Track and field state champions will be crowned in Class AA and B at Legends Stadium in Kalispell this weekend, with two days of running, jumping and throwing May 24-25. Competition is scheduled to begin at 10:30 a.m. each day, and a tentative schedule of events is available online at www.mhsa.org/postseasontrack.
If you plan on making the trip to Legends Stadium, here a few storylines to watch:
Perrin’s Final Run
The youngest of a record-shattering trio of brothers, Ben Perrin will race for the final time in a Flathead uniform.
Perrin is the defending Class AA 3,200-meter champion and is coming off first-place finishes in the 1,600 and 3,200 at the Western AA divisional in Helena last weekend. Middle brother Jake set the all-class record in both events at the state track meet his senior year, a feat Ben will try and replicate before he departs for Montana State University in the fall.
Glacier’s Dynamic Duo
The Wolfpack boys team has an uphill climb to try and repeat as state champions, but that does not mean there won’t be plenty of blue and green at the top of the podium throughout the weekend.
Two multi-event athletes, juniors Drew Deck and Faith Brennan, could walk away with multiple medals. Deck has qualified for state in the 400, 110 hurdles, 300 hurdles, long jump and triple jump, and his best mark ranks in the top three in Class AA in the 400 (3rd), 300 hurdles (1st), long jump (3rd) and triple (2nd). Brennan, meanwhile, has the third-best time in the 100 hurdles this year, and has top-five marks in the long and triple jumps.
Todd Goes for Two
Evan Todd’s dramatic final-throw win in the javelin last year keyed Glacier’s team title, but the senior is no shoo-in to repeat.
He and fellow senior Rylan Ortt (Missoula Sentinel) have battled all year at the top of the state rankings, with Ortt holding the top spot for most of 2019 before Todd uncorked a throw of 208 feet, 8 inches on May 9. That throw is tops in the state this year and sixth best in the country.
Todd’s title-winning throw last year was 184-1, just ahead of Ortt (182-5).
Bigfork Girls Chase Three-Peat
The Valkyries practically lapped the field at the Class B state meet last season en route to a second consecutive title, but if Bigfork is to win a third straight title it will do so without standouts Bryn Morley and Haile Norred, who combined to claim five individual and two relay titles last year.
Even without those two stars, however, Bigfork won the team title at the Western B divisional last week and will bring a highly ranked sprinter (Jordan Nelson), distance runner (Anya Young) and thrower (Ashton McAnally) to Legends Stadium.