Flathead’s Perrin Runs Fastest 3,200 Ever in State of Montana

By Beacon Staff

Zach Perrin made history yet again, but this time in his hometown.

At the cross-town track meet at Glacier High on Tuesday afternoon, the Flathead senior ran 9:06 in the 3,200, the fastest time ever in the state of Montana for a high school runner.

“It’s fun to see a kid perform that way,” said Paul Jorgensen, the longtime Hall of Fame distance coach at Flathead. “You have to appreciate it when you see it, because you don’t see that very often.”

Perrin and a couple others have previously clocked faster times than 9:06, but never on a track in Montana. Before now, the best time in the Treasure State was 9:12, set in 2001 by Flathead’s David Vidal in Libby. Flathead’s Seth Watkins set the Class AA state record — 9:16 — in Great Falls in 2001. Gordon Ruttenbur of Deer Lodge holds the all-class state record — 9:13 — set at the state meet in 1982. State records can only be set at the championship meet.

Perrin, the reigning Montana Gatorade Track Runner of the Year and 3,200 state champion, already holds the distinction of running the fastest 3,200 ever for a Montana prep. Last year at the Arcadia Invitational, Perrin ran 8:55. Flathead’s Kevin Clary owned the previous best, 9:07, which he set as a senior at Arcadia in 2000.

Earlier this month, Perrin clocked 8:57 at Arcadia. His previous best time in the state of Montana was last year in Libby when he clocked 9:12.

His feat on Tuesday occurred only three days after he ran the 800 and 1,600 in Butte at the Swede Dahlberg Invitational. Perrin set a personal best in the 800, running 1:55, and won the 1,600 in 4:27.

In the cross-town 3,200 race at Glacier’s track, he ran his first four laps in 4:33 — which would be the fourth fastest 1,600 time in the state right now in just that event — and ran his last lap in 63 seconds.

“I just started clicking off laps and I was feeling smooth,” Perrin said. “It was nice that I got another goal for the year. I just feel honored to be able to do it in Kalispell with friends and family here supporting me.”

Glacier senior Troy Fraley also finished with one of the fastest 3,200 times ever achieved inside the state. Fraley clocked 9:12.

Perrin said his goal is to chase the state records in the 3,200 and 1,600 and the school record in the 800.

Vidal owns the all-class record in the 1,600 — 4:13 — set in 2001. Vidal also owns the 800 school record — 1:53 — set that same year.

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