Sports

Strong to the Finish

State championship meets arrive for local track and field athletes

The high school track and field season is down to the final stretch.

The Class AA and Class B state championship meets will be held in Butte on May 26-27. The Class A and Class C state meets are in Laurel on the same dates.

Several local athletes are vying for individual all-state honors. Here’s a breakdown of each classification.

Class AA

Athletes from Glacier and Flathead shined in their hometown at last weekend’s Western AA divisional meet and advanced to this week’s state meet.

Under sunny skies in Legends Stadium on May 19-20, the Glacier boys captured the divisional team trophy with 135 points, edging Flathead, which tallied 118.

Glacier junior Drew Turner led the way with impressive victories in the sprints. He won the 100 (11.08) and 200 (22.18). Turner is ranked third in the 200 and sixth in the 100. He’s also part of the two-time defending state champion short relay team with Scout Willcut, Ethan Larson and Jackson Pepe, which is the fastest in Montana (42.26) for all classifications. Larson is ranked fifth in the 100.

Hunter Nicholson won the divisional title in the long jump with 21-7.5 and claimed victory in the triple jump, 44-5.25. He’s ranked second in the state in the triple jump, third in the long jump and sixth in the high jump. Teammate Tadan Gilman won the divisional title in the javelin with 181-0. Gilman is ranked third in the javelin and sixth in the shot put. Bennett McChesney is ranked fifth in the javelin; Evan Todd is sixth.

“I thought they had a great weekend. As a coach you just hope that you get down to these final meets and they have their best performances of the year, and I think most of them did that,” Glacier boys head coach Arron Deck said.

Flathead’s Ben Perrin won the 1,600 (4:19.44) and the 3,200 (9:17.88). He’s ranked second in the 3,200 and third in the 1,600. Teammate Chad Hemsley won the 300 hurdles and is the top hurdler in Montana (39.55). The Flathead long relay team — Micah Bucy, Jaden Anderson, Trae Vasquez and Dawson Rinehart — won the divisional title and is ranked third in the state. Bucy is ranked second in the high jump and sixth in the 400, Rinehart is ranked third in the high hurdles and Vasquez is ranked sixth in the long jump.

For girls, Glacier placed second at divisionals with 61 points. Missoula Sentinel won with 75. Glacier junior Annie Hill won the 800 and is ranked first in the state (2:08.69). She’s also the top-ranked runner in the 1,600 (4:47.30) and the 3,200 (10:15.21). She’s second in the 400.

Glacier senior Nikki Krueger won the divisional shot put title and leads the state with a top throw of 41-3.5. Krueger is ranked second in the discus. Ahna Kreitinger is ranked fourth in the high hurdles and fifth in the 400. Abi Fiske is ranked sixth in the triple jump.

Flathead’s Maddie Boles won the divisional title in the high jump (5-5) and is ranked third in the state.

Class A

Sidney is the team to beat on the boys side, but Columbia Falls is a trophy contender as usual.

The Wildcats tied for second at last weekend’s Western A divisional meet in Corvallis. Corvallis won the divisional title.

Columbia Falls is sending several standouts to this week’s state meet in Laurel. Senior Sage Wanner is coming off a standout cross country season and turned in his fastest time in the 3,200 to win at divisionals. His time of 9:52.17 is the best in Class A this season. He’s also ranked second in the 1,600. Fellow senior Dakota Bridwell is ranked first in the javelin (189-5). Teammate Logan Kolodejchuk is ranked fourth in the javelin and fourth in the shot put. Ben Windauer is ranked second in the pole vault, and Austin Green is third. Michael Hoerner is ranked sixth in the 110 hurdles. Logan Stephens is sixth in the long jump.

Polson’s Danny DiGiallondaro won the 300 hurdles at divisionals and is ranked fourth in the state in that event. Teammate Matthew Rensvold is ranked fourth in the 400, and Connor Lanier is fifth in the high hurdles.

Dillon is the defending boys state champion.

On the girls side, Belgrade and Corvallis boast the two best teams in Montana. Corvallis is the reigning state champ and welcomes back a solid cast of athletes.

Columbia Falls has individual contenders in Kimberly Peacock, who won the divisional title in the 3,200. She is ranked second in the state in that event. Teammate Angelica Street is ranked second in the javelin; Kiara Burlage is ranked sixth. The Wildkats’ long relay team is ranked fifth.

Polson’s Brea Frissell won the divisional title in the 1,600. She is ranked second in the 1,600 and 3,200 and fifth in the 800.

Whitefish’s Lydia Kryshak won the divisional title in the 400 and is ranked third in the state in that event. Teammate Lauren Schulz is ranked fourth in both the 100 and 200. Libby Nagler is ranked fifth in the javelin, while the Whitefish long relay team is ranked sixth.

Class B

The Bigfork girls are cruising into the state meet in Butte with their sights on a trophy. The Valkyries dominated at the Western B divisional meet in Frenchtown last week, nearly sweeping the track events by winning all but the two hurdle races and tallying 148 points.

The squad boasts a well-rounded lineup of all-state contenders, including junior Haile Norred, who is top ranked in the 200 (26.11) and the 400 (59.87). Norred also runs on the fastest short relay team (50.50) and long relay team (4:08.23). There’s also Bryn Morley, the fleet-footed junior who is ranked first in all three distance events: the 800 (2:17.56), the 1,600 (4:53.04) and the 3,200 (10:55.60). Morley also runs on the top-ranked long relay team with Norred, Shae Anderson and Shea Meissinger. The short relay team is rounded out by Anderson, Jordan Nelson and Madison Gardner. Senior Gabby Eaton is ranked second in the pole vault. Sophomore Anya Young is ranked second in the 1,600 and 3,200 and fourth in the 800. Gardner is ranked sixth in the 100 hurdles.

The Bigfork girls are chasing the team’s first state title since 1992.

On the boys side, Ronan is the top team from the western part of the state, led by Jackson Duffey, the top-ranked 800 runner (2:00.83). He’s also ranked second in the 1,600 and third in the 3,200.

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