Best of Preps – Spring 2013

By Beacon Staff
Jena Willis
CLASS: Senior
SCHOOL: Glacier
AWARDS: Class AA all-state

Growing up at the softball fields while her mom Shirley coached, Jena discovered a natural love of the game. She also developed exceptional skill. By her senior season at Glacier, Jena was one of the best all-around players in Montana and led the Wolfpack to their first conference championship. The all-state captain hit nearly .400 all season and belted 10 homers, tying for a school record alongside all-state freshman Ali Williams. As the team’s ace, Jena recorded 108 strikeouts in 76 innings, including a 15-strikeout performance against Billings West in the quarterfinals of the state tournament, where Glacier placed third, its best finish in school history. Jena is taking her talents to Crown College in Minnesota next year.

Jena on her love of softball:
“I live at those fields. Softball is my favorite activity. That’s something I can’t wait to pass on. I definitely want to come back and share that passion with other players someday.”


Kayleena Ikeda (Glacier)
Ali Williams (Glacier)
Marysa Rogozynski (Glacier)
Hannah Atlee (Glacier)
Kayla Russell (Glacier)
Taylor Riggles (Glacier)
Abbie O’Brien (Flathead)
Sidney Alberts (Flathead)
Ashley Trueblood
CLASS: Sophmore
SCHOOL: Columbia Falls
AWARDS: Class A all-state pitcher

With Polson and Frenchtown in the mix, Northwestern A is a fierce league to play in. But Ashley and her teammates from Columbia Falls have still held their own. A year after placing fourth at state, Columbia Falls narrowly lost to the eventual champion Broncs by one run in the bottom of the seventh inning in the state semifinals. The Wildkats dropped another nailbiter to three-time defending champ Polson and finished this season in third place. As the team’s ace, Ashley tallied the second most wins in the league — 15 — and notched 156 strikeouts in 150 innings. In the batter’s box, she knocked in 27 runs while hitting .375. The pitching machine in her family’s barn will stay busy this offseason as Ashley trains for next spring with renewed motivation.

Ashley on Columbia Falls placing third after barely Falling to Frenchtown:
“It’s nice to see some success and to see our hard work pay off. But watching them win the state championship motivates us to knock them off next year.”


Carlee Brown (Columbia Falls)
Kathrin Jetty (Columbia Falls)
Ciarra Holm (Columbia Falls)
Tiffany Hummer (Columbia Falls)
Andrea Lamoureux (Whitefish)
Malia Morris (Whitefish)
Micah McFeely (Whitefish)
Katya Kulikova
CLASS: Senior
SCHOOL: Glacier
AWARDS: Class AA singles state runner-up

Katya crafted a masterful career on the tennis court these past few seasons. She lost only three matches out of 47 as a singles player at Glacier. She also helped the program win the girls championship in 2011 and earn second place the last two years. She finished her prep career against a familiar foe: Molly Crum from Great Falls. During her undefeated run last spring, Katya defeated Crum for the singles championship. This season, the Wolfpack senior beat Crum for the divisional title, but Crum turned the tables at state and unseated Katya for the championship. Now she’s off to New York University where she plans to continue competing.

Katya on being part of a team instead
of focusing on individual competition:
“I always like playing on a team because it’s not only about yourself and it motivates you to play better.”


Spencer Johnson (Glacier)
Britt Walton (Glacier)
Seth Roessmann (Bigfork)
Adam Jordt (Bigfork)
Isaac Martel (Bigfork)
Kellen Bates
CLASS: Senior
SCHOOL: Glacier
AWARDS: Class AA singles state champion

Heavy is the head that wears the crown. Ever since he surfaced as a tennis prodigy four years ago, steamrolling opponents en route to a state title as a freshman, Kellen has had a target on his back. Yet the curly-haired lefty handled the pressure gracefully. During his first three seasons, he went undefeated in 49 matches in Montana, dropping only one set out of 98. But his senior year he noticed some unusual tenseness. His trademark skill — a bullet serve that buckled opponents’ knees — lost its zip on occasion. Then he injured his wrist in the weeks before state. The king was never more vulnerable. But Kellen was peerless until the end. The Indiana University recruit defended his title for a fourth and final time, solidifying himself as one of the greatest players in Montana history.

Kellen on what’s more satisfying: going undefeated in Montana competition or winning four championships:
“They tie in with each other. The undefeated streak just makes the fourth (title) that much sweeter.”


Logan Blades (Whitefish)
Sean Janni (Whitefish)
Veronica Walton (Glacier)
Kailea Vaudt (Glacier)
Makena Morley
CLASS: Sophomore
SCHOOL: Bigfork
AWARDS: Class B state runner-up 800, 1,600 & 3,200

Something unusual happened at the state meet. Makena didn’t win. Townsend senior Chiara Warner set records in all three distance races for a clean sweep. Makena’s times were impressive, but she says she wasn’t her best because she put too much pressure on herself. It became a valuable learning experience and a motivator. She’s restructuring her entire regimen, adding weight training and amping up her mileage. She hopes to build on her sophomore season, which was still remarkable. Before state she ran a personal best in the 1,600, 4:59, one of the fastest times in state history. At Archie Roe, she clocked 10:40 in the 3,200, another historically fast time. A day later she placed 17th out of 27,959 females at Bloomsday.

Makena on placing second to Chiara Warner from Townsend in three distance events at the state meet:
“It was actually good for me to get beat. It totally lit my fire.”


Noah James (Glacier)
Nathan Connell (Glacier)
Rial Gunlikson (Glacier)
Katie Wiley (Glacier)
Todd Ogden (Glacier)
Kyle Griffith (Glacier)
Taylor Hulslander (Glacier)
Shelton Todd (Glacier)
Troy Fraley
CLASS: Senior
SCHOOL: Glacier
AWARDS: Class AA state runner-up 1,600 & 3,200

Troy’s running times were worthy of championships. He just had bad timing. Glacier’s greatest distance runner competed alongside two of the state’s all-time greats, Flathead’s Zach Perrin and Hellgate’s Adam Peterman. Yet the achievements of Troy’s two close friends don’t overshadow his own. When Zach ran the fastest 3,200 ever inside Montana, Troy clocked the second fastest, 9:12. When Adam broke the all-class record, he had Troy on his heels, only eight seconds behind. In the 1,600, Troy ran a personal-best 4:17.22 to edge Adam for second place. Last winter, the Gonzaga University recruit earned 18th at Foot Locker Cross Country Nationals. In other words, gold medal or not, Troy is among the all-time greats, too.

Troy on competing against his friends, Flathead’s Zach Perrin and Hellgate’s Adam Peterman:
“I like Zach and Adam so much that I don’t care who wins. Obviously at state I care, but during the season I just want us to run as fast as we can and get in the record books.”


Evan Epperly (Glacier)
Tessa Krueger (Glacier)
Anna Deleray (Glacier)
Leah Cook (Glacier)
Samantha Mundel (Columbia Falls)
Haley Belgarde (Columbia Falls)
Andrea Getts (Columbia Falls)
Nakia Alexander (Columbia Falls)
Josh Sandry
CLASS: Sophomore
SCHOOL: Bigfork
AWARDS: Class B fourth place high jump & third place long relay

As the youngest of three athletic brothers, Josh had to work hard to keep up. He’s since developed into one of Bigfork’s best all-around athletes. In just two years, Josh has become a standout football and basketball player, and this spring he added track to his all-state skillset. He qualified for the Class B state meet for the first time. In Bozeman, he jumped a personal-best six feet in the high jump to earn fourth. He nicked the bar with his heel twice at 6-2, which ended up being the winning height. As the final leg on Bigfork’s long relay team, Josh ran a personal best to capture third place.

Josh on preparing to compete at the state meet:
“I was very nervous. So I just ran. That’s how you got to do it: not think about it.”


Austin Gordon (Bigfork)
Logan Morley (Bigfork)
Chance Kittle (Bigfork)
Mattison Mcanally (Bigfork)
Jace Kalbfleisch (Whitefish)
Gage Smith (Whitefish)
Luke May (Whitefish)
Sarah Latcham (Whitefish)
Kwyn Johnson
CLASS: Senior
SCHOOL: Flathead
AWARDS: Class AA state champion triple jump & sixth-place long relay

It came down to her final jump. Kwyn was trailing cross-town competitor Leah Cook at the state meet with only one triple jump attempt left in her illustrious high school career. The state record-holder rose to the occasion. Kwyn landed 37-feet, 10 inches — the best mark all season statewide — to claim her second consecutive championship and cap a remarkable prep career in dramatic fashion. The future Arizona State Sun Devil graduates from Flathead as one of the school’s best athletes in recent years. Last spring she broke the Class AA state record in the triple jump with a mark of 38-4.75. In volleyball, she was all-state on the runner-up Bravettes team last fall. Now she’s on her way to Phoenix where she’ll be spiking in the Pac-12.

Kwyn on the moments before her final jump in high school:
“Honestly I was just praying the whole time, ‘This is the last triple jump I’ll ever take in my life. Make it count.’ And it worked.”


Iaian Cameron (Whitefish)
Keaton Grove (Whitefish)
Sean Foley (Whitefish)
Megan Russell (Flathead)
Janae Moon (Flathead)
Dillon Thomas (Flathead)
Matt Quist (Flathead)
Cylan Creek (Flathead)
Ty Morgan
CLASS: Sophomore
SCHOOL: Columbia Falls
AWARDS: Class A second place javelin

Basketball may be his favorite sport, but Ty sleeps with a javelin under his bed. His dad, Eric, was an all-state track athlete in Cut Bank, and Ty is following in his footsteps. As a freshman, Ty asked to borrow a javelin from school and went to work practicing regularly. This spring his hard work paid off and he threw a personal and Class A best 176-feet, three inches to win the divisional championship. A week later in Laurel, competing in his first state meet, Ty unleashed another impressive throw — 175 — and had his grips on a state title until his opponent’s last toss, which won by 11 inches. Like the javelin under his bed, the second-place medal is providing Ty more motivation into the future.

Ty on sleeping with a javelin under his bed:
“Every day I got up it reminded me,‘You have to keep working hard.'”


Zach Perrin (Flathead)
Cassie Krueger (Flathead)
Lizzie Sherwood (Flathead)
Dani Davis (Flathead)
Emma Andrews (Flathead)
Jaclyn Rauthe (Flathead
Carla Nicosia
CLASS: Sophomore
SCHOOL: Columbia Falls
AWARDS: Class A third place triple jump

Carla was diagnosed with diabetes when she was 3 years old, but that hasn’t stopped her from being active. In the weight room, the athletic sophomore can bench press 145 pounds and squat 260 pounds. On the track, she’s become an all-state jumper and won the divisional title in both the high jump and triple jump. At the state meet in Laurel, she triple jumped 35-feet, eight and three-quarters inches. It was the top mark until the very end. Carla earned third place but was only three-quarters of an inch off the winner. Her biggest fan, her father Mike, was there carrying a backpack that’s always nearby with juices and other emergency supplies in case Carla experiences problems with her blood sugar. He’s gotten quite the workout trying to keep up with her.

Carla on being an athlete with diabetes:
“Mentally, I’ve been dealing with it since I was 3 years old. I don’t let it bother me. I’ve been doing sports since that age and I just grew up dealing with it.”

Matthew Tokarz
CLASS: Senior
SCHOOL: Flathead
AWARDS: Class AA state champion long jump & triple jump

Two years ago, Dan Hodge, Flathead’s longtime Hall of Fame coach, saw potential in Matthew even though the young man had never competed in track before. Matthew proved Hodge right. He ascended to the top of the ranks and broke both the AA and the all-class state records in the triple jump at the championship meet in Bozeman. He leaped 48-feet, nine and a half inches, shattering Gary Minor’s 1972 AA record of 47-6 and surpassing Harry Clark’s 1983 all-class mark, 48-2. Tokarz also brought home a state title in the long jump, leaping 22-7.75, the best mark all season across Montana and only seven inches off the 1980 AA record. The three-sport letterman signed to play football at Montana Tech next year.

Matthew on competing at the state meet and breaking two longstanding records:
“My mom kept telling me to believe in myself and I did. And I went out there and put on a show.”

Keyawna Larson
CLASS: Sophomore
SCHOOL: Glacier
AWARDS: Class AA state champion javelin

Last year, Keyawna’s freshman season ended with disappointment at the divisional meet. She knew she was better than that. Keyawna turned regret into motivation and undertook an aggressive training schedule that included lifting and running. She emerged this spring as one of the top javelin throwers in Montana. This time at the divisional meet she achieved her best mark and placed second. Then a week later at the state meet in Bozeman, Keyawna heaved the javelin 140-feet and eight inches, almost 20 feet further than her divisional mark and 13 feet better than the state runner-up. It ranked as one of the top 10 greatest throws in Montana since the new javelin was introduced in 2002. Keyawna is now focused on a new goal: the state record, 143-7.

Keyawna on winning the state championship in the javelin:
“I felt like all the training, all my hard work, everything I had been doing, I just felt the rewards of it. It felt great.”

Logan Harwood
CLASS: Senior
SCHOOL: Whitefish
AWARDS: Class A state champion 200, 400,800 & short relay. Fourth place 100 & sixth place long relay.

It’s hard to imagine a better finish to a senior season than Logan’s. He choreographed one of the more memorable final acts, seizing three individual state titles, leading the short relay team to victory and guiding the Bulldogs to its first championship since 2008. He won the 400 with a personal best 48.81 seconds, less than a second behind the all-class state record set in 1976. Not including the relays, Logan scored 38 of Whitefish’s 78 points on his own. Logan’s previous top finish at state was third, and he entered the final meet ranked first in only the 200, an event he just started running midway through spring. He competed in his first 100 only three weeks ago. He signed to run track at the University of Great Falls.

Logan on winning three individual state titles and helping Whitefish claim the team championship:
“There’s no way I could’ve imagined this.”

Marlow Schulz
CLASS: Junior
SCHOOL: Whitefish
AWARDS: Class A state champion in the 100, 200 & 400. Member on the second place short relay & fifth place long relay

The hanger in Marlow’s room that holds her track medals is bearing a lot of weight these days. The fleet-footed junior defended her three sprint titles in a dominating sequel at this year’s state meet in Laurel. She won the 100 in 12.66 seconds; the 200 in 25.16; and the 400 in 56.13, which broke the 1978 Class A record by almost a second and ranks as one of the fastest times in state history, according to the Montana High School Association. She also ran on the second-place short relay team and the fifth-place long relay team. In three seasons, Marlow has piled up 14 top-five medals from state, including nine golds. She also owns three records at the prestigious Archie Roe Invitational meet and four school records. She only lost one race this season, placing second to the eventual AA state runner-up in the 200.

Marlow on breaking three meet records at the Archie Roe Invitational:
“I’ve been going to Archie Roe forever, as long as I can remember. I’ve seen so many amazing people compete there, so it’s cool to be in those records books. It’s what I’ve dreamed of my whole life.”

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