Vuksan, Pederson dominate for Gladstone

GLADSTONE – It’s almost getting to be automatic for the Gladstone boys. Between Jared Vuksan and Justin Pederson, opponents will be hard pressed to win any of the weight or jumping events this season when facing the Braves.

The Gladstone boys won their quadrangular track meet Tuesday with 103 points. Marquette was second with 75, followed by Negaunee 64 and Iron Mountain 14.

Vuksan didn’t even leave a shred of doubt in the discus, throwing for 141-10. He easily won the shot put as well, with a toss of 49-7.

Pederson equalled his personal best high jump, methodically clearing 6-2. Pederson first set that mark during last week’s Delta County Invitational. Pederson also won the long jump with a leap of 20-4 3/4. Vuksan took second and Chris Sedenquist was third as the Braves took 13 of 16 points in the event. Vuksan also anchored the Braves’ winning 400 meter relay team.

Pederson captured his third first on the 100 meter Dash, tying his personal best of 10.97, and wrapped up his day by helping Gladstone win the 800 meter relay at 1:36.38.

“Our field events just did awesome today,” said Gladstone boys coach Gary Whitmer. “Pederson, oh my goodness. He won the high jump, won the long jump, won the 100 dash and he was in our 800 meter relay. He’s just doing great. He’s a competitor and such a good athlete, and being a senior, he’s come into himself. He just wants to win.”

Also standing out for the Braves was Jake Rosa who completed a beautiful leap of 11-6 on pole vault, surpassing even the expectations he set for himself at the beginning of the season. The Braves didn’t have Zach Sturdy available, so Rosa’s effort was all the more appreciated, especially by Athletic Director Matt Houle who gave his vaulter a big hug after he completed his personal best jump.

“11 feet was my goal for this year, so now I guess I’ll move up to 12 feet,” Rosa said. ” A couple of our best vaulters were out, so we had to do our best to get our team points. You do whatever you can.”

The Marquette girls took first on their end of the meet with 110 points followed by Negaunee with 76.5 points, Gladstone with 50 and Iron Mountain with 6.5.

The Redettes established themselves in sprints and distance running events where Lindsey Rudden led the way. Rudden finished first in the mile and the 800, where she broke the school record, turning in a blazing fast time of 2:20.

“It was great. It was kind of my goal for the season,” said Rudden. “I didn’t think it would happen today, I wanted it to happen toward the end of the season so I could build up to it, but I guess it happens when it happens. Right when I crossed the finish line, I heard my time and knew I broke it. I was really happy.”

Gladstone’s Jaime Snowaert won the pole vault with a leap of eight feet and Jessica Young won the discus with a toss of 99-4. The Braves success in the field was continued at shot put where they took second through fourth place with the trio of Young, Mackenzie Gay and Hailey Bedard. The Braves also took second and third in long jump with the duo of Iris Robaire and Sophie Carlson, and their 400 meter relay team swiped second as well.

Gladstone resumes Thursday at Peshtigo, Wis.