MARQUETTE - With snow on the ground, just getting another chance to compete was important to the Marquette Senior High School girls track and field team Tuesday.
Winning the annual Superior Dome Invitational was icing on the cake.
The Redettes of coach John Peterson, who opened their season at the Michigan Tech Indoor Invite last week, rolled to victory in the Superior Dome Invitational in Marquette.
Marquette’s Lindsey Rudden passes Newberry’s Natalie Beaulieu during in the second heat of the girls 1,600-meter run during the Superior Dome Invite meet on Tuesday in Marquette. Rudden finished first and Beaulieu took second in the event. (Journal photo by Matt Keiser)
Peterson's squad collected 124 points to easily outdistance runner-up Sault Ste. Marie (59.33) and third place Negaunee (42.33) in the 12-team field. Escanaba (42) and Kingsford (39.33) placed 4-5, respectively.
"I'm just blown away," Peterson said after his defending champion Redettes had won six of the 14 total events. "I didn't realize we would be as strong as we are.
"We deserved to win because the girls ran really hard. I'm really proud of them.
"We only have 25 on the squad this year and we're young," he added. "But every one of them did a great job today."
Peterson said it was also nice to get another meet in with winter conditions still prevalent outdoors.
"I wish we could practice in the Dome," he said. "We've been running in school and around school. It's very difficult to do any pace work or interval training.
"But it's 70 degrees and always 'sunny' in the Dome."
Lindsey Rudden and Shayla Huebner paced MSHS. Rudden won two individual events and ran a leg of the winning 3,200-meter relay.
"I was focused on the race in the 1,600," Rudden said of her winning 5 minutes, 23.27 seconds effort. "I love to set the pace and after the half-way point, I kicked it in."
Of her victorious time of 2:24.53 in the 800 run, the MSHS freshman said she wished she had turned in a better clocking.
"I had to push myself there. It was mostly mental," she said.
Huebner, meanwhile, took the 400 dash (1:01.83) while helping the 3,200 and 1,600 relay units take wins.
"We were a little bit behind early (in the 3,200)," she said. "But Cassidy (Thomas) caught us up and got us the lead. It was the first time we had run together."
Added Peterson: "Shayla and Lindsey did well, but Cassidy had a career day for us. She had personal bests in two events and was a key in two relay wins. She's a poster kid for hard work"
Marquette's Hunter Viitala won the high jump (5-feet, 1-inch) and opened the Redettes' winning 1,600 relay unit to aid in the team triumph.
Negaunee didn't win an event, but the Miners showed enough depth to place third overall.
"I'm happy with that," Negaunee head coach Vickie Paupore said. "This was like a practice meet. We haven't been running outside.
"This is the first time the girls did the field events, so it was a good way to gauge how the girls will do this season.
"I learned that I have to put some girls in some different events, to switch some of them around," she added.
Paupore singled out senior Ashley Veale for posting two seconds and a third.
"She was seeded first in the 55 hurdles, but she took an early hurdle hard and lost a shoe," Paupore said. "She was really mad."
Newberry's Natalie Beaulieu captured the 3,200 run (12:39.86) and Manistique's Monica Giles claimed the shot put (39-9.5) for additional Superiorland wins.
Carlee Benzie of Kingsford won the 55 dash (7.7) and the long jump (16-0), in addition to running a leg of the Flivvers' victorious 800 relay.
Craig Remsburg can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 251.