Chips take 1st, 3rd at Ludington

LUDINGTON — When Manistee senior Jessica Gustad crossed the finish line with the winning time of 15.6 seconds in the 100-meter high hurdles on Tuesday, she did so with a confidence, and dominance, that would suggest she has been doing it for years.

“That is the first time she has attempted that race,” admitted Chippewas co-head coach Mike McGuire. “She ran the 300 hurdles last year and was All-State. We really were looking at the kind of foot speed and we thought that race would really suit her well.”

Gustad also won the long jump and 300-meter low hurdles.

Gustad isn’t the only Chippewa who’s starting the season on the right foot.

Manistee senior Jessica Gustad clears the final hurdle on her way to a top finish in 100-meter high hurdles in Ludington on Tuesday. (Jared Buchholz)

Manistee senior Jessica Gustad clears the final hurdle on her way to a top finish in 100-meter high hurdles in Ludington on Tuesday. (Jared Buchholz)

Five-time state champion Annie Fuller appears to be running better than she ever has, as evidenced by her topping her school record of 2:11.15 in the 800-meter dash with a 2:10.02 win Tuesday.

“The nice thing is since the weather has been better this spring, we have been able to get outside and run a bit more than we were last year,” McGuire said. “(For example) Audrey Padilla took second in the 400 with a 1:06.62, and that’s actually one-tenth of a second faster than she ran at the regionals last year.”

The Manistee boys team took third, though they won three of the five field events as well as the 400- and 200-meter dashes. Ludington was first with Shelby in second place.

“Depth was really a factor there because we actually won quite a few events we just didn’t have the depth. Ludington has a strong team — they have 50 guys — and the depth really took over,” McGuire said.

Annie Fuller also won the 1,600-meter dash — Jodi Fuller was third — and was a part of the winning 3,200 relay team with Jodi Fuller, Ashley Lindeman and Natalee Kott and the winning 1,600 relay team with Gustad, Jodi Fuller and Audrey Padilla.

Lindeman also added a top finish in the 3,200 run.

Freshman Sydney Williams made an impact on McGuire by winning the 200 dash and anchoring the winning 400- and 800-meter relay teams.

“She had a really nice meet for a freshman,” McGuire said.

Carter Eckhardt came through for the boys with wins in the 200 (23.91) and 400-meter (51.98), the latter was nearly a school record and just two-tenths of a second off of his time at the state final last season.

“Carter Eckhart was really strong today,” McGuire said. “He really has his sights set on breaking the school record this year and being All-State in that event. As long as he stays healthy and keeps progressing he can break the record (of 49.54).”

Cody Gutowski won both the discus and shot put and set a personal record in the latter and Tai Allen won long jump with a personal-record 20 feet five inches.

The 800 relay team of Allen, Logan Guenthardt, Jacob Williams and Eckhardt and the 1,600 relay team of Guenthardt, Eckhardt, Connor Madsen and Ethan Engwall both took second.

“Really overall for our first outdoor meet, I am pleased with where we are — it projects us to have some pretty nice times by the end of the year,” McGuire said. “It is also nice to have a good, warm day to run. The girls are where we want them to be.”

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