Baldwin track athletes preparing for regional

BALDWIN — It’s been a bizarre season of sorts for the Baldwin track teams, thanks mainly to the whacky spring weather.

Coach Scott Pedigo said that coming into this week and getting ready for the regional this Friday at Saugatuck in Division 4, the Panthers have had only two meets. Several they were scheduled to attend were rained out. A meet last week on Wednesday for the conference jamboree was cancelled because of lightning storms.

Two of the three league jamborees went off as scheduled.

The West Michigan D League meet is scheduled for next Monday. The Panthers hope to qualify athletes for the Pioneer meet May 23 and also for the state meet May 31 in Hudsonville.

Coach Robert Watkins has tried to keep his athletes upbeat as they get ready for the final meets of the season.

“I told them this is kind of a blessing in disguise,” Watkins said. “We have an opportunity to work on our stamina with the prelims, semis and everything we’re not familiar with. We’ll see. I think we’ll do well in the long jump with Dashawn Moore (for the boys) and Makayla George (for the girls)

Watkins also has high hopes for Brandon Beane in the high jump.

“He’s shown some promise,” Watkins said. “We’ll see. It’s a larger stage (at regional).”

Baldwin usually goes to Brethren for the regional and will instead go to Saugatuck which Watkins expects will be a “huge” test for his athletes.

“It’s the first time we’ve had to go there”’ he said. “It’s a really tough regional.”

The first two placers in each event advance to the state finals. “Then there’s a qualifying time you can have multiple people,” Watkins said. “For the first two places it doesn’t matter what your time is.”

In the conference, Brethren and Onekama has been leading the way.

“Onekama has 54 boys and girls on the team,” Watkins said. “They co-op with Bear Lake.”