Best of Preps – Spring 2016

The top high school athletes from Flathead County

By Dillon Tabish | Photos by Greg Lindstrom
Glacier's short relay team, from left, Aaron Robinson, Scout Willcut, Ethan Larson and Drew Turner. Best of Preps on June 1, 2016. Greg Lindstrom | Flathead Beacon

Aaron Robinson, Scout Willcut, Ethan Larson & Drew Turner

School: Glacier

Class: Senior, Junior, Sophomore & Sophomore

Highlights: The Glacier boys short relay team won the Class AA state title in 41.96, the fastest time in Montana this season for all classes.

Scout and Aaron came into the track season as half of the reigning state championship short relay team. That left big shoes for Drew and Ethan to fill, and it wasn’t easy at first. When every half-second counts, it takes a considerable amount of work to mesh as a relay team. At the state meet, the crew clocked the fastest time in the state and a new school record. It was barely half a second off the all-class state record. Aaron also won the title in the 300 hurdles, was second in the 110 hurdles and fifth in the 200. Drew was second in the 200 and fourth in the 100. Scout was fourth in the 400 and Ethan was sixth in the 100.


Best of Preps

Logan Morley

School: Bigfork

Class: Senior

Highlights: Logan swept the Class B distance races at state, winning the 800 in 1:57.14, the 1,600 in 4:18 and the 3,200 in 9:40.84. He also ran on the third-place long relay team (3:28.57).

At the very end of the state track meet in Bozeman, as the Bigfork boys were holding a third-place team trophy, it finally dawned on Logan, “Wow that was my last meet.” Four years and six state titles later, Logan has reached the end of his illustrious high school track career. Over the last few seasons, the Bigfork distance runner followed a rigorous year-round training regimen, logging hundreds of miles along the scenic trails near his family’s home in the Swan despite everything Mother Nature threw at him, and he emerged a champion. In the last four years, he carved half a minute off his 1,600-meter time and 40 seconds off his 3,200, evidence of his hard work and dedication. The thrill of racing and competitive spirit will lead him to Colorado State University-Pueblo, where he will continue his journey.

Best of Preps

Nikki Krueger

School: Glacier

Class: Junior

Highlights: Nikki won the Class AA state championship in the discus with a throw of 128-feet, 9 inches. She also placed third in the shot put and helped the Glacier girls place second as a team.

Nikki grew up watching her older sister, Tessa, compete successfully in the throwing events in track, hoping to someday match her sibling’s skills. With Tessa’s guidance and a rigorous training regimen that went late into the night after practices, Nikki surpassed even her best expectations. In front of her whole family in Missoula, the junior thrower set a personal best and school record at the state meet en route to a championship. She also took third in the shot put. “(Tessa) was a huge inspiration for me this year. It was really nice talking to her and she helped me with a lot,” Nikki says.

Best of Preps

Tanner Dana

School: Columbia Falls

Class: Senior

Highlights: Tanner ran a leg on the Class A state champion short relay team (43.45), placed second in the 200 (22.54), third in the 100 (11.20), fourth in the 400 (51.29) and ran on the second-place long relay team (3:26.44).

Tanner only started competing in track as a junior. “I thought it was useless working out for a sport that was only running,” he says. He surprised himself by how much he enjoyed it, and pretty soon he was regularly training at the high school track as soon as the snow melted. Hard work paid off; Tanner developed into one of the state’s top sprinters and brought home five medals in five events at the state meet in Bozeman. The short relay team set a new school record. “I was probably feeling every single emotion at the same time,” he says. Tanner’s leadership and performances helped Columbia Falls bring home a second-place team trophy. “It was a really cool experience,” he says.

Best of Preps

Haile Norred

School: Bigfork

Class: Sophomore

Highlights: Haile placed third in the Class B 200 (26.74), third in the 400 (59.65), fifth in the 100 (13.09) and ran on the state-champion long relay team (4:09.28) and second-place short relay team (50.23).

In only two seasons of track, Haile has already collected two state titles in the relay and eight other all-state medals. For the three-sport athlete, track has become her favorite and her passion is reflected in relentless training, which extends into summers. Her preparation has helped Haile feel confident going into big meets, such as state. “I was kind of nervous but mostly I was excited for it,” she says. Following her successful sophomore campaign, she is motivated to add to her medal collection and write her name on a few school records.


Best of Preps

Jake Perrin

School: Flathead

Class: Senior

Highlights: Jake set two all-class state records at the Class AA state meet in Missoula, winning the 1,600 in 4:12.06 and the 3,200 in 9:04.35.

If you’re a distance runner growing up in Kalispell, you have a first-rate list of accomplished athletes to stack up against. The same goes if you’re a runner in the Perrin family. Jake transcended the odds and expectations and carved out a legacy all his own. At the state meet in Missoula, Jake finished his prep career with the fastest 3,200 on Montana soil by a high school athlete while also rewriting the previous record by a whopping eight seconds. In the 1,600, he took the crown from another all-time great Brave, David Vidal, who held the previous mark for 15 years. “It’s pretty special. To think back on where I was,” he says. “And now I’ve made a name for myself.” Jake is continuing his running at Gonzaga next year.


Best of Preps

Mary Baker

School: Columbia Falls

Class: Senior

Highlights: Mary placed fourth in the Class A 100 (13.02), fourth in the 100 hurdles (15.75), fourth in the long jump (15-4) and ran a leg on the state-championship short relay team.

Mary returned from an injury-prone junior year to excel for Columbia Falls and guide the Wildkats to a second-place team trophy. Competing at the state meet for only her second time, Mary ran a leg on the state-champion short rely team with Ashley Caffrey, Ellie Johnson and Kiara Burlage. She also ran personal-best times in the 100 and  100 hurdles, placing fourth in both events. If she wasn’t busy enough, she also competed in the long jump and hit 15-4, good enough for another fourth-place finish. It was a rewarding end to high school for a talented athlete who struggled with injuries the previous four years but worked hard to ensure senior year would be a memorable one.


Best of Preps

Luke May

School: Whitefish

Class: Senior

Highlights: Luke won his third consecutive Class A state championship in the javelin (203-6).

Looking back on his high school career a few days before graduating and a few days after winning his third consecutive state championship in the javelin, Luke thought about the town he grew up in. “I’m blessed to grow up in a community like Whitefish. All of us are,” he says. “I was lucky to grow up with a bunch of guys who were interested in creating something special and memorable. And the community rallied behind us.” Luke and his classmates leave quite a legacy — a state championship in football and a renewed competitive edge that spreads throughout the high school. Bulldog pride thrives and one of Whitefish’s all-time great athletes has a lot to do with that. Now Luke is off to Minnesota where he will compete for the Golden Gophers in the javelin.


Best of Preps

Kaitlin Wride

School: Flathead

Class: Sophomore

Highlights: Kaitlin placed fourth in the 1,600 with a time of 4:58.66 at the Class AA state track meet.

Any other year and Kaitlin would most likely be returning home a state champion. Her remarkable time of 4:58.66, especially for a sophomore, is exceptionally fast. Kaitlin just happens to be competing during a golden age for Montana distance running. Wride ran a personal best and placed fourth in the 1,600 at the state meet in Missoula in an historic race featuring the new all-class record holder, Billings Senior’s Christina Aragon, who ran 4:43.51. “There were a lot of fast girls and I was a little nervous, but I was also excited to see how I would do,” Kaitlin says. Unafraid of competition, Kaitlin trains year-round and has a noticeable mental toughness with the goal of “seeing where that takes me.”


Best of Preps

Allie Schulz

School: Whitefish

Class: Senior

Highlights: Allie placed second in the 100 hurdles (15.40), fifth in the 100 (13.09) and ran on the third-place short relay team (50.61) and third-place long relay team (4:10.51).

Allie grew up in a track family, learning from her father, Derek, who is head coach at Whitefish, and her state-champion older sister Marlow. Allie made a name for herself these last four years as a distinctively talented multi-sport athlete, competing in volleyball and basketball. But track season is when she produced her favorite memories and finest moments, including this spring’s state meet where she brought home all-state medals in both relays and the 100 and 100 hurdles. Instead of worrying about the pressure of her final state meet, Allie listened to her father’s advice  — “Have fun and go for it” — and she set personal bests in the hurdles and with the long relay team. Now Allie is off to Carroll College where she will continue competing in track.


Best of Preps

Spencer Johnson

School: Glacier

Class: Senior

Highlights: Spencer placed second in the Class AA singles bracket and finished his season with a 20-3 record.

Spencer arrived at the tennis courts this spring as Glacier’s go-to veteran leader. He handled the new responsibility well, winning 20 of his 23 matches and placing second at the Class AA state tournament. He was 40-6 in sets this spring in only his second year playing singles. As a freshman he won the state championship in doubles with Britt Walton and as sophomore he placed fourth with Greg Jones. “In singles, you’re out there by yourself,” he says. “I like that it’s all on you.”


Best of Preps

Anna Peterson & Katie Fyall

School: Whitefish

Class: Seniors

Highlights: Katie and Anna teamed up to win the Class A state tennis doubles championship and lead Whitefish to the team championship.

Watching Katie and Anna compete together in tennis doubles events, spectators might confuse the pair for sisters. Their chemistry is impeccable and their personalities blend together. That’s what happens when you’ve been best friends since kindergarten. The two girls grew up together in Whitefish and even picked up the sport of tennis together as freshmen. Naturally, they became doubles partners. They only lost one match this entire spring and upset the top-seeded doubles team at the state meet. In the final match, Whitefish had two doubles teams competing, Katie and Anna and Hannah Madsen and Heather Luedtke, and the Lady Bulldogs emerged with the first team state championship since 2004. Katie and Anna don’t have to worry about being too separated after high school; Katie is competing at North Idaho and Anna is studying up the road at Whitworth in Spokane.


Best of Preps

Ali Williams

School: Glacier

Class: Senior

Highlights: Ali earned Class AA all-state honors after striking out 347 batters in 182 innings with a 0.62 ERA while hitting .455 with 22 RBI and 11 homers.

The consummate competitor, Ali pitched 42 innings in 48 hours at the Class AA state tournament, leading the Wolfpack to the championship game for the second year in a row. The season didn’t end the way Ali and her teammates hoped, placing second behind Great Falls CMR, but it was still yet another remarkable campaign for one of the all-time great softball players from Montana and the Glacier program, which has developed into a perennial contender. Ali ended her brilliant prep career with two perfect games this season and 347 strikeouts in 182 innings. Now Ali is off to Helena where she will no doubt continue to dominate for Carroll College.


Best of Preps

Joseph Potkonjak

School: Bigfork

Class: Senior

Highlights: Joseph placed third at the Class B state golf tournament in Huntley and led the Bigfork boys team to its first team championship.

Down to the final nine holes of his prep career, Joseph kept his composure under pressure and closed out a 2-over 73 that put him in third place at the Class B state golf tournament at Pryor Creek Golf Club in Huntley. The score combined with his first day total of 68, which tied him for first place and was a personal best this season, and helped Bigfork win its first golf state championship as a team. “We were pretty excited,” Joseph says. “The front nine was rough for me (on the second day) but I just kept grinding.” Joseph is taking his talents to Carroll College next year where he will compete for the Fighting Saints.


More Stars


Class AA Boys

Hunter Nicholson, Glacier, Sophomore, Sixth Place Triple Jump

Tadan Gilman, Glacier, Junior, Fourth Place Javelin

Jaden Anderson, Flathead, Junior, Sixth Place 800 / Sixth Place Long Relay

Trae Vasquez, Flathead, Sophomore, Sixth Place Short Relay / Sixth Place Long Relay

Cody Wiley, Flathead, Senior, Sixth Place Short Relay

Eric Reyna, Flathead, Sophomore, Sixth Place Short Relay

Bobby Lowry, Flathead, Sophomore, Sixth Place Short Relay / Sixth Place Long Relay

Dawson Rinehart, Flathead, Sophomore, Sixth Place Long Relay

Micah Bucy, Flathead, Junior, Fourth Place High Jump

Bram Booth, Flathead, Senior, Fifth Place Javelin

Josh McCracken, Flathead, Senior, Third Place Shot Put

Class AA Girls

Brynn McChesney, Glacier, Junior, State Champion Long Jump

Annie Hill, Glacier, Sophomore, Second Place 1600 / Second Place 3200 / Third Place 800 / Fourth Place Long Relay

Alyssa Wisher, Flathead, Junior, Sixth Place Javelin

Adrian Schnee, Glacier, Sophomore, Fourth Place Long Relay

Ahna Kreitinger, Glacier, Junior, Fourth Place Long Relay

Bailey Smith, Glacier, Junior, Fourth Place Long Relay

Abi Fiske, Glacier, Junior, Second Place Triple Jump

Courtney Mitchell, Glacier, Junior, Fifth Place Discus

Melanie Gassaway, Glacier, Senior, Sixth Place Discus

Katie Dixon, Glacier, Freshman, Fifth Place Javelin

Class A Boys

Sage Wanner, Columbia Falls, Junior, State Champion 3200 / Third Place 1600 / Second Place Long Relay

Braxton Reiten, Columbia Falls, Junior, Fifth Place 100 / State Champion Short Relay

Logan Stephens, Columbia Falls, Junior, State Champion Short Relay / Second Place Long Relay / Fifth Place Long Jump

Logan Kolodejchuk, Columbia Falls, Sophomore, State Champion Short Relay / Sixth Place Javelin

Charlie Martin, Columbia Falls, Senior, Second Place Long Relay

Kyler Burns, Columbia Falls, Senior, Fifth Place High Jump

Blake Arneson, Columbia Falls, Senior, Sixth Place Shot Put

Dakota Bridwell, Columbia Falls, Junior, Third Place Javelin

Jansen Anderson, Whitefish, Junior, Fifth Place 110 Hurdles

Matt Brewer, Whitefish, Senior, Fourth Place Pole Vault

Brian FauntLeRoy, Whitefish, Senior, Fifth Place Long Relay

Cole Ashby, Whitefish, Senior, Fifth Place Long Relay

Dylan Cardon, Whitefish, Senior, Fifth Place Long Relay

Tyler Cote, Whitefish, Junior, Fifth Place Long Relay

Class A Girls

Lydia Kryshak, Whitefish, Sophomore, Sixth Place 400 / Third Place Short Relay / Third Place Long Relay

Barrett Gray, Whitefish, Senior, Second Place 3200

Kate Doorn, Whitefish, Junior, Fifth Place High Jump

Makenna Benbrook, Whitefish, Senior, Sixth Place Shot Put

Emily Buckmaster, Whitefish, Freshman, Third Place Short Relay

Ellie DeWan, Whitefish, Sophomore, Third Place Short Relay / Third Place Long Relay

Emily Gunlikson, Whitefish, Freshman, Third Place Short Relay / Third Place Long Relay

Annie Robertson, Whitefish, Freshman, Third Place Long Relay

Kaitlyn Casazza, Columbia Falls, Junior, Second Place Long Relay / Third Place 300 Hurdles / Fifth Place 100 Hurdles

Ashley Caffrey, Columbia Falls, Senior, State Champion Short Relay / Sixth Place Pole Vault

Ellie Johnson, Columbia Falls, Senior, State Champion Short Relay / Second Place Long Relay / Sixth Place Long Jump / Sixth Place Discus / Fourth Place Javelin

Kiara Burlage, Columbia Falls, Senior, State Champion Short Relay / Second Place Long Relay

Jaclyn Bohmer, Columbia Falls, Senior, Fourth Place Triple Jump

Allyson Gimbel, Columbia Falls, Senior, Second Place Shot Put

Hannah Gedlaman, Columbia Falls, Sophomore, Second Place Long Relay

Class B Boys

Matt Farrier, Bigfork, Junior, Third Place 300 Hurdles / Sixth Place 400 / Third Place Long Relay

Slater Ream, Bigfork, Sophomore, Third Place Long Relay

Hugo Schyberg, Bigfork, Senior, Third Place Long Relay

Ross Coleman, Bigfork, Senior, Fourth Place Discus

Class B Girls

Mattison McAnally, Bigfork, Senior, State Champion Long Relay / Fifth Place 400 / Second Place Short Relay / Third Place 300 Hurdles

Jordan Nelson, Bigfork, Freshman, State Champion Long Relay / Second Place Short Relay

Alicia Kalenak, Bigfork, Freshman, State Champion Long Relay

Madison Gardner, Bigfork, Sophomore, Second Place Short Relay

Gabby Eaton, Bigfork, Junior, Fourth Place Pole Vault

Miranda Campbell, Bigfork, Senior, Third Place Discus


Class A Girls

Hannah Madsen, Whitefish, Junior, Second Place Doubles

Heather Luedtke, Whitefish, Senior, Second Place Doubles

Emily Getts, Columbia Falls, Senior, Fourth Place Singles


Class AA

Jayden Russell, Flathead, Sophomore, All Conference Catcher

Erin McHugh, Glacier, Junior, All Conference Infielder

Abbie O’Brien, Flathead, Senior, All Conference Infielder

Kaitlin Torgerson, Flathead, Senior, All Conference Outfielder

Christina DuFour, Glacier, Junior, All Conference Outfielder

Alivia Atlee, Glacier, Sophomore, Honorable Mention Infielder

Kylee Meredith, Flathead, Junior, Honorable Mention

Anna Schrade, Glacier, Sophomore, Honorable Mention

Becca Knutson, Flathead, Junior, Honorable Mention

Class A

Samantha Collin, Columbia Falls, Senior, All State Catcher

K.J. Schweikert, Columbia Falls, Junior, All State Pitcher

Peyton Kehr, Columbia Falls, Junior, All State Outfielder

Katie Price, Columbia Falls, Senior, Second Team All Conference

Lottie Ellis, Columbia Falls, Senior, Second Team All Conference

Jordan Sletten, Whitefish, Senior, Second Team All Conference

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