By Ron Rop
Local Sports Journal
Autumn Christianson was looking to put last weekend’s regional track meet behind her.
At least the part of it where she took a spill in the 100 hurdles and did not qualify for the state meet. But on Wednesday, in the Meijer West Michigan Invitational Track Meet, Christianson left little doubt she’s put that nightmarish finish behind her by winning both hurdles events.
She won the 100 hurdles in 16.24 and the 300 hurdles with a school-record time of 47.35. It was the second time this season she lowered the school record.
“It was very, very thrilling indeed, being a senior and all,” said Christianson, who will be taking her talents to the volleyball team at Michigan State University in the fall. “It felt really good to win the 100s.”
In the recent city meet, Christianson won the 100 hurdles, but lost out to Reeths-Puffer’s Brianna Greinke in the 300 hurdles. On Wednesday, it was Christianson’s turn to win both.
“She is a very good athlete and I just knew she is a very good finisher so I had to work hard at practice, keep up my endurance and use those long legs of mine and things would work out,” said Christianson, who stands 6-foot-3.
She wasn’t the only double winner in individual events as Mona Shores’ Khnihay Brown showed her speed by winning the 100 in 12.99 and the 200 in 26.62.
The field events also featured a two-time winner in Ludington’s Brandy Thomas, who took home a pair of first-place awards in the shot put (39-4¼) and the discus (112-2).
Reeths-Puffer proved to be the top relay team by winning three of the four races. The Rockets finished first in the 800 relay (1:47.85), the 1600 (4:09.41) and the 400 (50.99). Christy Schultz was part of those three relay victories for the Rockets and, along with her long jump (17-4) victory, she was in on four first-place finishes.
Spring Lake was the other team to win a relay with a time of 9:56.84 in the 3200 relay.
In the field events, Spring Lake’s Grace Peterson captured first place in the high jump (5-2), Schultz obeat the competition by more than 2 feet in the long jump and Spring Lake’s Allie LeRoux won the pole vault with a 11-6.
LeRoux’s effort tied the league meet record of 11-6, which had been done three times previously, all by Grand Haven’s Jordan Keefe (2010-12).
Other winners in the running events included Fruitport’s Brianna Pekel in the 400 (59.92), Hart’s Jennie Gottardo in the 800 (2:19.41), Kent City’s Ashley Russo in the 1600 (5:16.67) and Spring Lake’s Brittany Beeler in the 3200 (11:41.05).