Last week was supposed to be a preview of the state track meets for both boys and girls at Kalispell’s two high schools, as they were scheduled to compete at invitationals featuring all 14 Class AA schools.
A spring storm, however, canceled the girls’ meet in Great Falls on April 22. The boys, on the other hand, took advantage of their better weather and showed that both Flathead and Glacier have the potential to rack up points at the state meet in late May.
Glacier placed third at the Swede Dahlberg Invitational at Bulldog Memorial Stadium in Butte on April 23. The meet featured all 14 Class AA teams plus Butte Central and is considered a good indicator of how teams stack up midway through the season.
Flathead placed eighth, though only 10 points separated the Braves from fourth place, suggesting they are in the thick of the Class AA race.
Billings West won the meet. The Bears won four straight Class AA track titles before finishing second last year behind champion Billings Skyview. Flathead placed third and Glacier was eighth at state.
Team results from the Swede Dahlberg Invitational were as follows: Billings West 108 1/2, Billings Senior 83, Glacier 64 1/2, Bozeman 43 1/2, Great Falls High 40, Helena Capital 36, Missoula Big Sky 34, Flathead 33 1/2, Billings Skyview 32, Missoula Sentinel 29, Helena High 13, Butte High 10, Butte Central 6, Missoula Hellgate 4, Great Falls C.M. Russell 0.
Glacier’s Jacob Leininger won the 300-meter hurdles with a time of 39.63 seconds and finished second in the 110 hurdles at 14.85 at the Swede Dahlberg Invitational. Leininger’s time in the 300 was the second-best in Montana this year. His time in the 110 hurdles was also one of the state’s best.
Kyle Griffith finished second in both the long jump and triple jump. Other top finishers for Glacier were Tanner Morrison, second in the discus, and Todd Ogden, second in the javelin. Shane Freese placed third in the high jump and Richie Boyer finished fifth in the 800 meters at 2:03.06.
Troy Fraley was fifth in the 3,200 at 9:58.79 and Derek Mitchell tied for fifth in the pole vault at 12-6. Jeremy Leopold finished sixth in the javelin, rounding out Glacier’s placers at the meet.
Flathead had two overall winners. Sophomore distance runner Zach Perrin continued his undefeated streak in the 3,200 meters, winning the event with a time of 9:37.86, more than two seconds faster than Jake Turner’s 9:40.01. Perrin is the defending state champion in the 3,200.
Turner edged Perrin in the 1,600 with a time of 4:28.12 to Perrin’s 4:33.09.
Connor Thomas won the shot put with a throw of 52-1 ½ feet. Thomas is the defending Class AA champion in the shot put.
Also placing for the Braves were John Collins, fourth in the 300 hurdles at 41.42, and Hunter Schutt, fifth in the 800 at 2:04.09.
The Class AA and B state track meet for boys and girls will be held May 27-28 at the site of the Swede Dahlberg Invitational, Bulldog Memorial Stadium in Butte.
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