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Martian miler and vaulter qualify for state competition

by David Fleet

May 23, 2012

Connor Wood
Goodrich-Two Martian athletes are on their way to the state track meet in Grand Rapids on June 2.

Goodrich High School Senior Ben Ruff, 18, won the one mile on May 18 at the regional track meet held at Northwestern High School with a time of 4:30. He followed up with a time of 4:27, just three seconds off the high school record of 4:24 at the Division II league meet in Webberville on May 22. Ruff has been on the varsity track team for four years.

"Earlier this year I injured my hip and missed about three weeks of the season," said Ruff, who will be attending Eastern Michigan University in the fall where he'll be in the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps. "But I recovered and trained hard—and am getting faster. My goal is the school record of 4:24."

Ruff said he plans to walk on the Eastern Michigan track team.

Senior Connor Wood, 18, qualified for the state meet in Grand Rapids in the pole vault, clearing a height of 13 feet-10 inches at the regional track meet at Northwestern High School on May 18. Wood has been on the varsity team since his sophomore year.

"It's all about form," said Wood, who plans to attend Saginaw Valley State University to study nursing. "Everything has to be just right to make a vault work."

Wood also plans to walk on the Saginaw Valley State University track team in the fall.