Ready to run


Karla Monger

Jr. CJ Guillermo getting ready to start off the B team 4x200m relay at Indoor State.

CJ Guillermo

“Not all schools have off-season practices, so others may be focusing on other stuff not related to track; meanwhile we are out training and getting better every day,” Sr. Ben Cadiuex said.

   The 2023 Spring Sport season is coming up, for some it doesn’t mean much. But for the track team this is going to be a season to remember. With quite possibly the best track team since the conference championship run in 2004. West Ottawa will be the team to watch out for.

   Last year, the boys track team placed 5th in the conference and 5th in the region, while also qualifying for the MITCA Team State championship where they also placed 5th. The athletes are starving for more. “With this new season, we’re bringing in more new people who want to win so our drive and passion to be the very best from last season won’t be going away anytime soon,” Cadieux said. 

   Cadieux had a phenomenal 11th grade season, posting numbers that would make someone think he became a totally different person, but he wasn’t. He just got driven, and dedicated to becoming the best, and this off-

season that’s what a lot of the boys have been doing in preparation for the outdoor season. 

   Cadieux isn’t the only one who has seen major improvement. Jr. Angel Mejia has seen improvement he didn’t think was going to happen for a while in the 200m sprint. “I remember last year I was barely running sub 25 second 200s and now I’m getting close to running 24.5 seconds within just two months of training,” Mejia said. In only two months Mejia managed to drop a half second in the 200m. That progress happens due to a disciplined training cycle and hard work on and off the track. Mejia credits indoor competition and time trials during practice as a motivator that allowed him to push to be faster.

   The indoor track season had a huge impact on WO boys track athletes. Many more have competed during this indoor season and found huge success. “This indoor season has been the best so far, numbers wise and effort wise. We’re sending a handful of guys to indoor state for a variety of events as well as our 4×200 qualifying for indoor nationals in NYC, which is really special,” WO sprint Coach Luke Currens said. 

   Only a handful of athletes have gone to nationals in the history of our track program, and this is the first time they’ve EVER sent a relay to nationals, and the outdoor season hasn’t even started yet. Having found success in the indoor season, the “preseason” to outdoor track is a massive breakthrough that will set WO apart from other OK Red teams or even other teams in the state. 

Sr. Ben Monger coming around the turn for the A team 4x200m relay at Indoor State. (Karla Monger)

   Translating success in indoor to success in outdoor is strictly determined by the athletes” willingness to keep working and putting forth great effort during practices and staying disciplined. Currens believes that talent with a team can only take it so far, if an athlete isn’t putting in work and using their talent to get better then they aren’t gonna perform well. “Personally I believe we have some really really solid talent. But talent only gets you so far with an average mindset. In order to be great, we have to show up each day with an edge of being an underdog every time we step on the track,” Currens said. 

   On paper the team for the upcoming season could be the best ever. But like every team it isn’t perfect. There are many holes that need to be filled. “We have a lot of potential, but it will be hard to know exactly how we will stack up this spring… But a track team has many pieces and we have to see where we are in terms of jumps, hurdles, distance and throws. We have pieces in place, but holes to fill,” Head Coach Daniel Blake said. 

   Athletes need to step up in many different areas in order to make sure the team will be able to not only compete but absolutely dominate other teams in the OK Red conference and even in the state. Be ready, cause this spring season West Ottawa Track will be the team to pay attention to. 

   Athletes to watch:

Sr. Ben Monger- 100m, 4x100m, 4x200m, 4x400m

Soph. Ruben Esparza- 4x100m, 4x200m, 4×400

Jr. Bryce Buckner- 100m, 200m, 4x100m, 4x200m

Sr. Allen Payne- 4x100m, 4x200m, 4x400m

Jr. Garrett Mulder- 100m, 200m, 4x400m

Jr. Angel Mejia- 100m, 200m

Jr. CJ Guillermo- 100m, Long jump, High jump

Jr. Nathan Riley- 4x800m, 800m

Jr. Max Vangrouw- 4x800m, 1600m, 3200m

Sr. Lucas Lesher- Shot put, Pole vault, Discus

Sr. Ben Cadiuex- 110m hurdles, 300m hurdles, Pole vault

Soph. Levi Jongekryg- 1600m, 3200m

Soph. Ben Voss- 110m hurdles, 300m hurdles

Sr. Connor Wooley- 4x800m, 1600m, 3200m

   First home meet 4/12/23 WO vs Caledonia.