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Blue Water Area girls track and field regional preview

Photo courtesy of Calli Newberry

By Calli Newberry

Although it seems as if the season just got started, the MHSAA Track and Field Regional Championships are quickly approaching – this Friday, actually – as athletes will look to earn a trip to the state finals. The top two in each event will qualify and any additional athletes who achieve the qualifying standards.  

Here’s a quick overview of some of the runners, jumpers, and throwers to watch: 

Division 1, Region 10 hosted by Macomb Dakota

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Area teams competing: Port Huron High, Port Huron Northern 

The Port Huron Northern Huskies certainly don’t lack talent in the field with athletes ranking among the top across all events. 

Not only does junior Maggie Monaghan rank fourth in both hurdling events, but she’s also the region-leading (and school record-holding) long jumper with a personal best of 17 feet, 7 inches. 

Her junior teammate Jayden Ullenbruch isn’t far behind either, having jumped 16-10 earlier this week, which now ranks her third in the region. She’s also ranked eighth in the 200-meter with a PR of 27.56 seconds. 

Senior Lilly Knowlton leads the region in the pole vault by 1.5 feet, having cleared 11-6 earlier this season. She also ranks fourth in the high jump at 5-0 and sixth in the discus, having thrown 97’6. 

And in the shot put, junior Maya Freeman leads the way by more than a foot, with a personal best of 35-9. 

Junior Therese Georgia highlights the Huskies on the track, ranking ninth in the 3200-meter run with a season’s best of 12 minutes, 4.84 seconds. 

For the Big Reds, senior Hailey Rumble is having her best season yet. She threw 105-8.5 in discus earlier this week to claim a MAC-Blue title, which now ranks her in the top 10 regionally as well. 

Photo courtesy of Calli Newberry

Division 2, Region 20 hosted by Frankenmuth 

Area teams competing: Armada, Croswell-Lexington, Imlay City, Marine City, Marysville, North Branch, St. Clair, Yale

After winning a state title in the 400-meter last spring, Marysville’s Reese Powers is having quite the senior campaign. Her name is listed among the top 10 in five different events in the region, ranging from the 100-meter to the 1600-meter. She’ll focus, however, on the 400 and the 800-meter. She’s posted times of 59.89 seconds and 2:20.85 so far this season in the two events, respectively, and will look to return to the state finals in both.

Senior teammate, Hannah Fisher, will join Powers in the 800, the event in which she earned all-state honors last year. Fisher will also race the 1600, looking to improve her personal best of 5:11.2, which ranks her second in the region. 

The duo will join Alanna Dedenback and Lauren Wilson for the 4×400 relay, which ranks first in the region with a season’s best of 4:12.41. These four seniors will race for the opportunity to earn all-state honors again, improving upon their 4th-place finish last year. 

North Branch sophomore Grace Clemens may be young, but she’s got speed and experience. She was on last year’s all-state 4×200 and 4×400 relays, and this year, she ranks among the top regionally for the 100, 200, and 400. She’ll be racing the three individual events and the 4×200 this Friday. 

Fellow Bronco, and senior Haileigh Bissett who ran with Clemens on the 4×400 last season, will do so again in pursuit of another trip to the state finals. She also posts personal bests of 2:29.19 and 5:32.33 in the 800 and 1600, which ranks her fourth and sixth, respectively. 

The Cros-Lex 4×800 only trails the region-leading Frankenmuth team by one second, posting a season’s best of 10:21.08. Its team is full of youth, led by one senior, Beth Baldwin, two sophomores, Abby Barkley and Morgan Newton, and a freshman, Eva Thompson. Thompson is also ranked second in the 3200 with a personal best of 11:44.2, which she ran earlier this week. 

St. Clair junior Ava Pergitone ranks third behind Thompson with a season’s best of 12:27.96 in the 3200, which she ran on Tuesday. She ran her PR of 11:55.36 to take fourth at last year’s regional, and will look to shave a few seconds and punch her ticket to the state meet. She was a state qualifier last year in the 1600, running a personal best of 5:21.99, and will race in that event as well. 

Armada freshman Brooklyn Khon, who surprised herself when she won the cross country regional in the fall, ranks fourth in the 3200 with a PR of 12:38.16 and will look to qualify for the state finals again, this time on the track. 

In the field, Marysville sophomore Janae Hudson not only leads the region in the discus with a personal best of 135-0, but she also ranks second in the state. She just missed all-state honors last season, and will no doubt be on a mission to get back to the state meet and demonstrate her improvement. 

Photo courtesy of Calli Newberry

Hudson also leads the area in the shot put (38-0), with sophomore teammate Alyssa Thomas right behind ranking third (35-0) and junior Grace Kryscynski in fourth (34-1). 

St. Clair senior Kaylee Stockwell ranks first in the high jump, having earned a personal best of 5-2 earlier this month. Local rival Carly Frank, a junior from Marine City, ranks second after clearing 5-1 last Friday. 

Adding to the depth of Marysville’s team is senior Kaylee Smith, whose 9-0 mark in pole vault so far this year puts her at the No. 2 spot regionally. 

And in the long jump, the area boasts three closely competitive athletes. Marine City junior Lindsay Girard is a veteran, having placed fifth at least year’s state finals. She’s currently ranked second in the region with a season’s best of 16-4, behind North Branch senior Alyssa Bussure (16-5). St. Clair senior Tara Ziehm has lept 16-0 so far to put her in third. 

Division 3, Region 28 hosted by Bad Axe

Area teams competing: Algonac, Almont, Richmond

Almont junior Devin Johnston has been leading the way in sprints wherever she goes this season. She has yet to lose a race in the 100 and 200, posting personal bests of 12.64 and 26.04 seconds, respectively. She ranks first in the region for both events. 

Johnston also joins Montserrat Coronel, Paige Feldman, and Chloe Brady for the region-leading time in the 4×100, which they ran last Friday: 53.37 seconds. 

Algonac senior Taylor Reams highlights the area in hurdles with a seasonal best time of 17.64 seconds, which ranks her fourth. 

Almont also represents in both throwing events, as senior Ella Cichewicz ranks third in the shot put with a throw of 33-4, and senior Molleigh Rinke ranks first in the discus with a mark of 110-7.5. And Richmond junior Victoria Keller ranks third in the pole vault after earning a PR of 8-0 earlier this month. 
For more information or to find the live results for this Friday’s regional meets, visit the MHSAA website here.

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