Wins and Nail Biters at State Track

By Beacon Staff

The Flathead Valley produced a lengthy list of individual winners at the state track meets, but the list of silver medalists is just as long.

A number of athletes from the Flathead finished in second place at the Class AA, A and B track meets on May 28-29. Some of those athletes, such as Glacier senior Maddey Frey, Bigfork senior Kayla Carlson and Bigfork junior Mallery Knoll, finished runner-up in multiple events.

Frey finished behind Brianna Eaton, a junior from Billings Senior, in the 200 meters at the Class AA meet, held at Memorial Stadium in Great Falls. Eaton’s time was 25.70 and Frey’s was 25.90. Frey also placed second to Flathead sophomore Tess Brenneman in the long jump, 17-6 ½ to 17-4 ½.

But Frey defended her crown in the 100 meters, winning the event in 12.62 seconds a year after claiming the title in 12.83 seconds.

Carlson entered the Class B track meet, held in Laurel, as a favorite in four events: 800 meters, 1,600 meters, 3,200 meters and the 1,600-meter relay. Carlson won the 1,600 by more than eight seconds with a time of 5:11.09, but was runner-up in the three other events.

Darby senior Heather Demorest edged out Carlson in the 3,200- meters, 11:30.11 to 11:39.89. Carlson won the state title in the 3,200 as a junior when Bigfork was still in Class A. In the 800 meters, Malta senior Bobbi Knudsen beat Carlson 2:15.05 to 2:16.00. And Three Forks won the 1,600-meter relay with a time of 4:07.14, compared to Bigfork’s time of 4:09.22.

Knoll, one of the best high and low hurdlers in the state, couldn’t overcome a huge performance by Cut Bank junior Deni Fitzpatrick. Fitzpatrick won four individual titles at the Class B meet, including the 100-meter high hurdles and the 300-meter low hurdles. Knoll finished second in both of those events.

Fitzpatrick’s time in the high hurdles was 15.89, barely quicker than Knoll’s 15.94. Fitzpatrick beat Knoll in the low hurdles 45.68 to 46.07. Fitzpatrick also won the 100 meters (12.66) and 200 meters (26.22), and added a fifth title as a member of Cut Bank’s 400-meter relay team. Cut Bank broke the Class B record with a time of 49.67.

Flathead High School’s Jesse Bennett capped off his high school athletic career with first-place finishes in the 800 and 1,600 meters. It was Bennett’s second straight 800-meter title.

Bennett’s time of 4:25.02 in the 1,600 was just good enough to beat teammate Leif Castren, who finished in 4:25.85. Fellow Brave Zach Perrin finished sixth. Perrin also won the 3,200 meters (9:40.60), Castren finished third (9:50.42) and teammate Hunter Schutt finished sixth (9:59.64), giving Flathead yet another dominant performance in the long-distance events.

For Flathead’s girls, Brenneman turned in a strong all-around performance that was reminiscent of her showing at the 2009 state meet as a freshman. In addition to winning the long jump, Brenneman finished second in the 400 meters (1:00.08), third in the 100 meters (12.9), third in the 200 meters (26.3) and fifth in the high jump (5-0).

Glacier sophomore Lexy Boschee earned two individual titles at the Class AA girls meet, defending her crown in the high jump (5-4) and winning the triple jump (35-11). Boschee also finished second in the 100-meter high hurdles (15.62) and third in the long jump (16-05 ½).

In the Class B boys meet, Bigfork senior Keenan Evans took home two individual championships and a third as a member of the Vikings’ winning 400-meter relay team (44.07).

Evans won the 100 meters with a time of 11.32 seconds, far ahead of Baker sophomore Kodee Varner’s 11.67. Evans also won the 200 meters in convincing fashion, blowing past his closest competitor, Thompson Falls senior Charlie Knapp, 22.68 to 23.53.

In Class A, Columbia Falls’ Taylor Martinson won the 100 meters in 11.27 seconds and Whitefish senior Anto Daoud won the 400 meters in 49.53 seconds. For girls, Polson senior Loni Havlovick won the discus with a toss of 130 feet.