2019 Michigan Masters State Meet

WATERFORD — Grand Traverse Bay YMCA’s Northcoast Masters Swimmers won the small team division at the 2019 Michigan Masters State Meet at Waterford Mott High school April 12-14.

The team placed fourth overall, combined with larger teams out of 25 statewide teams and 400 swimmers. Northcoast Masters includes swimmers 18 and over, regionally, in the Northwest part of the Lower Peninsula.

They had the youngest swimmer participate, Alex Bemben, 18, from Harbor Springs and the eldest, Joel Lockwood, who is 84. Joel, also scored the most points in his age group. He won four events — the 50 breast, 50 free, 200 free and 500 free and placed second in the 50 back.

The team also swam several relays together, mixed ages men/women of which these were state champions:

200 mixed medley relay, 200 free relay: Jill Graetz, Alex Bemben, Kit Tholen & Whitney Miller

200 Women’s free relay, 200 Women’s medley relay: Kendall Young, Whitney Miller, Jill Graetz & Kirsten Seif

Top individual finishers: (18-24 years old) Kendall Young 100 free (first), 100 back, 200 IM (second), 100 IM (third); Alex Bemben 100 free (second), 50 fly (third), 100 breaststroke (fourth).

(25-29) Jim LaFave 100 free (third), 50 fly (fourth), 50 back (third), 100 back (second), 100 IM (fourth).

(30-34) Kit Tholen 1650 free (second), 50 fly (sixth), 50 free (third).

(35-39) Michael Leaveck 100 free, 50 breast (fifth), 50 fly, 200 free (third), 500 free (first); Kirsten Seif 100 free,100 IM (fifth), 200 free, 50 back (third), 100 breast, 50 free (fourth), 50 breast (second); Whitney Miller 400 IM,100 breast, 100 fly (second), 200 IM, 50 free, 50 fly (third), 100 IM (fourth).

(40-44) Jill Graetz 200 back (first), 200 free, 100 free, 100 back (second), 100 IM, 50 back (third); Ryan Nugent 50 fly, 500 free (second), 100 breast, 100 free, 50 breast (fourth), 200 free (third), 50 free (fifth).

(45-49) Julie Gauthier 100, 200 breast, 100 IM (second), 50 breast (third), 50 fly (fifth).

(50-54) Andy Oliver 400 IM,100 breast (first), 50 breast (second), 50 free (fifth), 100 IM (fourth), 100 free (sixth), 50 fly (fifth)

(55-59) Trish Thane 200 free (second), 1650 free, 50 free (third), 100 free, 500 free (fourth); Michael Etienne 200 free (sixth), 200 IM, 500 free (fifth), 100 free, 50 fly (ninth), 100 IM (eighth); Kathy Coffin-Sheard 400 IM (second).

(65-69) Robert Bemben 100 free (fifth), 50 fly (second), 100 breast, 50 breast (fourth), 200 free (third); Tom Rice 1650 free (first), 100 free (fourth), 500 free (third), 200 free, 1000 free (second); Kathryn Calcutt back (third), 100 breaststroke (second), 50 breast (first).

(70-74) Kathleen Weaver 1650 free (second), 100 free (fourth).

(75-79) Harriet Wall 1650 free (first), 100 free, 50 back, 100 breast (second).

(80-84) Joel Lockwood 50 back (second), 500 free, 200 free, 50 breast, 50 free (first).

Area grads excel at GLIAC golf championships

Traverse City West grad Alex Scott won the GLIAC men's tournament championship over the weekend.

Scott shot a 71-68—139 to edge Ashland's Austin Kondratick by three strokes. He opened the back nine Saturday with a bogey, but birdied Nos. 15, 16 and 17 to take command.

Meanwhile, Suttons Bay grad Thomas Hursey competed for Ferris State, helping the team win the title.

Pit Spitters unveil food items fan vote

Traverse City — The Traverse City Pit Spitters asked the public for ideas for new food items to be served this season and now, the list has been whittled down to the top 6 ideas. Fans are encouraged to go online and vote for their favorite.

From Tuesday, April 23 through Friday, May 3 fans will be able to vote on their favorite potential new food item at www.PitSpitters.com. The winner will be announced later in May and will be on the menu for the Pit Spitters Opening Day on Tuesday, May 28.

The fan vote comes down to Mitten Poutine, TC Chocolate Cherry Pie Sundae, Red, White and Bleu Dog, Fowl Territory, Triple Crown Nachos, The Toucan Slam and Cherry Bomb Chippers.

Detailed descriptions of each item can be found online.

Pit Spitters Announce Sustainability Initiatives

Traverse City — The Traverse City Pit Spitters are working to make the team and park a greener part of the Northern Michigan landscape. One of those decisions is transitioning from plastic to paper straws at all Pit Spitters concession stands for the 2019 season.

“We are dedicated to making the Pit Spitters a community centric organization and contributing to the sustainability of Northern Michigan is an important part of this community. In addition to some of the structural changes we are making to our concession operation to improve food offerings and quality, we are also factoring sustainability and awareness into all of our projects. We know these kinds of changes are what it takes to be strong community partners and to keep Northern Michigan a beautiful place,” said Pit Spitters General Manager Mickey Graham. “Offering paper straws is one small thing we can do to help keep plastic out of the landfills.”

Paper straws will be the first of many pro-active approaches to reducing the carbon footprint of the park. The Pit Spitters are also working with American Waste to make recycling at the ballpark an increased priority. This season fans will see more recycling options around the ballpark including containers for plastic bottles.

The Pit Spitters have also signed up to host the annual “Clean Up and Green Up” event at the ballpark on September 29th. Clean Up and Green Up is an annual event hosted by the Michigan Green Consortium. The event is a free community-wide recycle, repurpose and reuse event designed to encourage local residents to divert items which have either further use or which are constructed from materials which can be repurposed from area landfills.

Pit Spitters Announce Clinic Dates

Traverse City — This summer, area youth have the chance to learn baseball skills from the Traverse City Pit Spitters.

Two clinics are scheduled for 2019. The first is a one-day clinic on Saturday, June 15, and the second is a two-day clinic on Thursday and Friday, July 11-12. Clinics are open to children ages 8-13.

Cost for the clinics are $50 for the one-day clinic and $75 for the two-day clinic. Clinics are limited to 75 participants for each.

Each participant will receive: three hours of instruction from Pit Spitters players and coaches, a clinic T-shirt, lunch provided by the Pit Spitters staff and one ticket to the Pit Spitters game for the final night of the clinic.

Those interested in more information or to register for the clinic visit www.pitspitters.com

TC Central athletic boosters to Host “Nash Bash” fundraiser

Traverse City Central High School Athletic Boosters will host their annual fundraiser on Saturday, April 27, called the Trojan “Nash Bash.”

The event will feature the sights and sounds of Nashville and will take place from 7-11 p.m. at City Opera House (1669 E Front St.). Live music will be provided by Blue Footed Booby, along with hors d'oeuvres, live and silent auctions, and a raffle. Tickets are $50 per person, $300 for a 4-top VIP table, and $500 for a 6-top VIP table. Visit www.TCTrojanPride.com for more information.

Northern Michigan Dragway opening for 50th season

Race fans witnessed the beginning of Northern Michigan Dragway's 50th season at Saturday's event.

The first pair of racers of the historic season were Allen Greene (Brethren) in a Chevy S-10 and Pamela Snyder (Houghton Lake) with her Chevy El Camino.

A total of 86 race entries were on hand, including a substantial number of first-time racers.

Brad Harris of Mesick had the fastest dragster in action covering the one-eighth mile in 5.49 seconds at over 128 mph with the "Red Baron" entry.

A triple money competition was held at the end of the day. Winners included Joe Bigelow (Manton), Ben Wenzel, Jr. (Hemlock), Aaron Cone (Brethren), and Chris Gee and Travis Mardlin (Bear Lake).

Junior division winners were Hannah Moore (Cadillac) and John Root (Manton).

Racing continues this Saturday, 2-6 p.m.

Fight Like a Girls softball tournament

East Jordan, Mancelona and Bellaire softball teams will join Central Lake for the sixth annual softball tournament to raise money for leukemia research.

Central Lake graduate Maris Spaulding was diagnosed with leukemia in 2012 and died at the age of 18. She was a third generation softball player of the Central Lake Trojans. The Trojans won the Class D State Championship in 1980, coached by Maris' grandfather and MHSAA Hall of Fame coach, Gary Johnson.

The tournament will be held Saturday, May 11 at 10 a.m.

Concessions, a 50/50 raffle and donations will all be available to aid the fundraising efforts for leukemia research.