe the line. Leading the Rams was senior Lucas Patin, who timed in at 17:43.3 and earning an 11th place. He was followed by Evan Veldkapm, who placed 13th with a time of 17:49.8, and sophomore Sam Johnson, who placed 15th, with a time of 17:54.1. Everett Smith placed 18th, with a time of 17:57.6. Kyle Herman and Killian Olson earned 24th and 25th, respectively with times of 18:09 and 18:19.4.

Other finishes for the JV Rams were: 27. Carson Lafferty 18:22.7, 28. Austin Riccobono 18:23.6, 32. Zach Fagerlin 18:28.3, 34. Kaiden Hunt 18:33.8, 53. Brandon Roach 19:08.1, 54. Michael Rozzano 19:09.4, 65. Ben Antel 19:19.1, 69. Elijah Kauffman19:21.8, and 70. Jack Paras 19:22.4, 76. Ross Fiske 19:33, 78. Bryce Ronk 19:35, 85. James Geshel 19:37.8, 89. Nick Bale 19:47, 90. Jacob Bissell 19:51.2, 94. William Carlson 19:53, 99. Connor Robach 19:56.5, 103. Sterling Dickson 19:59.1, 106. Emmerson Stevens 19:59.9, 109. Jared Wagon 20:01.8, 113. Blake Carlson 20:08.6, 118. Seth Cavalli 20:11.12, 127. Tobey Miller 20:32.7, 136. Ryley Carroll 21:01.4, 140. Tyler Pearson 21:09.3, 143. Camden Tolsma 21:17.3, 144. Patrick Harvey 21:17.9, 153. Evan Berkenpas 21:36.5, 156. Hunter Reed 21:41.7, 163. Holden Rayburn 22:05.4, 168. Jared Harmon 22:16.3, and 191. Jake Tompkins 24:16.2.


Senior Jack Grimm led the varsity Rams by placing second, clocking in at 16:22.2. ~ Photo by Elizabeth Geshel


The Gang's All Here! Kyle Sweeney, Carl Lassig, Jude Parks, Bryce Ronk, James Geshel, and Tyler Pearson, a mix of varsity and JV runners, get together during the OK Red Conference Meet. ~ Photo by Elizabeth Geshel


Leading the Rams JV team was senior Lucas Patin, who timed in at 17:43.3 and earning an 11th place. ~ Photo by Elizabeth Geshel


Rams Sterling Dickson and Camden Tolsma lead their part of the pack in the JV division of the OK Red Conference Meet. ~ Photo by Elizabeth Geshel