Crossroads Charter Academy Cougars Mitchell Creek Sports Complex Suffers Extensive Damage

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BIG RAPIDS – Heavy rain and flooding hit the Mitchell Creek Sports Complex again.

The venerable sports complex and former home of the Big Rapids Cardinals and current home of the Crossroad Charter Academy Cougars, was among the areas that suffered extensive damage from Thursday’s rains and flooding.

“The flooding virtually destroyed our track and practice area, leaving us with no place to train,” ACC track and field coach Debe Mitchell said. “Our pole vault and high jump mats were washed away by the flash flood and our track surface suffered multiple areas of buckling, sink holes, as well as (being) ripped out. It’s just gone.


Part of the track in the northwest corner, across from the community pool parking lot, was badly damaged.

The school had not planned to host any varsity athletics events this year. The ground had been used for football matches, but there is now a lot of sand in various places and it does not appear to be playable currently.

“There’s a bit of damage to the athletics,” athletic director Jerry Dailey said. “Unfortunately, we are not using the pitch for the rest of the school year. As far as the sports teams are concerned, we are working so that the sports seasons can continue.”

The same complex was among the major victims of the Great Big Rapids flood in September 1986, when it was owned and used by the Big Rapids School District. It was later repaired but forced sports teams to use other venues.

It was sold to Crossroads when BRHS moved to its current facilities in the late 1990s. The ground had hosted soccer matches, football matches and athletics meets for BRHS.

The devastating damage did not deter ACC athletes from competing in the Clare Invitational on Saturday.

“It was a beautiful sunny day, but extremely hot for a track meet,” Mitchell said. “Attempts were made to ensure that all members hydrated throughout the duration of the competition and sought shade to rest and recover.

“Overall it was a good day and a preview of the next regional in Coleman (Saturday).”

Amelia Thompson took third place in the 1,600 meters (5:51.10). Other impressive performances highlighted by Mitchell are those of Kaleigh Griswold in the 100 meters (18.49) and the personal bests of Griswold in the discus (43-8), Kaitlin Buys in the 200 (31.18) and 800 (2:57.16), and Selah Meeuwes in the 400 meters (1:31.49), shot put (18-7) and discus (55-11).

Emily VanLuinen threw the discus 75-6 and the shot put 26-10.

Michael Horning (88-6) and Kyle Cooter (43-5) on the disc set personal bests for the boys. Other strong performances came from Ryan Beach in the discus (64-7) and Horning (30-9) and Beach in the shot put (25-0).

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