MARQUETTE - It started in meters, but ended in inches for the Marquette Senior High School girls track team on Saturday as they captured first place in the 31st Annual Negaunee Lions Meet.
The Redettes snagged first place finishes in the 3,200-meter relay, 800, 800 relay, 1,600 run and 1,600 relay, but still only led the second place Escanaba Eskymos by 10 points heading into the finals of the high jump.
If the Redettes were unable to place a jumper, and the Eskymos took first in the event, the meet would have ended in a tie.
Marquette Senior High School’s Hunter Viitala clears the bar in the high jump during the Negaunee Lions Track and Field meet on Saturday. Viitala finished second in the event to clinch the team victory for the Redettes. (Journal photo by Zach Jay)
The crowd gathered at the pit and MSHS sophomore Hunter Viitala edged both Escanaba jumpers, capturing second place with a leap of 4-feet, 10-inches to propel the Redettes to a 162.25 -154 win over the Eskymos.
Negaunee was third with 113.75 points, Gwinn took fourth at 51 while Westwood (29) and Munising (13) rounded it out.
Battling a mix of rain, wind and snow didn't make for ideal running conditions, but MSHS head coach John Peterson said he was happy with the way his team competed.
Negaunee Lions Invitational
Summary: Marquette 154, Escanaba 144, Negaunee 113, Gwinn 39, Westwood 29, Munising 13.
3,200-meter relay - Marquette (Liana Storm, Martha Storm, Shayla Huebner, Lindsey Rudden), 10:28.59.
100 hurdles - Ashley Veale, Negaunee, 17.01
100 dash - Veale, Negaunee, 13.72
800 relay - Marquette (Kathleen Noblet, Cassidy Thomas, Hunter Viitala, Bente Korte), 1:55.72
1,600 run - Rudden, Marquette, 5:34.17
400 relay - Gwinn (Elaine Schumacher, Cassady Anderson, Taylor Aho, Lydia Asplund), 57.21
400 dash - Huebner, Marquette, 1:03.76/Aubree Peterson, Escanaba, 1:03.76
300 low hurdles - Veale, Negaunee, 49.05
800 run - Rudden, Marquette, 2:31.15
200 dash - Noblet, Marquette, 28.45
3,200 run - Amy Giese, Escanaba, 12:34.01
1,600 relay - Marquette (Thomas, Kirsten Iwanski, Huebner, Korte), 4:25.98
Discus - Holly Ettenhofer, Escanaba, 92-04
Shot put - Iwanski, Marquette, 33-00.05
Pole vault - Ettenhofer, Escanaba, 8-6
High jump - Asplund, Gwinn, 4-10
Long jump - Asplund, Gwinn, 14-8
"Our kids did well. Their times weren't as fast as we would've liked, but in this kind of environment they did really well," Peterson said. "We decided today that we weren't going to worry so much about times. We were just going to compete person-to-person and race the people that are running track against us and they did really well with that."
MSHS started the meet by taking first place in the 3,200 relay (10 minutes, 28.59 seconds). The Redettes racked up points behind their distance squad, led by freshman Lindsey Rudden, who took first in the 800 (2:31.15), 1,600 (5:34.17) and was the final leg in the 3,200 relay squad.
Shayla Huebner also tied for first in the 400 dash (1:03.76) with Escanaba's Aubree Peterson, Kathleen Nobert won the 200 dash (28.45) and Kirsten Iwanski won the shot put (33-00.5).
Calla Martysz (12:34.01) finished second to Escanaba's Amy Giese (12:41.77) in the 3,200 run.
"Our distance kids have been coming along," Peterson said. "We're a little deeper this year then we were last year and our kids train hard."
Rudden said she wasn't happy with her times, but thinks the race will be beneficial going forward into the final stretch of the season.
"Today's races were brutal," Rudden said. "There are no excuses. Everyone is running in the same conditions, but it's just not a good day for running. I think this is a good experience to run in the colder weather and the wind because going into other meets if it is a little windy it will be nothing compared to this."
Along with battling the wind, the runners also had shorter rest in between races because there wasn't any boys events. For Negaunee senior Ashley Veale, who was named the meet's most valuable athlete, this added an extra challenge.
"It really pushed me today. It was definitely harder than any of the other meets I've been in," Veale said. "It really tested my strength today to be able to run all four of those."
Veale finished in first place in the 100 hurdles (17.01) and turned right around to snag first place in the 100 dash (13.72). She also took first place in the 300 hurdles (49.05) and second in the 200 dash (28.88).
"After running the 300 (hurdles) my legs were kind of cramped up a bit and I had to get back into the box and run the 200," Veale said. "That was really, really hard on me. It was hard to keep my legs going the entire race."
Gwinn won three events, with the 400 relay team taking first in 57.21 seconds and Lydia Asplund winning the long jump at 14-08 and high jump via less faults than Viitala at 4-10.
In addition to Giese's win in the 3,200 run, Escanaba's Holly Ettenhofer won the discus (92-04) and pole vault (8-6).