Saugatuck track teams rule at regionals
Saugatuck hosted a Division 3 track regional on Friday, May 17.
And the Indians took full advantage of their familiar surroundings.
Both Saugatuck teams came away with a regional championship, with the boys posting a winning total of 110.5 points and the girls amassing 163.5 points en route to their victory.
Kent City earned runner-up honors on both the boys’ and girls’ sides, with their boys going for 82 points and their girls finishing with 135 points. Delton (72.5 points) was third in the boys’ standings and Montague (96.5 points) was third among the girls’ teams.
The senior duo of Corey Gorgas and Brad Dunn led the charge for the Saugatuck boys, each claiming a pair of first-place finishes in individual events.
Gorgas, who has signed to run at Northern Arizona University, picked up his victories in the meet’s two longest events as he won the 1,600-meter run and the 3,2000-meter run.
In the 1,600, Gorgas crossed the finish line in four minutes, 19.24 seconds. That was more than three seconds faster than Black River senior Sam Sharnas, a Saugatuck native whose younger brother Max is a standout distance runner for the Indians.
Then, in the second-to-last event of the meet, Gorgas posted a time of 9:43.98 to beat out Montague’s Cole Jensen (9:47.17) and Sam Sharnas (9:55.17).
Saugatuck’s Nik Pettinga was fourth in the race at 10:00.46 and Max Sharnas was fifth at 10:01.24.
Dunn, meanwhile, did his damage in the hurdles.
In the 110 hurdles, Dunn ran a 14:66 to win by more than a second over Ravenna’s Chad Erickson. The 300 hurdles were much closer, but Dunn turned in a time of 40.18 to edge out freshman teammate Benny Diaz at 40.39.
The time for Diaz was a personal record, as was Dunn’s time in the 110 hurdles.
Dunn and Diaz also teamed up with Conner Seifert and Collin Yarde in the 4x200 relay to post a winning time of 1:32.53.
Other top finishes for the boys’ squad included a runner-up showing from the 4x400 relay team of Yarde, Diaz, Seifert and Dunn (3:36.05) and third-place finishes from Diaz in the 200 (23.51) and Winston Marcy in the 800 (2:04.73).
Relays played a big role in the success of the Saugatuck girls’ teams.
The Indians won three of the four relays, taking the 4x200, the 4x400 and the 4x800.
The 4x200 team of Kierstyn Stoin, Kyrah-Lynn Rodriguez, Catherine Pond and Jillian Johnson ran a 1:50.6; the 4x400 team of Stoin, Rodriguez, Jillian Johnson and Thea Johnson ran a 4:12.82; and the 4x800 team of Taylor Conner, Thea Johnson, Natalie Martinson and Stoin ran a 9:36.44.
The Indians’ other three event wins came in the field events.
Morgan Beckman won the shot put at 32 feet, four inches, Pond won the pole vault at 9-0 and Jillian Johnson won the long jump at 16-10.75.
The Indians also finished runner-up in six events: Thea Johnson in the 800 (2:20.4) and the 1,600 (5:18.83); Jillian Johnson in the 400 (1:02.59); Bailey Winsemius in the 100 hurdles (17.44); Stoin in the 300 hurdles (49.92); and Abby Hartgerink in the high jump (4-10).
Third-place finishes went to Conner in the 3,200 (11:44.76), Natalie Beckman in the discus (104-11) and Hartgerink in the pole vault (8-6).