GNC track: Marquette Redettes win seventh-consecutive conference title

GLADSTONE – The Marquette Senior High School girls track and field team gained its seventh consecutive Great Northern Conference track and field crown with 193 points on Thursday at Gladstone, beating out Escanaba (116 1/2), Kingsford (86), Menominee (81 1/2), the host Braves (36) and Stephenson (10).

MSHS freshman Lindsey Rudden set meet records in the 800-meter run (2 minutes, 20 seconds) and 1,600 (5:10.65), topping the previous GNC bests of 2:21.59 and 5:21.06, set by Marquette’s Katie and Emily Anderson, respectively, in 1999.

“It was a good day,” said Rudden, whose 800 personal record is 2:17. “It felt like I could run forever today. I love the GNC meet. The big meets are always more fun than the smaller ones. I guess the wind played a factor in the 800, but I’m real happy with my mile right now.”

Teammate Hunter Viitala added firsts in the 300 hurdles (48.22) and high jump (4-10) and Shayla Huebner copped the 400 in 60 seconds flat.

“Lindsey ran some great races,” said Marquette coach John Peterson. “Anytime you break two conference records in one day, it’s a pretty good day. Shayla Huebner, Hunter Viitala and Kathleen Noblet also had good days. We took a run at the school record in the 1600 relay and came up short by three seconds (4:10.73). I think we’re setting up pretty well for the U.P. Finals.”

The Gladstone boys benefitted from a strong showing in the field events to retain their GNC track title with 138 points.

The Braves were followed by Menominee (104), Marquette (93), Kingsford (87), Escanaba (81) and Stephenson (20).

The Gladstone boys scored 95 points in the field events, with seniors Justin Pederson and Jared Vuksan winning two apiece.

Pederson took long jump with a school-record leap of 21 feet, seven inches, and high jump at 5-10 and Vuksan copped shot put (52-0) and discus (140-7) on this sunny, but chilly and windy day.

Marquette freshman Lance Rambo won the 1,600 (4:41), with Esky senior Andrew Stenberg runner-up (4:47.03).