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Saugatuck track teams post top-three finishes at Shepherd Bluejay Invite

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By Jason Wesseldyk

Sports Editor

SHEPHERD—The Saugatuck track team made the trek to Shepherd for the annual Bluejay Invitational on Friday, May 3.

Both the girls’ and the boys’ squads came back with top-three finishes in the Small School Division for their efforts.

The Saugatuck girls racked up 99.5 points to place second behind winner Fowler (126 points), while the Indian boys were third with 83 points. New Lothrop won the title with 112.5 points, followed by Ithaca with 93 points.

The 4×200-meter relay team of Thea Johnson, Kyrah-Lynn Rodriguez, Kierstyn Stoin and Jillian Johnson led the way for the Saugatuck girls, posting a winning time of one minute, 50.57 seconds.

Natalie Beckman provided the other first-place effort for the girls, taking the top spot in the discus with a distance of 101 feet, 11 inches. Sister Morgan Beckman was second at 93-11.

Thea Johnson (11:12.23 in the 3,200), Stoin (49.03 in the 300 hurdles) and Jillian Johnson (15-1 in the long jump) all secured runner-up finishes, while Catherine Pond was third in the pole vault at 8-8.

Other top-10 performances for the Saugatuck girls included: Natalie Martinson in the 3,200 (fourth at 11:23.17); Abby Hartgerink in the pole vault (fourth at 8-4), the long jump (fourth at 13-11.5) and the high jump (fifth at 4-8); Morgan Beckman in the shot put (fifth at 31-11.5); Rodriguez in the 200 (fifth at 28.91); the 4×100 relay team of Hartgerink, Catherine Pond, Mia Reed and Rodriguez (fifth at 54.52); Pond in the 100 (sixth at 14.04) and the 200 (seventh at 29.13); Khloe Pratt in the 400 (seventh at 1:07.17); Jillian Vera in the 1,600 (seventh at 5:48.44); Taylor Conner in the 3,200 (seventh at 11:41.33); Halle Davis in the pole vault (ninth at 6-6); and Mia Reed in the discus (10th at 78-6.6).

Freshman Benny Diaz was the star of the meet on the boys’ side, accounting for both event wins for Saugatuck.

In addition to winning the 300 hurdles with a time of 41.27, Diaz took the top spot in the long jump with a distance of 19-4.

Diaz also anchored a pair of third-place relay teams. He joined with Collin Yarde, Steven Neely and Connor Seifert to take third in the 4×200 (1:36.35), while he teamed with Yarde, Winson Marcy and Seifert to take third in the 4×400 (3:39.14).

Marcy (2:05.56 in the 800) and Chase Gould (10-6 in pole vault) both turned in runner-up efforts, while Max Sharnas (9:47.55 in the 3,200) and Seifert (43.42 in the 300 hurdles) secured third-place efforts.

Others in the top 10 for the Saugatuck boys were: Yarde in the 200 (fourth at 24.01); Nik Pettinga in the 3,200 (fifth at 9:53.32); Seifert in the 110 hurdles (fifth at 18:18); Hunter Hoffman in the 110 hurdles (sixth at 18:78); the 4×100 relay team of Gould, Hoffman, Nick Stanberry and Neely (seventh at 49.22); Tristan Ashley in the 1,600 (eighth at 4:52.92); Marty Resseguie in the pole vault (eighth at 9-0); and Gould in the 800 (10th at 2:16.74).