Best of Preps — Spring 2017

The top high school athletes from Flathead County

Bryn Morley

School: Bigfork

Class: Junior

Highlights: Bryn swept the Class B distance races, winning state championships in the 800 (2:15), the 1,600 (5:03.50) and the 3,200 (11:06.08). She also placed sixth in the 400 (1:02.18) and ran on the state-champion long relay team (4:03.36)

Right before each and every race, Bryn lets out a calm yawn. Don’t be mistaken by her casual demeanor — the Bigfork junior is one of the best high school long distance competitors in the nation. She proved it yet again this spring. Bryn swept the distance races in speedy fashion — winning the 800 in 2:15, the 1,600 in 5:03 and the 3,200 in 11:06 — and helped Bigfork’s long relay team win the Class B championship in 4:03. She also placed sixth in the 400. Her remarkable two-day performance helped the Bigfork girls team capture its first team championship in 25 years. The Valkyries tallied 109 points. With one final year of high school left, Bryn is motivated to keep improving on her already-remarkable times.

Haile Norred

School: Bigfork

Class: Junior

Highlights: Haile won the Class B state championship in the 400 (57.95) and 200 (26.02) and placed second in the 100 (12.93). She also ran on the state champion long relay team (4:03.36) and second-place short relay team (50.39)

One of the best runners in Class B, and all of Montana for that matter, Haile added to her all-state medal collection at the championship meet. She won two individual state championships, in the 400 and 200, and ran a leg on the championship long relay team. She also placed second in the 100 and ran on the second-place short relay team, which narrowly lost by 0.08 second. She and teammate Bryn Morley scored a combined 53 points, not including relays, which would have outscored the entire second-place team, Baker. The two girls’ amazing performances helped land Bigfork its first girls team title since 1992.

Jaden Anderson

School: Flathead

Class: Senior

Highlights: Jaden placed fourth in the Class AA 1,600 (4:20.38) and sixth in the 800 (1:55.53). He also ran on the third-place long relay team (3:19.26)

Jaden carried on the mantle of standout distance runners from Flathead High School this spring and also helped set a new school record in the long relay. The Braves 1,600 relay team — Anderson, Trae Vasquez, Micah Bucy and Dawson Rinehart — clocked 3:19.26 at the Class AA state meet in Butte. It would have broken the all-class state record, held by the 1995 Billing West boys, except both Billings Senior and Billings West eked out faster times by barely one second. Nevertheless, Flathead broke an impressive school record, and Jaden also brought home a fourth-place medal in the 1,600 and sixth-place medal in the 800.

Kaitlyn Casazza

School: Columbia Falls

Class: Senior

Highlights: Kaitlyn placed third in the Class A 100 hurdles (16:43) and fifth in the 300 hurdles (49.51). She also ran on the fourth-place long relay team (4:08.50)

One piece of advice stuck in Kaitlyn’s mind as she entered her senior season: stay hungry and humble. As a leader on the Columbia Falls track team, she stayed true to those words and led by example. She placed second in both hurdle events at the Western A divisional meet, and at the Class A championship meet she brought home three all-state medals. She placed third in the 100 hurdles and fifth in the 300 hurdles, and ran the first leg on the fourth-place long relay team. Finishing her senior season was bittersweet — participating in athletics was a highlight of her prep years — but she isn’t done competing. Kaitlyn is enrolled at Montana Tech in Butte where she will play volleyball.

Matt Farrier

School: Bigfork

Class: Senior

Highlights: Matt placed second in the Class B 300 hurdles (40.41)

Anyone who watched Matt zip across the football field for the Vikings noticed his fleet-footed abilities, and this spring those talents were on full display. The senior sprinter and hurdler capped an impressive season with all-state honors, placing second in the 300 hurdles at the Class B championship meet. At the Western B divisional meet, Matt won the 300 hurdles and placed second in the 400. He also ran a leg on Bigfork’s divisional champion relay team. Now Matt is taking his talents to Butte, where he will attend Montana Tech and compete on the Orediggers football team.

Madde Boles

School: Flathead

Class: Sophomore

Highlights: Madde earned fourth place in the Class AA high jump, clearing 5-3

Madde was introduced to the high jump pit in elementary school and she was immediately intrigued. The field event presented a fun challenge, both a test of athletic prowess and mental strength. When she met longtime Flathead High School coach Bill Epperly, her enthusiasm spiked even more. “I got to love the sport from him, and his passion for it made me passionate,” she says. With hard work and high ambitions, Madde has developed into one of the best high jumpers in Montana. She won the Western AA divisional title in Legends Stadium with a personal-best clear of 5-feet, five inches. At the state meet in Butte, she cleared 5-3 and placed fourth. In terms of her future potential, the sky’s the limit.

Tyler Cote

School: Whitefish

Class: Senior

Highlights: Tyler competed at  the Class A state meet in the 100 (personal record of 11.42), 200 (PR 23.44), 400 (PR 51.93) and ran on the long relay team

A true workhorse in multiple sports and track events, Tyler capped an inspiring prep career with a solid showing at the Class A state meet. During the season he raced in five events — the 100, 200, 400 and both relays — and continued Whitefish’s tradition of track prowess. He grew up with a natural love of running but also played football, where he excelled for the Bulldogs and played on the 2015 state championship team. This spring he placed third at the divisional meet in both the 100 and 200 and fifth in the 400. Next year he will attend Montana State University.

Annie Hill

School: Glacier

Class: Junior

Highlights: Annie swept the long distance events, winning Class AA state championships in the 800 (2:09.27), 1,600 (4:54.61) and 3,200 (10:46.10). She also placed second in the 400 (58.09) and ran on the third-place long relay team (4:01.14)

Annie reminded everyone that she’s one of the fastest high school runners in the nation with a dominating two-day performance at the Class AA state meet. Even in the higher elevation of Butte, Annie clocked impressive marks as she swept the long distance races and helped Glacier’s long relay team placed third. She won the 800 by two seconds, the 1,600 by seven seconds and the 3,200 by eight seconds. She also placed second in the 400, showcasing her foot speed alongside her endurance. Asking Annie about her happiest moment at state, she bypasses her individual achievements and mentions the long relay team’s performance, which scored the pivotal points in the final race at state that gave Glacier a second-place team trophy.

Sage Wanner

School: Columbia Falls

Class: Senior

Highlights: Sage won the Class A state championship in the 3,200 (9:50.31) and placed fifth in the 1,600 (4:33.01)

The community of Columbia Falls suffered a great loss this spring when Paxton Fisher, a senior at the high school, passed away after a courageous battle with cancer. The loss was especially difficult for Sage, who first met Paxton at a Bible camp in junior high and became close friends with him after he moved to Columbia Falls in high school. This spring he wrote Paxton’s soccer number — 3 — on his racing spikes as well as “Play for Paxton,” a quote that was commonplace across town. Sage won his second straight Class A state title in the 3,200 and placed fifth in the 1,600. “(Paxton) made such an impact on my life,” Sage says. “I’m proud to say Paxton was my best friend and I raced for Paxton.” Sage, a 4.0 cumulative GPA student in high school, will compete at the University of Great Falls next season.

Lauren Schulz

School: Whitefish

Class: Sophomore

Highlights: Lauren placed second in the Class A 200 (26.77) and fourth in the 100 (13.45) and 400 (1:00.24). She also ran on the sixth-place long relay team (4:12.88)

A multi-sport standout, Lauren has a natural passion for track. It culminated in a remarkable season this spring for the Whitefish sophomore. Lauren shined in the sprints and relay races and set new personal records. At the Class A state meet, she medaled in four events, placing second in the 200, fourth in both the 100 and 400 and sixth on the long relay team. With the help of her father, Derek, the head track coach at Whitefish, and the inspiration of her older sisters, Lauren is motivated to keep improving. She’s also got an extra special motivation: her older sister Marlow’s state records. This spring Lauren was only five seconds off Marlow’s 400 record.

Hunter Nicholson

School: Glacier

Class: Junior

Highlights: Hunter won the Class AA state championship in the triple jump, landing 45-9.25, and placed second in the high jump with 6-3

Hunter has always had hops. At a young age, he could dunk. By high school, he was putting his legs to good use in the jump events. At the Class AA state meet, he set a new personal record in the triple jump, landing 45-feet, nine-and-a-quarter inches and winning the state championship. It was the best mark in Montana all season for any classification. He placed second in the high jump, clearing 6-3, which was just shy of his personal record of 6-5. His passion for the sport continues to grow as he sets new goals to chase and is fueled by inspiration from his parents and older brother, Brayden.

KJ Schweikert

School: Columbia Falls

Class: Senior

Highlights: As a Class A all-state pitcher, KJ was 13-10 overall with a 2.95 ERA and 134 strikeouts in 116 innings. In the batter’s box, she hit .430 with 17 RBI and three homeruns

KJ led the Wildkats from the circle as the team’s all-state ace and helped propel the squad to the Class A state tournament for the second straight season. For KJ, being a pitcher meant taking on the responsibility of leading by example. In the second round of the state tournament, KJ struck out 10 batters against Miles City as Columbia Falls won 11-4. Her dominance extended into the batter’s box, where she was the No. 3 hitter this season for the high-powered Kats, which finished 15-10 overall. A 4.0 GPA student all four years, KJ will keep playing next year when she attends University of Great Falls.

Maya Buckingham & Anna Cecil

School: Glacier

Class: Senior / Senior

Highlights: Maya and Anna placed second in doubles at the Class AA state tennis tournament

In only their second season playing as a doubles team, Maya and Anna shined on the tennis courts as one of the best duos in the state. The girls have known each other for a long time and played varsity tennis all four years, but it wasn’t until last spring when they partnered up to tackle the doubles bracket. At this spring’s Western AA divisional meet, they defended their title and finished second at the Class AA state tennis tournament. Anna, a 4.0 GPA student with an AP distinction, plans to attend Brigham Young University and study civil engineering. Maya is attending Montana State University.

Clayton & Colton Reichenbach

School: Bigfork

Class: Sophomores

Highlights: Clayton and Colton placed fifth in doubles at the Class B state tennis tournament

Naturally, Clayton and Colton partnered up as a doubles team for the Bigfork tennis squad, and the twins’ chemistry and fierce competitive spirits proved successful. In only their second season in high school, the brothers dominated this spring and came home with fifth-place medals from the Class B state tennis tournament. Playing alongside your brother has it’s advantages, and the duo easily motivate each other on and off the court through a friendly sibling rivalry. The multi-sport athletes are eager to return next year with further all-state honors in mind.

More Stars

Track and Field

Class AA Boys

Scout Willcut, Glacier, Senior, 2nd place short relay / 4th place long relay / 6th place 400

Jackson Pepe, Glacier, Junior, 2nd place short relay

Ethan Larson, Glacier, Junior, 2nd place short relay / 3rd place 100 / 4th place 200

Drew Turner, Glacier, Junior, 2nd place short relay / 4th place long relay

Tyler Combs, Glacier, Senior, 5th place 400 / 4th place long relay

Tadan Gilman, Glacier, Senior, 3rd place javelin

Bennett McChesney, Glacier, Junior, 4th place javelin

Evan Todd, Glacier, Sophomore, 6th place javelin

Elijah Boyd, Glacier, Junior, 4th place long relay

Micah Bucy, Flathead, Senior, 3rd place high jump / 3rd place long relay

Andy Thomas, Flathead, Senior, 6th place high jump

Trae Vasquez, Flathead, Junior, 2nd place long jump / 3rd place long relay / 6th  place short relay

Hunter Dana, Flathead, Junior, 6th place short relay

Bobby Lowry, Flathead, Junior, 6th place short relay

Eric Reyna, Flathead, Junior, 6th place short relay

Dawson Rinehart, Flathead, Junior, 3rd place long relay / 4th place 300 hurdles / 6th place 110 hurdles

Ben Perrin, Flathead, Sophomore, 3rd place 3,200

Chad Hemsley, Flathead, Junior, 6th place 300 hurdles

Class AA Girls

Nikki Krueger, Glacier, Senior, State champion shot put / 3rd place discus

Brynn McChesney, Glacier, Senior, 3rd place long jump

Adrian Schnee, Glacier, Junior, 5th place high jump

Mya Mcneely, Glacier, Freshman, 5th place shot put

Ahna Kreitinger, Glacier, Senior, 3rd place long relay / 6th place 400 / 6th place 300 hurdles

Aubry Grame, Glacier, Freshman, 3rd place long relay

Bailey Smith, Glacier, Senior, 3rd place long relay

Mara Lorch, Flathead, Junior, 6th place long relay

Kelsey Gillespie, Flathead, Senior, 6th place long relay

Payge Boyce, Flathead, Junior, 6th place long relay

Nicole Bouma, Flathead, Senior, 6th place long relay

Class A Boys

Braxton Reiten, Columbia Falls, Senior, 5th place 100

Michael Hoerner, Columbia Falls, Senior, 3rd place 110 hurdles / 5th place triple jump

Ben Windauer, Columbia Falls, Junior, 2nd place pole vault

Austin Green, Columbia Falls, Junior, 4th place pole vault

Seth Gossett, Columbia Falls, Junior, 5th place pole vault

Logan Kolodejchuk, Columbia Falls, Junior, 3rd place javelin / 4th place shot put

Dakota Bridwell, Columbia Falls, Senior, State champion javelin

Tanner Gove, Columbia Falls, Junior, 5th place javelin

Alex Barker, Whitefish, Junior, 6th place high jump

Lee Walburn, Whitefish, Sophomore, 6th place long jump

Class A Girls

Kimberly Peacock, Columbia Falls, Freshman, 3rd place 3,200

Kiara Burlage, Columbia Falls, Senior, 4th place long relay / 5th place javelin

Genevieve Delorme, Columbia Falls, Sophomore, 4th place long relay

Josie Windauer, Columbia Falls, Freshman, 4th place long relay

Angellica Street, Columbia Falls, Freshman, 3rd place javelin

Lydia Kryshak, Whitefish, Junior, 6th place long relay

Emily Gunlikson, Whitefish, Sophomore, 6th place long relay

Annie Robertson, Whitefish, Sophomore, 6th place long relay

Class B Boys 

Logan Taylor, Bigfork, Junior, 4th place high jump

Class B Girls

Gabby Eaton, Bigfork, Senior, 2nd place pole vault

Madison Gardner, Bigfork, Junior, 2nd place short relay / 6th place 100 hurdles / 6th place 100

Anya Young, Bigfork, Sophomore, 2nd place 3,200 / 3rd place 1,600 / 4th place 800

Shae Anderson, Bigfork, Junior, State champ long relay / 2nd place short relay

Jordan Nelson, Bigfork, Sophomore, State champ long relay / 2nd place short relay / 4th place 200

Softball

Jayden Russell, Flathead, Junior, Class AA all state catcher

Erin McHugh, Glacier, Senior, Class AA all state utility

Peyton Kehr, Columbia Falls, Senior, Class A all state infielder

Sydney Hovde, Columbia Falls, Senior, Class A all state infielder

Tennis

Paint Intasuk, Whitefish, Senior, Class A 3rd singles

Paige Sproul, Whitefish, Senior, Class A 6th doubles

Cailyn Ross, Whitefish, Junior, Class A 6th doubles

Alex Buenz, Bigfork, Sophomore, Class B 6th singles

Ahna Fox, Bigfork, Sophomore, Class B 5th doubles

Kalia Wicklund, Bigfork, Senior, Class B 5th doubles

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