Local teams compete at Division 1 regional track meet (girls)

MARQUETTE – Lindsey Rudden was so worked up before Friday’s Division 1 regional track and field regional in Marquette, her emotions got the best of her.

“I was extremely nervous before the meet. I cried in school an hour before running,” the Marquette Senior High School sophomore said about the MHSAA Upper Peninsula Finals qualifier. “I feel if I’m not nervous before a meet, I won’t do well.”

Rudden wound up doing just fine at William R. Hart Stadium. She won three individual events and ran a leg of the winning 1,600-meter relay.

“She’s a tough kid,” MSHS head coach John Peterson said after the Redettes ran away with the team title with 83.5 points.

Escanaba finished a distant second with 37, followed by Menominee with 31.5, Sault Ste. Marie 23 and Gladstone 12.

Rudden started out her day by claiming the 1,600 run (5:10.04), captured the 400 dash (1:01.19) and then copped the 800 run (2:23.97) before finishing as a member of the winning MSHS 1,600 relay team with Cassidy Thomas, Hannah Detmers and Hunter Viitala.

“My strategy (in the 1,600) was not to go out fast at the beginning, but save something for the end,” Rudden said. “On the fourth lap, I knew I had to kick it in.”

She said a brisk breeze made it tough for runners.

“The whole back stretch was tough,” Rudden said. “You just had to dip your head (into it).”

Viitala and Kirsten Iwanski captured two individual events apiece for MSHS, which won 10 of the meet’s 17 events.

Iwanski won the shot put (34 feet, 9.3 inches) and the discus (96-2).

“I had been struggling (in the discus) all week in practice,” Iwanski said. “In the first round (Friday), I was third going into the finals, which gave me a competitive edge.

“I gave it my all. It wasn’t my best, but it was good enough to place first and make it to the U.P.’s.”

She added her shot put attempts have been good all season.

“I just felt good (Friday),” Iwanski said. “I had a burst of energy and pushed it out there. I’m pleased with my throws.”

Viitala took the 300 hurdles (48.12) and high jump (5-0), while also running with the winning Redette 800 (1:53.15) and 1,600 relay teams.

“I know Lynsey (Collins of Escanaba) is a great competitor and I didn’t know where she was (during the 300 hurdles),” Viitala said. “I just had to kick it in.

“My curve hurdles weren’t that great, but I made them work.”

Marquette wound up winning three relays, also taking the 3,200 (10:36.15) to complement the victories in the 800 and 1,600.

“We train the girls hard and this meet was a good test,” Peterson said. “This was only our fourth outdoor meet of the season and the kids ran well.”

He noted MSHS went 1-2-4 in the high jump and Amber Huebner placed second in four events – the 1,600, 400, 800 and 3,200 runs.

“She was the only girl to run in four individual events,” Peterson said. “That’s a tough thing to do and with her being a freshman, it’s impressive.

“We had a couple of things that didn’t go our way, but the girls did really well today.”

Esky’s Lynsey Collins was runner-up in the 300 hurdles (48.89). Sunny Martineau took second in the 100s (13.19).

Jade Heliin was runner-up in shot put (30-9 1/2) and discus (91-11) and Kelsey Geyer was third in disc (89-4).

Gladstone’s Jaime Snowaert was second in pole vault (9-0) and Leigha Woelffer placed third in 3200 (12:11.25) and fourth in the 1600 (5:39.02).