Derrick Williams (Sr., Columbia Falls) Class A champion 800, 1,600 and 3,200
Williams capped off his impressive high school running career with a clean sweep of the distance events at the Class A state meet. As a junior, Williams won both the 800 and 1,600 and placed second in the 3,200. This past fall, he won his first Class A cross country title after placing second as a junior. Not bad for a kid who didn’t even think about distance running until high school and didn’t get into it seriously until his sophomore year. He will run at Carroll College.
Williams on working daily to improve as a runner: “I want to lay down in bed every night and say, ‘I did everything I could today to make myself a better runner tomorrow.”
Dakota Beatty (Jr., Whitefish) Class A champion in 110 hurdles
Almost two weeks after winning a Class A state title, Beatty still had a hard time believing it. Last year, as a sophomore, he finished 18th. This spring he improved enough to place third at divisionals and was the fifth-seeded runner after state preliminaries. He hadn’t won a single race. Until it counted most.
On winning the Class A 110 hurdles championship: “ I thought I had a chance at placing but I never thought I would actually win the whole thing. I was so amazed. It was the greatest feeling I’ve ever had.”
Zach Perrin (Jr., Flathead) Class AA champion 1,600 and 3,200
Perrin had one of the finest track seasons ever for a Montana distance runner. At the Arcadia Invitational track meet in Los Angeles in April, he ran the fastest 3,200 ever for a Montana athlete, finishing in 8:55.24. Then in May he ran the state’s second-fastest time in the 3,200 on a Montana track, clocking in at 9:12.47 in Libby. Flathead’s David Vidal ran a 9:12.14 in Libby in 2001. He’s being recruited by Division I schools and still has a year of high school left.
Perrin on running the fastest 3,200 ever by a Montana runner: “It was super surreal. I just ran the best race of my life.”
Todd Ogden (Soph., Glacier) Class AA champion in javelin
On the eve of the biggest competition of the season, the reigning Class AA champion javelin thrower couldn’t sleep. An injury in Ogden’s throwing arm sidelined him almost all spring until he returned at the state meet in Butte. Yet, wracked with nervousness and no sleep — and in winter weather — the sophomore summoned greatness. He finished with one of the best throws in the state all season, and a championship to calm any nerves. Glacier also had its best finish as a team, placing second.
Ogden on what motivated him this season: “My freshman year everyone thought I was a fluke. So there was a lot to prove. I wanted to prove everyone wrong.”
Lexy Boschee (Sr., Glacier) Class AA high jump champion, second long jump, third 100 hurdles, sixth triple jump
Boschee became the second track athlete – boy or girl – in Montana history to win four high jump titles. Amber Amsbaugh won four straight for Class C Big Sandy from 2007-2010. Boschee has also earned a number of top-six finishes in other events in her high school career, including a state title in both the long and triple jump. She will put that versatility to use at North Dakota State University, where she will compete in the seven-event heptathlon. Both of her parents participated in track at NDSU.
Boschee on making history with her fourth high jump title: “You can’t really describe the feeling. It’s just amazing.”
Marlow Schulz (Soph., Whitefish) Class A champion 100, 200, 400 and 4×100 relay, second 1,600 relay, fifth triple jump
After winning state titles in the 100 and 800 and finishing second in the 400 as a freshman, Schulz had big expectations coming into her sophomore year. But right when practice started, she was diagnosed with mononucleosis, a debilitating viral infection. She missed most of the season and was still weak when she came back. She thought her season was lost. But she started rounding into shape by divisionals and then at state she turned in a spectacular performance.
Schulz on winning four titles after sitting out most of the season because of illness: “ I was very happy because I wasn’t really expecting anything to come of the season. But in the end it worked out.”
Kwyn Johnson (Jr., Flathead) Class AA triple jump champion (broke all-time AA record), fifth 100 hurdles, third 1,600 relay
Johnson had her sights set on breaking the all-time Class AA triple jump record all season long. Kennedy Smith of Billings West set the record of 37-7.5 in 2011 but Johnson was close behind her in second place, so Johnson knew coming into this season she had a chance. After a strong regular season, she broke the record on her first jump at the state meet at 37-11.75. Then she cleared 38-4.75 on her second jump. The 6-3 Johnson has verbally committed to play volleyball at Arizona State University.
Johnson on breaking the all-time record: “I had been dreaming about that 38-foot mark all week and when I got the mark I started crying. When I got it again and broke the original mark, I just started laughing.”
Jinise Osborne (Sr., Columbia Falls) Class A third place in 3,200, fourth 1,600
Ever since her first race — the Boogie to the Bank in second grade — Osborne has nurtured a passion for running, rain or shine. The sport has not always been kind, but instead of conceding to frustration she found motivation. She earned all-state in cross country the last two years and will keep running at MSU-Billings next year. After all those miles in high school, Osborne’s final race — the 3,200, in which she placed third — ended up being her best.
Osborne on her passion for running: “The thing that really attracts me to running is that what you put into it is exactly what you get out of it.”
Makena Morley (Fr., Bigfork) Class B champion 800, 1,600 and 3,200, sixth 400
Morley had as dominant of a year as any distance runner could dream of having, let alone as a freshman. First she won the Class B state cross country meet by a full minute over the next closest finisher. She was named the Montana Gatorade Cross Country Girls Runner of the Year. Then in the spring, she ran some of the fastest times in Class B history in the 1,600 (5:01.30) and 3,200 (10:44.46). At the state meet, she dominated those two events, along with the 800. She still has three more years to add to her medal collection.
Morley on the support she receives from her family of runners: “It makes it more enjoyable to know everyone is behind you and supporting you.”
Kellen Bates (Jr., Glacier) Undefeated three-time Class AA singles champion
The 6-foot-3, curly-haired left-hander is a paragon of dominance and efficiency on the tennis court. He’s never lost a high school match in Montana, and only one set for that matter. When he captured his third straight singles title in Missoula he joined rare company; only seven other boys have won three or more championships since 1951. This summer he’ll continue competing in the national ranks before pursuing a fourth title, which only two other boys have achieved.
Bates on being undefeated with three state championships: “So far I’ve been able to say I haven’t lost a match. I would rather have three state titles than be undefeated, but I have both. That’s nice.”
Katya Kulikova (Jr., Glacier) Class AA singles champion
Every Glacier girls tennis practice this season was in itself a sort of state championship competition. With three of Montana’s best players — Kulikova, Hailey Blalack and Veronica Walton — the Wolfpack finished just one point shy of a third-straight team title. All three teammates faced off in the state bracket and Kulikova emerged as the champion.
Kulikova on competing against teammates: “Whenever we play against a teammate we’re always friends off the court. All of us are competitive tennis players. We know one of us has to win, and we don’t take it personally.”
Sara Keenan (Sr., Bigfork) Seventh place at Class B state tournament
Growing up near Eagle Bend Golf Course in a family of golfers, Keenan naturally picked up the sport at any early age. She once shot a 74 at Eagle Bend and was Class B all-state twice, including this spring when she finished seventh out of 68 competitors. Next year she plans on attending Gonzaga University.
Keenan on the final hole of the state tournament: “I remember it was a six-foot putt and I had to make it for par. I didn’t want to go out with a dinky little putt and I thought, ‘I want to go out making a good one.’ And I sank it.”
Shaun Rowe (Sr., Columbia Falls) Class A all-state, .440 batting average, .553 on-base average, seven home runs, 32 RBIs
Rowe had no problem switching from third base to shortstop this year, performing well in the field and terrorizing opposing pitchers at the plate. She led her team in doubles, triples, home runs and runs batted in. Among her seven home runs were two grand slams. She was named Class A all-state for the third straight year. Now she will take her talents to North Dakota, where she plans to play at Dakota College in Bottineau. She will also try out for volleyball.
Rowe on coming from a softball and baseball family: “I just grew up around the game and it makes it more fun when you know the game.”
Daniel Jones (Columbia Falls) Class A shot put and javelin state champion
Kyle Griffith (Glacier) Class AA long jump champion, 2nd triple jump
Troy Fraley (Glacier) 3rd 1,600, 3rd 3,200
Greg Dalton (Glacier) 3rd 110 hurdles
Josiah Bumgarner (Glacier) 2nd pole vault
Travis Komenda (Glacier) 3rd pole vault
John Collins (Flathead) 2nd 300 hurdles
Matt Quist (Flathead) 2nd high jump
Matthew Tokarz (Flathead) 3rd long jump, 3rd triple jump
Logan Harwood (Whitefish) 3rd 400
Gage Vasquez (Whitefish) 3rd 800
Keaton Grove (Whitefish) 2nd 110 hurdles
Tess Brenneman (Flathead) Class AA long jump champion, 3rd 300 hurdles, 4th 400, 6th 200
Dani Davis (Flathead) 3rd 100, 3rd 200.
Colter Mahlum (Bigfork), Class B/C state singles champion
Hunter Blalack (Glacier) fourth in Class AA singles
Camp Kenyon & Connor Ellis (Whitefish) fourth in Class A doubles
Hailey Blalack (Glacier) third in Class AA singles
Veronica Walton (Glacier) fourth in Class AA singles
Jenna Willis (Glacier) Class AA all-state designated hitter
Julia Morrow (Flathead) Class AA all-state outfielder
Julie Dawson (Flathead) Western AA second team all-conference third base
Maryssa Rogozynski (Glacier) Western AA second team all-conference outfield
Madison Sandefer (Columbia Falls) Northwestern A first team all-conference outfielder
Kathrin Jetty (Columbia Falls) Northwestern A first team all-conference infielder
Ashley Trueblood (Columbia Falls) Northwestern A second team all-conference pitcher
Niki Birky (Columbia Falls) Northwestern A second team all-conference infielder
Tiffany Hummer (Columbia Falls) Northwestern A second team all-conference utility
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