The “official” meet season awaits….

Greetings to all as we embark on our 2015 outdoor season!  After numerous outstanding practices in less than ideal conditions and two indoor “scrimmages”, the regular season awaits. Our schedule in case you did not receive a hard copy~ 2015 TRACK & FIELD SCHEDULE

For the numerous families who may be attending their first high school meets, their our two critical words to know….Patience & Support.  Displaying patience is critical because every meet will have a different duration and your athlete may compete in events spread out over the course of 2.5-3 hours, depending on the number of athletes competing. Lending support to not only your child but every Jenison T&F athlete is essential because it is the best, and only, way to create a healthy, productive and positive experience for all.  At the risk of overstating the obvious- encouraging your athlete to defeat their own teammate during an event will NEVER have a good outcome, regardless of your intentions.

There are basic expectations that each athlete on the Jenison Women’s Track and Field team will adhere to.  Our “Race Day Expectations” ~ RACE DAY EXPECTATIONS In order for our program to continue to grow and individual accountability displayed, this must be followed.  Thank you in advance for understanding and supporting what we strive to achieve.

Over the past two weeks, we have had the opportunity to compete in two indoor meets, The GVSU Laker Indoor Challenge and the Aquinas College Indoor Invite.  These unique opportunities allowed us to bring partial line ups and compete against some of the best programs and individuals in Michigan.  We went into both days with the intention of accomplishing 3 objectives:
1.Giving as many “new” athletes an opportunity to compete in a real setting
2.Giving some athletes an opportunity to train in a real setting, something we simply cannot duplicate in practice
3.Giving some of our experienced athletes an opportunity to compete in a new event

We came home from both competitions with as many questions as answers but feel as though we took giant steps forward as a program, which is always the goal!

This coming week at a glance:
Monday- Practice from 3:10-5ish
*Online clothing orders due at 11:59pm
*ALL Fundraising paperwork is DUE
*Order envelopes for Team & Individual pictures will be given
*Uniforms for those still in need will be provided

Tuesday- Practice from 3:10-5ish
*Team Pictures ASAP
*Brief Practice~ Warm-up, practice block starts, field events, relay exchanges, etc…
*Meet line-up announced

Wednesday- Outdoor dual #1 against Hudsonville @ JHS Stadium
* Most Field Events begin at 4:15pm
* Running events begin at 4:45pm
* Here is the meet protocol for 2015 dual meets (subject to minor changes by host school)

Thursday- Practice from 3:10-4:30ish
*Recap of meet, acknowledging PR’s & strong efforts
*Handout of spring break expectations
*Short workout for all


My “track” goal for spring break is cleaning out and updating all of the information within the site itself.  Please temporarily excuse the outdated information.

Last nugget….I have set up a “free” texting account, as an easy way to connect with the masses- For EMERGENCY only.  “Our Meet has been canceled due to inclement weather” is an excellent example……”Bring sweats because it is snowing” is not an example of how it will be utilized.  REMIND information

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We are back~ Part 2

After multiple setbacks and some $$$ spent, our site should be up and running….just in time to begin the 2015 Track & Field season.  I will be grateful for your patience as we begin to provide daily/weekly information and results, as well as updating all the pages that have been untouched for some time.  My “thanks” in advance!

What is known and needs to be shared:
1. The first day of practice is Monday, March 9
2. We will practice from 3:00-5:00ish the first week (Monday-Friday) and likely beyond. For those that are new to the program, once we return from spring break, practices rarely last beyond 4:30 (exception is some distance workouts)
3. A daily schedule through mid April will be available next week and will soon be available on the front page of this site.
4. Our 2015 meet schedule will be provided as well, in paper as well as this site.
5. Our annual “Meet the Team” night for all spring sports is scheduled for Tuesday, March 17 @ 6:00pm in the main gym of JHS. This meeting is MANDATORY for all athletes (We will not hold practice this day). A brief & informative parent meeting for our program immediately follow in the Triple Conference Room of the Learning Center.
***If you want to know exactly what occurs within our program, including~ team expectations, meet protocol, fundraising and community service goals, clothing orders, team pictures, food requests, etc…we encourage all parents/guardians to attend***

Please continue to look here as we embark on another rewarding, successful and positive experience for all of our student-athletes. Blessings-

coach schalk

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We are back!

My apologies for the delay in updates.  Our site had been overtaken by a “bug” and hopefully all is well again!  Taking one step back….to the Regional Championships at Grand haven High School seems like a logical place to begin.

On a day more suited to making a fire and singing Christmas carols, our ladies competed for a regional title and opportunities to compete at the D1 State finals on May 31.  Although we came up short, our athletes fulfilled another goal~ to finish in the top 2 of our region.  Congratulations to Rockford for winning their 18th consecutive regional championship.

Receiving medalist honors, establishing new PR’s or school records, winning regional titles and qualifying for States are:

Discus- Sophomore Lauren Buchholz finished in 8th place
Shot Put- Sophomore Brianna DeSappio finished in 4th place (PR) and Lauren Buchholz 8th
4×800 Relay- Juniors Inez Samuels & Shaylin Hollis, Sophomore Olivia Thatcher and Senior Rebecca Ringquist finished in 6th place
100 Hurdles- Senior McKenna Mattson is the Regional Champion and automatically qualifies for States!
100 Meters- Junior Taylor Hopp is the Regional Champion and automatically qualifies for States!
4×200 Relay- Freshman Rose Russo, McKenna Mattson, Sophomore Hannah Huizen and Taylor Hopp finished in 2nd place (PR) and automatically qualified for States!
1600 Meters- Senior Ellie Leonard finished in 2nd place and automatically qualified for States!
4×100 Relay- Rose Russo, McKenna Mattson, Hannah Huizen and Taylor Hopp are Regional Champions (PR) and automatically qualified for States!
300 Hurdles- McKenna Mattson is the Regional Champion and automatically qualifies for States!
200 Meters- Rose Russo finished in 2nd place and automatically qualified for States!
3200 Meters- Ellie Leonard is the Regional Champion, set a new school record (10:37) and automatically qualified for States! Senior Chelse VanSpronsen finished 5th (PR) and qualified for states, and Junior Bailey Johnson finished 7th overall (PR) and qualified for States! It is the first time in school history that 3 individuals qualified in this event!

We were incredibly proud of ALL of our athletes for the way they competed and represented our program, school and community. With a multitude of reason’s to complain or make excuses, they did neither, and competed like champions in every sense of the word.

As time allows in the next 24 hours, I will recap the OK White Conference championships, provide information about the MITCA State Meet in Detroit this weekend, as well as our Team Awards banquet next week (Wednesday, May 28 @ 6:30pm)

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We were fortunate to finally squeeze in our first outdoor competition, and it was a rousing success~ a 95-42 victory over Grand Rapids Christian.  On a day where things were hectic at times (Due to a transportation glitch,half of our team didn’t arrive until the meet had already begun) and confusing with first meet questions, our ladies performed well.  What is most exciting is being able to see the huge improvements we have made as a program since the first day of practice!  Keep up the great efforts!  The season is officially in full swing…..hang on and enjoy the ride.  Official results can be found at

MONDAY~ Practice from 3:15 top 5:15

TUESDAY~ Meet at home vs. EGR
* FIELD EVENTS begin at 4:15
* RUNNING begins at 4:45
*EGR is annually one of the premier programs in the state. Please come out, bring family and friends, and cheer our athletes on. This will be a great day!!!

WEDNESDAY~ Practice from 3:15-5:15
***We are scheduled to take team & individual pictures at 3:30. Please make sure to have your uniform again!
***Order forms for pictures will be given out at practice on Monday but can be ordered at anytime through-

THURSDAY~ Meet at home vs. FHC (this date was initially planned as Senior Day but due to the cancellation last week, will be moved until Monday, April 28)

FRIDAY~ Practice from 3:15-4:30 or ?????

SATURDAY~ WYOMING RELAYS (very small line up competing)
*All info, including who is competing, will be made available ASAP
***Distance crew will have a workout in the morning***
*Sprinters may have a workout in the morning*
*****Basically, we must wait to see how the week unfolds. If we have races canceled due to weather, more sprinters will compete at Wyoming. Sorry for the lack of clarity. We have been at the mercy of Mother Nature all spring, why stop now??? I have mentioned to the girls and have posted online, to avoid scheduling any appointments prior to 12:30. I am aware that it is prom and say so knowing that many other sports are competing all day on Saturday, including varsity softball, in Muskegon. *****

NEXT MONDAY, APRIL 28~ Make-up meet @ home vs. Caledonia

For many of our athletes, we will entertain 8 meets in the next 19 days, so it is critical that we continue to take great care of ourselves~ Eat well, drink fluids, get to bed AND sleep, stretch, ice when needed….all while continuing to work hard to achieve personal and team excellence.  Blessings to all- coach

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2014 quest for “Excellence” officially begins….

“Excellence is doing the very best you can, with the gifts God gave you”

Our hope was everyone was able to “escape” over the past week or so….Get away from school. Get away from structure and Stress. Get away from it all and just relax! When we reconnect on Monday, our season officially gets underway! Your potential as a student-athlete within our program has no limits and we are excited to watch each of you compete of the best of your abilities, learn a lot about your resolve and grow as young women. Have fun and represent our program to the best of your abilities~ each day, in all that you do!

* There is a tremendous amount that we need to accomplish today. Veterans, we need you to lead by example and teach what you have been taught throughout the years. You are aware of the chaos and confusion of first meets, please assist in minimizing these issues.
~ Dress warm and in layers
~ Bring spikes if you wear them
~ We need to work on relay exchanges, securing our approaches/steps for field events, hurdler’s need some quality time with their specialty~ There are no shortcuts for this….be diligent, stay focused on the little things, remain patient and be a great teammate.

* Be dressed in your uniform and have sweats on by 3:15. As always, we will meet in our locker room inside the high school
* If you do not yet have a uniform, please grab one on Monday at practice.
* We will head down to the track as one, at approximately 3:30 (depends on weather). We will warm up together and proceed to specialties for further meet prep.
* Here are our team race day expectations~ RACE DAY EXPECTATIONS Please read and show your parents as well. Please be aware of all but pay special attention to what unfolds at the completion of the meet and what your expectations are for both home and away competitions. THIS MAY BE DIFFERENT THAN THE BOYS TEAM!!!

~ After our short workout is completed, the entire program will head over the throws area to support our throwing sisters as they compete against GR. Christian (they do not have a throwing area) so our dual will begin on our turf! This is MANDATORY for all Jenison Women Track and Field members.
~Immediately following the competition, we will have a brief team dinner to celebrate our throwers and fuel up for the big meet the next day. We are requesting the following:
1. Each athlete, please bring $5.00 to help offset the cost of dinner. We are having Subway party subs (3), chocolate milk and whatever else you and your families would be willing to provide. We will take care of plates, Gatorade & water as well.
2. We are taking offers for desserts, easy edibles and whatever else our teen athletes would like to eat. Our roster is close to 60, although you do not have to provide for 60. Thank you in advance for your assistance!
3. Any $$$ that remains from our collection will be put towards healthy snacks for away meets. It’s no secret that proper nutrition plays a huge part of our potential success, especially when some athletes are still working hard at 6:00 and later. If anyone would like to help coordinate “snacks” for meet days, it would be greatly appreciated by our girls (hint, hint)

Grand Rapids Christian’s Girls program is traditionally very strong and this season will be no exception. Knowing Coach Jager, he will remind his program of what transpired last spring at our home- a convincing Wildcat victory. That day was a turning point for our program last year because our focus and effort went to a higher level. It was this day when I realized that we could accomplish some pretty special things as a program if we continued to work hard. We have, indeed, continued to grow as a program and your coaches fully anticipate another strong effort against a great opponent.
~Athletes will have early dismissal (2:40)
~A line-up may be available Wednesday, so athletes and families can plan ahead

~ We will acknowledge PR’s (personal records) and special efforts!
~ We will have our first “Competitor of the Week” ceremony and yes, we will acknowledge a few athletes from the first 3 weeks too!
~ Warm-up….lots of stretching…..hips…core…and more

Families, there are numerous ways that you can assist in making your daughter’s experience a positive and rewarding one. Most importantly, none of it takes much time, $$$ or skill. We are in need of:
1. Volunteers to work concessions during our meets. Yes, I know….stupid set up of working while your child is competing but you can step out and watch your daughter compete. Just come back when they’re done!!!!!
2. Pictures and videos~ Not only for our team video at our banquet or for our Facebook viewing pleasure, great video can be an amazing learning tool for our athletes. If this is “your thing” we can use you!
3. Coordinating future team dinners, snacks for meets, our banquet, etc….”Many hands make light work”

Thank you in advance for your help and for your support as we embark on our competitive season. We are looking forward to a tremendously positive experience for all. Blessings- Coach Schalk

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Charger Invite Recap

Our track may have been snow covered….The temperatures may have been low and wind wind brisk but it did not detour our athletes on March 27, as we traveled 2.5 hours southeast to become stronger as a program.  The destination was Hillsdale College.  The goals were multiple: Compete~Find out where we are as a program~Grow as one unit: Mission Accomplished!!!!

We had numerous outstanding performances from both our experienced veterans and plenty of new performers!  Here is the list of our medalist earners:
Breanna DiSappio- 3rd place in Shot put
Christa Hansma- 7th place in Pole Vault
Rose Russo- 4th place in Long Jump
McKenna Mattson- 6th place in High Jump

Sprint Medley Relay- 8th place
*Kelsey Vanderhoef, Lydia Keener, Stormi Samuels & Christa Hansma
4×400 Meter Relay- 3rd place
*Rose Russo, McKenna Mattson, Hannah Huizen & Taylor Hopp
60 Meter Dash- Taylor Hopp was Meet Champion!
60 Meter Hurdles- McKenna Mattson was Meet Champion!
200 Meter-
*Rose Russo in 2nd place
*Taylor Hopp in 7th place
400 Meter-
*Sally Hansma in 4th place
*Kelsey Vanderhoef in 8th place

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“Talent is God given, be humble.  Fame is man given, be grateful.  Conceit is self given, be careful” – John Wooden

The 2014 Track & Field season has begun and we are off on running- even if it’s in the halls, on the parking lot or hurdling snowbanks.  Our athletes have been fantastic thus far, in attitude and work ethic, within “less than ideal” circumstances.

As we come out of hibernation, this blog and website will become our main source of communicating to the masses.  We will post a weekly practice schedule with pertinent race information, results, photos, FYI’s, etc….Please be patient as we update pages and feel free to look around!  This website is a great example of how we approach our program (philosophies, expectations). I also encourage you to join our Facebook page: Jenison Women’s Track and Field if you haven’t already.

We took advantage of GVSU’s beautiful indoor track facility last Thursday by bringing a small group of athletes to their Laker Challenge.  It gave some of our veterans an opportunity to get back into the swing of things and see where we are in our fitness.  The invite also allowed us to bring a handful of new athletes, so they could attain some much valued meet experience.

As we left Allendale on Thursday, our coaches could not be more pleased with the efforts and performances our Lady Wildcats displayed.  Although we have a ton of potential as a program, it is critical that we stay humble…we stay hungry…we stay healthy…and we stay focused on the prize by becoming a little better each day.

Highlights from the day:
*All of our first time athletes- Makayla Connolly, Sara Overbeek, Katherine Fleesner and Anna Kelley. We threw you in head first, with no direction, and each of you flourished- AWESOME work.
*First time thrower Brianna DiSappio passing the 34 foot mark in shot….in her first high school meet and the closest someone has been to our school record in several years (Our throwers are putting together something special).
*Senior Mckenna Mattson winning in 60M Hurdles in a convincing manner
*Junior Taylor Hopp and Freshman Rose Russo finishing 1st & 2nd in the 60M Dash. it is so incredible watching you two together.
*4×300 relay of Hannah Huizen, McKenna Mattson, Rose Russo and Taylor Hopp running strong while not being challenged, winning their heat and finishing in 2nd overall.
*All of our distance girls who rose to the challenge laid before them- Shaylin Hollis, Inez Samuels, Stormi Samuels, Rebecca Ringquist, Bailey Johnson, Chelse vanSpronsen and Olivia Thatcher.

M- 3:15 to 5:15
T- 3:15 to 5:15
W- 3:15 to 5:00
TH- 3:15 to 4:45 (for those NOT racing)
***Those competing @ Hillsdale, you will be dismissed from school at 11:10am…Our bus will depart ASAP…you will eat lunch on the bus…***
***All specific information pertaining to the meet at Hillsdale will be provided Tuesday, including line up***
F- 3:15 to 5:15


Thank you for giving us the opportunity to work with our student-athlete! Blessings- coach schalk

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Closure on a season to remember….

For the first time since 1995, the Wildcat Cross Country program competed in the state finals at MIS or anywhere else.  Our team has been blessed with numerous, outstanding individuals at the highest level but in a season where our ladies came together beautifully, we went to ” the mountaintop” as one.

Going into the meet, we were pre seeded at 14th place out of 28 schools and when it was all said and done, we finished in 11th place overall, a mere two points out of 10th.  We also responded to the Regional Championship outcome by defeating our friends, and greatest competition, in Grandville and Grand Haven.

On a day that was definitely NOT conducive to fast times, our ladies ran amazingly well- strong, controlled and confident.  Many coaches pondered how “slow” the course was because of the week-long rain areas unavoidable mud path areas throughout the course. The general thought was that it was anywhere from 25-35 seconds off, which is incredible based off of how close nearly all of our runners were to their PR’s.

Senior Ellie Leonard concluded her decorated MHSAA high school cross country career with a 6th place finish overall, in what looked like a prelude to the track state finals this upcoming spring….same faces with a different outcome looming.  Miss Leonard earned All-State honors for her effort on the day!

*** On Monday, November 11, we will be collecting all xc gear throughout the school day!  There will be a blue plastic tub placed in our ATHLETIC office, so you can drop in either before school, after school, during lunch or between classes.  In a bag with your name clearly written on it, the following needs to be returned:

1. Your uniform- top and shorts
2. Your team warmup- top and pants
3. State finalists- your Nike top and shorts

Your family will be billed to replace any items that are lost or damaged beyond normal wear- holes, tears, stains, etc…

Tuesday, November 12 is our team banquet! It begins at 7:00pm in our cafeteria. Following dinner, we will proceed to the auditorium for reflection and awards. We will recognize each athlete in attendance and look forward to seeing everyone there. This is what families are designated to provide:

A-H…a hot dish and beverage to pass
J-R…a cold dish and dessert to pass
S-W…a dessert and beverage to pass
*we have 34 ladies + potential family members….
***each family will need to bring your own- plate ware, utensils, cups, etc…

Lastly, after a couple weeks off to recharge the batteries, we will reconnect to being winter training for the spring, whether an athlete is running track, playing soccer or something else. It is nothing more than a semi-structured opportunity to exercise with your teammates….you are MUCH more likely to do it surrounded by your friends and teammates. Ladies, that did not race beyond the conference meet, it’s time to lace the shoes back up!! 3 weeks of inactivity= a 50% loss in fitness levels!!

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Team Goal #1…..check

“Champions do not become champions when they win the event, but in the hours, weeks, months and years they spend preparing for it.  The victorious performance itself is merely the demonstration of their championship character” – T. Alan Armstrong

Our program accomplished Team Goal #1 last Wednesday at Riverside Park by capturing a share of our schools first cross country conference title since 1995.  Our athletes have focused on breaking this streak from day 1 and it simply could not have transpired without the daily focus, determination and team unity that have displayed continuously all season.

Our Lady Wildcats split the four dual meets with Grand Rapids Christian thus giving both programs a piece of the prize!  The Eagles are a premier team in the area having won multiple state titles in the past decade, as well as being currently ranked # 1 in the state in Division 2.  It’s an honor to be co-champs with them, in an incredibly challenging OK White conference with 4 of the top 10 teams in West Michigan.

We now turn our focus to this Saturday, October 26 for the Regional Championships which are being hosted at Portage West Middle School.  Our athletes are not only familiar with the course but have enjoyed some recent success there.  They will be ready to flourish!

Details for the week:

SATURDAY- Regional Championships @ Portage West Middle School

*Our bus will depart from JHS @ 11:30am, please arrive 10 minutes early
*D1 GIRLS race @ 2:10pm
*D1 boys race @ 2:45pm
*D1 awards @ 3:15pm
*PROM ( Post Regional Open Race) @ 3:25- one race for all boys & girls
*MHSAA clothing will be on sale-
Long sleeve t-shirts..$20
*Meet Address:
7145 Moorsbridge Road
Portage, MI 49024
FYI….it will not be nearly as busy as the Portage Invite 3 weeks ago!

FRIDAY- practice from 6-7:00am OR 3:15-4:15pm
THURSDAY- practice from 3:15-5:00pm
WEDNESDAY- practice offsite from 3:15-5:45pm…driver alert
TUESDAY- practice from 3:15-5:00pm
MONDAY- practice from 3:15-5:30pm

It has already been mentioned but your athlete should dress in layers this week for practice due to the colder temps. We will continue to practice outside as always, like warriors! It is encouraged that your athlete wear whatever they think they MAY race in on Saturday ( headband, gloves, etc…)to ensure comfort while they compete- no surprises or distractions on Saturday.

Anything that they wear underneath their uniform must be BLACK and solid in color. This is not my rule, it’s an MHSAA rule and will be enforced. If your daughter does not have cold gear, please go to Striders in Grandville or Gazelle Sports to purchase your gear or have them ask a teammate to borrow. Lastly, make sure that it fits comfortably while in action!!!

Please continue to pray over our athletes as they prepare to accomplish Team Goal #2 of the season. Blessings always- coach

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Championship Season Begins!

“This is my command- Be strong and courageous!  Do not be afraid or discouraged.  For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go”.  Joshua 1:9

We call this Time “Championship Season” for the obvious reasons- Conference champions will be crowned, as will Regional and State Champions.  The OK White Conference Champion will be crowned on Wednesday.  Here is what will happen prior to that moment:

MONDAY- practice from 3:15-5:30 on campus

TUESDAY- practice at Riverside Park

*we will leave JHS and travel to the host site for practice. The bus will depart at 3:15 sharp, stay there and return to school after a short pre-meet workout. An exact time frame is not known, however….

*we will have our final team dinner immediately following the return to school! Specifics will be given to the girls at practice tomorrow

WEDNESDAY- OK White Championships @ Riverside Park
* All ladies will race at 4:45pm
* Boys race at 5:30pm *
the address is: 2001 Monroe Ave. NE Grand Rapids, MI 49505 Parking is limited, so please plan ahead!!!
* Immediately following the completion of the boys race, there will be an award ceremony. All Jenison Athletes will stay for the completion of the ceremony, as we honor and acknowledge all athletes who are awarded-
1. Top 10 in race
2. All-Conference (top 9 throughout the entire season) and Honorable Mention All Conference (10-14th place throughout the entire season)
3. OK White Team Champions

If you cannot stay for the awards ceremony, please arrange for your athlete to ride home with another family. Thank you in advance for understanding.

To be proactive, all athletes will be asked to have their full team warmup and white team shirt with them on race day, as well as their uniforms.

THURSDAY- all will meet for team meeting at 3:15. All athletes- Varsity 10 and all others interested in running in the JV race at Regionals, will have practice following

FRIDAY- practice from 3:15-5:00

SATURDAY- We will have a morning practice…TBD

Please continue to pray over our athletes. Do not ask for them to “run fast”. Please pray for continued good health, for the strength and courage to continue to make the right decisions and the willingness to get out of their comfort zone to help their sisters. Thank you and we look forward to your support on Wednesday!

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