Flathead High School senior Ben Perrin paced a field of the top Class AA distance runners in the state in a pair of events at the Harry “Swede” Dahlberg Invitational in Butte on April 19.
The annual boys-only meet features all 14 Class AA schools in Montana, and Perrin was up to the task against his chief rivals. The reigning Gatorade Montana Boys Cross Country Athlete of the Year and Montana State University commit took first in the 1,600- and 3,200-meters in Butte. Perrin won the state championship in the 3,200 a year ago and was fourth in the 1,600.
The Braves finished seventh as a team with 40 1/2 points. Crosstown rival Glacier tied for fifth with 41 points, well behind the top two schools, Missoula Sentinel (87) and Billings West (84).
Perrin’s classmate, Kyle Calles, was Flathead’s only other event winner, taking first in the 800 in 2:01.38, edging Billings Senior’s Finn Bentler (2:01.83). Glacier’s Drew Deck won the 300 hurdles in impressive fashion, posting the second-fastest time in the state this year, 39.53. Deck, a junior, was also third in the 110 hurdles.
Other local top finishers included Glacier’s Sean Hegstad (3rd in 400), Aren Alexander-Battee (4th in 1,600), Tre Krause (4th in shot put), Evan Todd (2nd in javelin), and Zach Gillespie (5th in javelin), and Flathead’s Bentley Boone (5th in pole vault) and Seth Moon (5th in long jump).