Carmen Hoppough sets two track records in her first season at IMS

IONIA — It took just one track season for Carmen Hoppough to find her name on the record board in the Ionia Middle School gymnasium.

Hoppough set Ionia Middle School records in the 200-meter dash (21.57 seconds) and 400-meter dash (61.57 seconds) at the Junior Greater Lansing Honor Roll Meet of Champions on May 29 at Okemos High School. The records were previously held by Kaitlyn Rademacher, who set them in 2011.

Hoppough will be a seventh grader at IMS in the fall. This season was her first on the Bulldogs’ track team.

“It felt really good,” Hoppough told The Sentinel-Standard. “At the beginning of the track season I wasn’t really looking to break the records. I just came out to do the best for my team.”

Hoppough was recognized for her achievements during a pep rally June 6 at the high school gym. She received a certificate of achievement and the two plaques were unveiled on the wall of the gym.

“I had no idea this would happen,” Hoppough said. “That was super cool. I enjoyed being out there. I was happy that my family could be there, and I was happy that they unveiled the plates.

Hoppough is a three-sport athlete at IMS: he also plays volleyball and basketball. She played AAU basketball and track this spring. Hoppough said she has always loved running and was excited to join the track team and compete in individual events and relay races.

The Meet of Champions pitted Hoppough against some of the best high school athletes in the Greater Lansing area. She said the atmosphere was different from individuals, where there are usually only a few teams.

“It was good to see a lot of good competition there,” Hoppough said.

IMS track coach Brianna Wiles described Hoppough as a motivated and hardworking student “on and off the track.”

“Her motivation to be better every game is an inspiration to many on the team,” Wiles said. “Since (Hoppough) is only a sixth grader, we like to see that. Carmen will be someone to keep an eye on from now on.”

Subscribe: Get unlimited access to our local coverage

Hoppough’s mother, Laurie, said her daughter’s work ethic “never stops.” Hoppough’s father, Boomer, holds Ionia High School records in the 50-meter hurdles and long jump and ran track at Grand Valley State University. Boomer and Hoppough spoke this season about her job goals and her aspirations to see her name on the wall.

“When there’s a challenge in front of her, she’s determined to take on that challenge,” Laurie said. “We are just very proud of her.”

IMS principal Ryan Mitchell said the school couldn’t be prouder of Hoppough, who carried all A’s in the class all year long.

“Her talents, both in the classroom and beyond, are truly remarkable and set the tone in establishing a culture of champions,” Mitchell said. “What’s just as exciting is that she’s accomplishing this as a sixth grader, and we still have her in high school for two more years. This is not the last time we will all hear about Carmen Hoppough as this is a name that will be talked about in every household about how talented she is.

Hoppough hopes to break her records next year. She also plans to run track in high school.

— Contact reporter Evan Sasiela at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @SalsaEvan.