MUSKEGON — Buoyed by a spectacular performance in the field events, Whitehall's girls track team won the GMAA championship Saturday at Oakridge, outpacing second-place Montague 110-97.
Reeths-Puffer scored 74 points and finished in fourth place. The Wildcats edged Mona Shores by two points for second.
The Vikings racked up 60 of their 110 points in the field events, earning six top-2 finishes in those five events alone. That included 1-2 finishes in both the shot put and pole vault. Karleigh Jeffries earned the win in shot put (31-8), with Maelie Hope in second (30-0), and in pole vault, Charley Klint won and set a personal best (8-9), with Bailey Pierson in second (8-0).
Also in the field, Jeffries took second in discus with a personal best 117-9 (Hope finished third and also set a personal best, of 113-8), and Katie Ferris finished second in high jump (5-0).
"I owe that to our field event coaches, Crystal Vaughn and Joe Stachowicz," Whitehall coach Carrie Goodrich said, noting that Stachowicz, a local chiropractor, coaches the throws and Vaughn leads the way in high jump and pole vault. "They have done a phenomenal job working with the girls on their specific techniques.
"The girls were excited to compete on Saturday, especially the seniors, knowing they lost last year and this is it for them. Wherever I looked around the track, I saw Whitehall girls cheering one another on, including the field events first thing in the morning. That is important to me."
On the track, Whitehall scored its share of points. Ryann Jibson, still working her way back from an injury that cost her all of cross-country season, won the 800-meter run in a time of 2:36.9.
"This was a breakout race for her," Goodrich said.
Klint picked up a second-place finish in the 100 hurdles (17.59) and was third in the 300 hurdles (52.95), both in personal best times. The 1,600 relay team of Jibson, Nevaeh Watson, Olivia Tjapkes and Bailey Pierson took second place (4:31.8).
Montague did most of its damage on the track, led by three relay race wins. The 400 and 800 relay teams of Brooke Stark, Lauren Smith, Maddie Meacham and Natalie Erickson both earned the top spot (times of 52.27 and 1:51.4), and the 1,600 relay team of Meacham, Ally Hall, Dreea Atchison and Britta Johnson also won (4:23.5). Claire Meacham took second place in the 300 hurdles in a personal best time of 52.85, and Johnson and Hall placed second and third in the 400 with respective personal best times of 1:03.5 and 1:05.6. Erickson took third in both the 100 (13.52) and 200 (27.54).
Reeths-Puffer picked up wins in both hurdles events. Allie Moore won the 100 in a time of 17.21, and Brooke Tong won the 300 in a time of 50.86. Brianna Stawski earned the Rockets' third win, in high jump, where she jumped a personal best 5-3. The Rockets also placed second in two relays; the 800 team of Marta Braghini, Tiffany DeMaio, Tong and Grace Lockhart (1:52.2) and the 3,200 team of Lockhart, Ari Antor, Eva Shinabery and Emily Mazurkiewicz (10:49.1). Arionna Williams added a third-place in long jump (15-3).