MHSAA Div. 1 girls track: Marquette wins seventh-conseuctive regional crown

ESCANABA – Some people may refer to this as ‘Lucky Seven,’ but the Marquette girls really didn’t need that much luck to earn their seventh consecutive Division 1 regional track title Thursday.

The Redettes, who captured all four relays, simply dominated the five-school field by scoring 84 points. They were followed by Sault Ste. Marie 35, Menominee and Escanaba 25 and Gladstone 18.

“It takes a lot of kids to win a track meet,” said Marquette coach John Peterson. “It was sweet to win all four relays. This is a special group of kids and today we were fortunate enough to win as a team. We’re also fortunate to have excellent assistant coaches in Natalie Bertucci (sprints and hurdles) and Angie Leckson (weight events). We appreciate all the work they do.”

Rudden collected four firsts, winning the 800-meter run in two minutes, 21.86 seconds, 1600 (5:15.2), 3200 (11:53.21) and helping the Redettes win the 3200 relay.

“It was wierd,” Rudden said shortly after the open 3200. “This is only the second time this year I ran it. I just ran the 3200 for place and not for time. I probably could have run it a little faster. I’m happy with my mile time, but I’m disappointed in my 800. I got cut off right away, then I just kind of shrugged it off.

“I’m really excited for the GNC (Great Northern Conference) and U.P. Finals. I don’t want my freshman season to come to an end. I’m very grateful for the seasons I had in cross country and track.”

The Redettes finished with 10 firsts on this sunny and mild day.

“We’re pleased that the weather cooperated, and we had some good competition,” said Peterson.

Esky didn’t have any individual winners, but qualified in 14 events.

“We qualified a lot of girls, only we didn’t get the firsts we wanted,” said Esky coach Dan DeLong. “I thought we had a good week of training, but some of the girls weren’t feeling their best today. We told the girls this meet was about qualifying (for the Upper Peninsula Finals).”

The Eskymos also had some pleasant surprises. Kelcey Geyer, for example, placed fourth in discus at 94 feet, two inches.

“She did outstanding, and Jayna LaVigne also an excellent race in the 100 and took fourth,” said DeLong. “Holly (Ettenhofer) had her best throw in shot put and didn’t qualify. But she came through for us in other events. She placed second in pole vault (7-6). Holly wasn’t happy with that, although the main thing is she qualified.”

Senior Jessica Young provided Gladstone with its lone first with a toss of 107-3 in discus and was runner-up in shot (30-8). Junior Hailey Bedard added a fourth in shot with a personal-best toss of 30-2.

Gladstone’s runners-up were senior Andrea Starr in 100 hurdles (17.56) and sophomore Iris Robare in long jump (15-0).

“I thought our girls gave a great effort, only we were up against some stiff competition,” said Gladstone coach Jim Murtha. “All four of our relays ran their best times of the year. Everybody ran personal-best times. Andrea had a nice race in the 100 hurdles. She was very excited. Iris jumped 15 feet in long jump, which was her best this year. Also Hailey went over 30 feet in shot for the first time, which was a nice surprise. We did as well as we could.”

All of the teams in this field, except Sault, are entered in the GNC meet Thursday at Gladstone.