07-13-2017 Tri-City Area Sports

Saturday night’s all right for Martin Truex Jr.

 Martin Truex Jr. dominated the field at Kentucky Speedway in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Quaker State 400.  Truex Jr. led 152 of the race’s 274 laps on his way to Victory Lane for the third time this season.

Truex Jr. picked up his tenth career win. He won all three stages of the race and drew to within one point of tying for the lead in the driver standings.

The 18th race of the year – and the halfway point of the season – headed into overtime and only one lap was needed for Truex Jr. to get the win, although there was a wreck behind him as he finished the final turn.

The race had nine caution periods, and only nine of the 40 drivers who began the race finished on the lead lap.

Kyle Larson earned runner-up status for the sixth time this season. He has eight top five finishes – including two wins – and 11 top 10 finishes.

Chase Elliott took third place. He collected his sixth top five finish of the year but remains winless after three years on the NASCAR Cup Series circuit.

Denny Hamlin finished fourth. Hamlin has yet to visit Victory Lane this season but does have five top five finishes in his stat line.

Kyle Busch led 112 laps Saturday night on his way to a fifth place finish. The M&Ms driver is also winless but has seven top five finishes and three pole positions to his name this year.

Joining Truex Jr. and Busch in leading laps Saturday was Joey Logano (7) and Dale Earnhardt Jr. (3).

Larson is the leader of the driver standings by one point at 710. Truex Jr. trails by one point, with Busch 100 points behind him in third place.

Kevin Harvick is fourth overall and is 10 points behind Busch. Elliott rounds out the top five, 150 points out of first place.

The teams are at New Hampshire Motor Speedway for Sunday’s running of the Overton’s 301. Last July Matt Kenseth ran away with the checkered flag, but Kevin Harvick claimed the trophy in the September go-round. A win would give Harvick his second of the season and a bump in the driver standings. Will it be his weekend? Find out next week!

Summer mainstay Paw Paw Lake Triathlon returns

The ninth annual Paw Paw Lake Triathlon was held Saturday morning in what organizer Kent Walczak described as, “What a great day! Perfect weather!” With clear skies, shining sun, and temperatures at 68 degrees Fahrenheit, athletes from around the area enjoyed ideal conditions for the triathlon.

The event featured a two-tenths of a mile swim, eight mile bike ride, and 3.1 mile run in and around Paw Paw Lake. Worthy of note was the condition of the recently stoned and tarred area roads. The route required a bit more concentration and bicyclists were encourage to ride in the middle of the road to avoid the loose stone near the shoulders. Crowds of supporters lined the banks of Paw Paw Lake at the start of the race, located at the Paw Paw Lake Yacht Club. Prior to the race, the National Anthem was played on a dubious sound system. Five times during the song, the music and singing cut off, but the crowd carried the tune until the music returned. What a great way to start a race!

With the men starting off first and followed by the women after a five-minute delay, nearly 100 participants took part in the race. Finishing first for the men was Mike Moser of St. Joseph, formerly of Coloma. Moser, 38, finished with a time of 47:18. Allen Reed, 52, of Coloma took second place at 50:31. Dennis Tsang, 42, of Bridgman finished in third place at the 52-minute mark.

In the women’s division, Lisa Rechkemmer, 51, of Coloma won first place after she finished the triathlon with a time of 58:45. Finishing second was St. Joseph’s Renee Borah, 46, with a time of 59:07. Third place went to Caitlin Weston, 27, of St. Joseph. She ended the event at 1:02.34.

Area high school baseball players receive All-Conference awards

Coloma, Hartford, and Watervliet area baseball athletes are reaping some serious awards from the 2017 season. Of the 12 First Team All-Conference selections in the Southwestern Athletic Conference, Coloma, Hartford, and Watervliet players accounted for nine awards.

Coloma and Watervliet tied with the most selections at four apiece. Receiving First Team All-Conference awards for the Comets were: Grant Kroschel, Danny Najacht, Calvin Starnes, and Mathew Kelley.  Honorable Mention awards were doled out to Dylan LeClear, Anthony Abbott, and Ethan Price.

Watervliet ball players who scored First Team nods included: Bryant Kieft, Garrett Matthews, Cam Rendo, and Jakub Aldrich. Tyler Brant scored an Honorable Mention award.

Hartford’s Hunter Ackerman was the lone Indian standout on the diamond to receive First Team recognition. Teammates Luke Manning and Jake Griffith were awarded Honorable Mention status.

Coloma and Saugatuck shared the SAC – Lakeshore Division title. Both teams were 10-2 on the season. Watervliet was the district champion and played one game at regional competition before ending their season. Watervliet was 9-3 in the SAC – Lakeshore Division standings, while Hartford posted a 4-8 conference record.

Indian Pride Park is host to All-Star baseball tournament

Indian Pride Park in Hartford was the site of the annual Tournament of Champions last week. Baseball action in four divisions including instructional, minor, major, and pony began Friday, July 7 and concluded Thursday, July 13.

IN THE ZONE… Indian Pride Park in Hartford hosted their Tournament of Champions All-Star baseball games, beginning Friday. Watervliet All-Star Tris-ton Steltner took the mound in the Major division as the Panth-er squad faced Lakeshore. Wa-tervliet lost the contest. (TCR photo by Kristy Noack)


In instructional league play, Coloma lost 12-1 to Lakeshore-Red. Watervliet was topped by Lakeshore-Red 15-4.

In their second outing, Coloma just missed a victory over St. Joe, who won 5-4. Watervliet notched a 16-1 win over Lakeshore-Black, which set up a Coloma versus Watervliet contest Sunday.

Watervliet eliminated Coloma after winning 8-7. The Watervliet team then faced and walloped St. Joe 14-9.

In the minor division, Paw Paw hurt Hartford 25-3, while South Haven strong-armed Coloma 16-1.

LEGGING IT OUT… Coloma All-Star Ethan Veverka legs out a single in the third inning of the Comets’ minor division game against South Haven. Co-loma lost 16-1. (TCR photo by Kristy Noack)


Watervliet dropped their game to Dowagiac 11-10.

Coloma faced Hartford and got a healthy 21-10 win. Watervliet whipped St. Joe 18-3.

On Sunday, Coloma tried to hang tough against St. Joe but lost 17-16 in the elimination game.

Watervliet matched bats with Hartford and sent the Indians packing in a high scoring contest, winning 25-19.

One game later, Watervliet was bounced from the tourney after a 14-6 loss to Paw Paw.

Hartford dukes it out with St. Joe in the Majors but suffered a 9-8 loss. Lakeshore got the upper hand over Watervliet, posting an 11-1 victory.

Coloma was handed an 8-5 loss courtesy of Decatur.

Watervliet and Hartford took to the diamond, with the maroon and white getting the 12-1 victory.

Coloma got a 6-5 win over South Haven.

In a series of two elimination games, Watervliet topped South Haven 9-6 and Hartford bested Coloma 9-4, sending both defeated teams home.

Two additional elimination games followed for Watervliet and Hartford. This time, Watervliet defeated Decatur 8-2, while Hartford slammed St. Joe 8-3.

In a series of non-bracket games in the Pony division, Lakeshore hammered Hartford 15-11 before the Indians struck back against St. Joe for an 8-6 victory.

Complete results including those from Monday night will be reported in next week’s Press Box column.

MHSAA adopts changes at spring meeting

The Michigan High School Athletic Association, during its final meeting during the 2016-2017 school year, adopted several proposals, rules, and tournament format issues.

Beginning with the 2018-19 school year, girls’ and boys’ basketball as well as volleyball will see their tournament organization changed.

Previously, teams were grouped in the traditional class A, B, C, or D format based on their schools’ enrollment. Now, the sports will be changed into equal divisions based on the numeric system (Division 1, 2, 3, etc.). The Basketball Coaches of Michigan suggested the change, and the Representative Council concurred.

All other sports formats – excluding football – are based on divisions. Football will remain the lone sport in which tournament play is not differentiated by class or division. Football uses a postseason play format, with divisions being determined after the final regular season game is played.

An important change was made concerning the sport of soccer. The Council adopted a recommendation that eliminates overtime periods and shootouts during the regular season of play. MHSAA tournament play can use an overtime option but will be limited to two 10-minute periods and one shootout.

In wrestling news, the Council approved the motion that the team regional host will be chosen from the four qualifying teams at that level on a yearly, rotating basis.

State semifinal games in 11-player football will be held on either Friday or Saturday and not limited to Saturday as previously required. For both semi- and finals action, playoff point averages will determine the home team and visitors.

Other measures adopted affected lacrosse, swimming and diving, tennis, and hockey.

Lace up those sneakers: It’s Glad-Peach Walk, Run, and Bike time

The 32nd annual Coloma Glad-Peach 5K and 10K events will be held Saturday, August 5. With seven different races on tap, there’s something available for everyone to do!

The 5K bike, 10K bike, and 10K walk all begin at 7:45 a.m.

The 5K walk, 5K run, and 10K run will take off from the starting line at 8:30 a.m. At 9:45 a.m. the fun run begins.

Register now at signmeup.com. Online registration will close August 4.

If you are not able to register online, swing by Coloma City Hall at 119 N. Paw Paw Street and pick up a registration form. Return that form by mail no later than July 21. Registration fee for the 5K and 10K events is $27 until race day, when it increases to $30.00. There is no charge for the fun run if you forego the t-shirt. The fun run fee with the t-shirt is $12.00.

Race packets will be available beginning at 6:45 a.m. on race day at the Salem Lutheran Church, located at 275 Marvin Court in Coloma.

The Coloma Glad-Peach event is part of Michigan’s Fruit Belt Series. The Series’ original concept to market the growth potential in fruit industries of the Mitten State, also promotes healthy eating, and daily exercise.

Completing the Series has become a staple of area athletes. Walkers or runners must post finish times in five of the 10 available races. If a participant completes at least five races, that individual will earn a commemorative gold coin.

Have a peach of a time at this year’s 5K and 10K events in Coloma. Get registered today to walk, run, or bike your way to the finish line!

Ladies Monday Night Happy Hour Golf League

Monday, July 10 golf report from the Paw Paw Lake Golf Club:

Weekly Event Winner – Katherine Rodriguez; Low Gross – Cheryl Hutchins with 47; Low putts – Katherine Rodriguez with 15; Pars – Cheryl Hutchins on #7, Katherine Rodriguez on #5.

Saturday night’s all right for Martin Truex Jr.

Martin Truex Jr. dominated the field at Kentucky Speedway in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Quaker State 400.  Truex Jr. led 152 of the race’s 274 laps on his way to Victory Lane for the third time this season.

Truex Jr. picked up his tenth career win. He won all three stages of the race and drew to within one point of tying for the lead in the driver standings.

The 18th race of the year – and the halfway point of the season – headed into overtime and only one lap was needed for Truex Jr. to get the win, although there was a wreck behind him as he finished the final turn.

The race had nine caution periods, and only nine of the 40 drivers who began the race finished on the lead lap.

Kyle Larson earned runner-up status for the sixth time this season. He has eight top five finishes – including two wins – and 11 top 10 finishes.

Chase Elliott took third place. He collected his sixth top five finish of the year but remains winless after three years on the NASCAR Cup Series circuit.

Denny Hamlin finished fourth. Hamlin has yet to visit Victory Lane this season but does have five top five finishes in his stat line.

Kyle Busch led 112 laps Saturday night on his way to a fifth place finish. The M&Ms driver is also winless but has seven top five finishes and three pole positions to his name this year.

Joining Truex Jr. and Busch in leading laps Saturday was Joey Logano (7) and Dale Earnhardt Jr. (3).

Larson is the leader of the driver standings by one point at 710. Truex Jr. trails by one point, with Busch 100 points behind him in third place.

Kevin Harvick is fourth overall and is 10 points behind Busch. Elliott rounds out the top five, 150 points out of first place.

The teams are at New Hampshire Motor Speedway for Sunday’s running of the Overton’s 301. Last July Matt Kenseth ran away with the checkered flag, but Kevin Harvick claimed the trophy in the September go-round. A win would give Harvick his second of the season and a bump in the driver standings. Will it be his weekend? Find out next week!

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