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Rockford claims first boys team track & field state championship

4X400 relay team clinches title in final event
Rockford track team
Posted at 9:41 PM, Jun 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-05 23:35:07-04

KENTWOOD, Mich. — The Rockford boys track & field team used late heroics to win the program's first team state championship Saturday in the division one finals at East Kentwood.

Trailing Fenton by six points entering the final event, the Rams four by 400 meter relay team needed a third place finish to pull even with the Tigers.

Rockford boys track wins state title

The tricky part was the Rockford relay team was not in the final heat, which has the fastest times from regionals.

Rockford's team of Daniel Leja, Gage Martin, Jacob Peck and Jacob Bissell won their heat and had to wait.

Turns out, their time was third fastest and good for six points and tie for first with Fenton meaning the school's share the title.

"Going into that meet, our team just started to big dog it," senior Gage Martin said. "We needed to run as hard as we can and we did it. Gave everything we had because we didn't want to leave anything out there."

Martin also finished second in both 110 meter hurdles and 300 meter hurdles and was part of the four by 200 relay team with Peck, Shawn Sims and Braden Crosby that finished 3rd.

It's the first team title for the Rams who have had four runner-up finishes (1998, 1999, 2016, 2017).

"It's awesome, this program has been great," Rockford head coach Andrew Martin said. "It has been a tough, tough year so we were just super happy to get out here on a nice day and be able to compete at a high level but it has been a long time coming for our Rockford program."

Peck also finished third in the pole vault.