Marquette Girls Prove Peninsula Power

By John Vrancic
Special for

June 1, 2013

KINGSFORD — Any questions?

The Marquette Redettes proved they're the Upper Peninsula's best girls track and field team beyond any shadow of a doubt Saturday, claiming their third straight Division 1 title with 145 points.

"We had a (triangular) meet in Escanaba on Tuesday, and it worked out well," said Marquette coach John Peterson. "I think it helped us keep our competitive edge."

Negaunee edged Escanaba 62½-54 for the runner-up trophy.

Freshman distance ace Lindsey Rudden set U.P. meet records in the 800-meter run in 2 minutes. 16.46 seconds, the 1,600 (5:05.5) and 3,200 (11:26.13) and helped the Redettes win the 3,200 relay.

Her effort in the 800 also was a school record.

"Three U.P. records in one day is pretty amazing," Peterson said. "Shayla Huebner running a 59-second quarter is also an excellent performance. We had so many kids do well today. They responded to every challenge in their way. This was just a fun day to see them compete."

Rudden's effort topped a pair of U.P. records from 2001, including a 2:21.3 clocking by Menominee's Mandy Long in the 800 and 11:38.2 by Sault Ste. Marie's Natalie Cahill in the 3,200.




Also falling by the wayside was the previous 1,600 record (5:19.73) by Iron Mountain's Kelly McClure in 2005.

"I felt great today," Rudden said. "Although I was also real nervous after what happened in the U.P. Cross Country Finals last fall. I have great teammates who will lift you when you're down. We all support and push each other. In the 3,200 relay, all the girls gave it their all. We were just nine seconds off the U.P. record."

Rudden, who went undefeated in all three distance events this spring, also was unbeaten going into the Cross Country Finals.

On that day, she was well ahead of the field with a half mile left in the 3.1-mile race at Munising when she became dehydrated, passed out and needed to be helped off the course.

"I'm realizing I need to become more serious about my running," Rudden said. "I need to be more focused. There's more pressure as it gets later in the season, especially when you're undefeated."

Huebner, who won the 400 at 59.29, added a second place in the 800 (2:21.32) and helped the winning 1,600 and 3,200 relays.

In the field events, sophomore Kirsten Iwanski won shot put at 31 feet, 4 inches, and Hunter Viitala took high jump (5-1).

"Marquette is getting some points in the field events," Peterson said. "It's so much fun to see the kids when they start in the spring and see how far they come. You can't beat the U.P. Finals. This is the best athletic event in the U.P., bar none."

Negaunee's leader was senior Ashley Veale, who won the 100 hurdles (16.57) and 300 (47.31).

Calumet sophomore Chelsea Jacques won the 100 (12.62) and 200 (26.62) and helped the winning 400 relay.

Click for full results.

PHOTOS: (Top) Marquette freshman Lindsey Rudden leads the pack during one of her three record-setting races Saturday. (Middle) The Redettes pose with their championship trophy after a third-straight Finals win. (Photos courtesy of Marquette High School.)

Lake Linden-Hubbell, Stephenson Share in UPD3; Jokela Joins Elite Club

By Jason Juno
Special for

June 4, 2023

KINGSFORD – Lake Linden-Hubbell got to the top with first-place power. Stephenson won only two events. 

But there are multiple ways to win an MHSAA Finals championship in track & field. And the Lakes and Eagles tied for the Upper Peninsula Division 3 girls title Saturday. 

Norway's Taylor Adams wins the 800. Lake Linden-Hubbell got a little assist from two-time reigning champion Ontonagon in the final event, the 1,600 relay. The Lakes led in the standings by eight points, but they didn’t have a 1,600-meter relay team. Stephenson could have won the team title with a win in that event, but Ontonagon’s relay team proved solid again and forced the Eagles to settle for the runner-up spot in the race and the eight points that come with it.

The Lakes last won team Finals titles during a three-year run from 2017-19. For Stephenson, it had been since 1993 when the team competed in Class C. The Eagles were runners-up last year.

Lake Linden-Hubbell sophomore Emily Jokela entered with the fastest Regional times in all four of her events, and she won all four of them Saturday – the 100, 200, 400 and 300 hurdles. She became just the sixth female to win four individual events at an MHSAA Finals.

The only one she didn’t win a title in last year was the 100 dash; she has that now. The only school record she didn’t have going into Saturday was in the 200; she has that now as well. She broke it by one tenth of a second.

“It feels great,” Jokela said. “I was very worried about running today because it was so hot.”

Her 300 hurdles time of 45.63 seconds set a UPD3 Finals record. Ontonagon’s Lori Wardynski had the record before (47.27).

Stephenson's Jada Kuntze crosses the finish line first in the 3,200 relay.Teammate Abi Codere repeated in the 100 hurdles, and their 400 relay team (Codere, Rebecca Lyons, Isabella Tampas and Cleo Milkey) also won.

Stephenson’s wins came in the 3,200 relay (Faith Cappaert, Joelle Beaudo, Kayela Putnam and Jada Kuntze) and the long jump (Sarah Labs).

Ontonagon also won the 800 relay (Lilly McIntyre, Alli Bobula, Kylee Uotila and Makennah Uotila).

“I’m sad we didn’t get a title this year, but the past two back-to-back U.P. titles we had made my entire career,” senior Makennah Uotila said. “I’ve enjoyed it so much. The relays were a big part of our U.P.  titles, so to still have strong relays is very important.”

Newberry’s Kaylen Clark won the 1,600 and 3,200 runs. She was the runner-up at the UPD3 cross country meet in the fall and in both events at the UPD2 track meet last season. Taylor Adams of Norway won the 800.

In the field, Mariska Laurila of Carney-Nadeau was the champion in the discus, Rudyard’s Alicia Cheney won the high jump, Dollar Bay’s Nora Keranen won the pole vault after winning long jump in 2022, and Brimley’s Grace Hill repeated in the shot put.

Click for full results.

PHOTOS (Top) Lake Linden-Hubbell's Emily Jokela, second from right, wins the 400 on Saturday. (Middle) Norway's Taylor Adams wins the 800. (Below) Stephenson's Jada Kuntze crosses the finish line first in the 3,200 relay. (Photos by Cara Kamps/