Track and Field

2024 State Track and Field Preview

More than 150 Flathead Valley athletes qualified to take part in the state track and field championships this weekend

By Micah Drew
High school athletes compete in the Kalispell Time Trials track and field meet at Legends Stadium on April 11, 2023. Micah Drew | Flathead Beacon

Track and field athletes from around Montana will journey to Laurel (Class A/B) and Great Falls (Class AA/C) for the state championships this weekend. As always, the five Flathead Valley schools are sending top-notch contingents to compete for records and trophies.

Here’s a preview of what to expect at state this weekend. Current state records, which must be set at the state meet, can be viewed here.

Class AA

At the Western AA Divisionals held in Legends Stadium last weekend, Flathead High School clinched both the boys and girls titles, showcasing strong squads across the board that could challenge for a state title, though with the caveat that schools rarely field full strength teams at the divisional meet due to MHSA rules that allow state qualification based on best marks in addition to divisional placement. Glacier’s boys, who were third at state last year and second in 2022, finished second behind the Braves at Divisionals, while the Wolfpack women were third.

Glacier is sending the largest squad to the state meet of any school, with 56 qualified athletes across the boys and girls teams. Flathead is sending 28 total athletes.


The Braves are stacked in sprints and jumps. Ben Bliven and Brody Thornsberry have put up top-10 marks in the 100m, 200m and long jump, as well as forming the top-ranked 4x100m relay team and second-ranked 4x400m relay team. Anchoring that 4×400 relay is William Hollensteiner, whose 48.54 400m time is the fastest in Class AA this season.

Flathead also has a state-leading high jumper in Jacob Dolezal, who jumped 6 feet, 6 inches in April, and was fourth at the Divisional meet.

Glacier’s boys are anchored by their throwers and hurdlers. Senior Aiden Krause, last year’s state champion in the discus, hasn’t lost a competition this year and has surpassed 191 feet three times. He won the Divisional meet by 31 feet. Krause is also top ranked in the shot put with a throw over 60 feet last weekend that is five feet clear of his next competitor.   

Another returning champion for the Wolfpack is junior Ethan Anderson, who won the 110m hurdles last year and took second in the 300m hurdles. He won both events at Divisionals and sits ranked first and second in the state respectively.

Sophomore Owen Thiel ran a six-second personal best in the 1600m at Divisionals to move up to fourth in the state.


Alivia Rinehart won the 200m and 300m hurdles at the Divisional meet, contributing huge chunks of points to the Bravettes winning team score. She is ranked second in the state in both events, along with the 100m hurdles, which means many rounds of heats and finals on deck for her this weekend, including the 4x100m relay.

The Bravettes will also look to pick up points from Kennedy Moore in the high jump, and Afton Write, Alice Dolezal and Zoey Bortz in the long and triple jump.

While qualifying many athletes, the Wolfpack women only have a few top-10 marks heading into championship weekend. Jaidyn Pevey is ranked fourth in the high jump, and freshman Lauren Bissen, runner up in the cross country championships last fall, has top 10 times in both the 1600m and 3200m. Kai Johnson is ranked fourth in the discus and third in the shot put, where she’s the defending champion.

The Class AA state meet will be held in Memorial Stadium in Great Falls May 24-25.

Whitefish High School sprinter Brooke Zetooney on June 8, 2022. Hunter D’Antuono and Sarah Mosquera | Flathead Beacon

Class A

Whitefish wants its state title back. The 2022 champions narrowly missed back-to-back titles last year — the girls championship came down to the 4x400m relay, which Whitefish won by seven seconds over Corvallis. The Blue Devils won the meet by one point.

On paper, the Bulldogs have the advantage: they didn’t graduate a single scoring athlete. Although Whitefish narrowly finished second in the Western A Divisional Championships, they did so without either relay team. If both the 4x100m and 4x400m can repeat last year’s winning performances, the extra 20 points could secure another title for the Bulldogs.

For the last time this academic year we can mention Bigfork’s move to Class A and the astonishing ease with which the Valkyries and Vikings have stepped up their game. Twenty-one athletes from Bigfork qualified for the state meet, Whitefish qualified 23 and Columbia Falls 29.


It’s the final season of the Brooke Zetooney show before the decorated senior matriculates to the University of Montana next year. In 2023, Zetooney scored 32 points on her own, plus anchored both relay teams. She’s looking to claim a fourth straight title in the 100m and a third in the 200m. She’s also top ranked in the 400m and has a top-10 mark in the shot put.

Sprinting heir-apparent junior Rachael Wilmot finished runner-up to Zetooney in the three races at the Divisional meet and holds top-five marks in the state across the board. Also looking for a big haul of points will be senior Hailey Ells, a ranked hurdler and high jumper.

For the Wildcats, Ally Smpf has top-10 marks in the 200m and 400m, sophomore Soli Bullemer is ranked third in the pole vault and has the best mark in the triple jump.

Malaki Simpson of Columbia Falls outleans Glacier’s Jeff Lillard in the 100 meter at the Cat Pack Dual in Columbia Falls on may 11, 2023. Micah Drew | Flathead Beacon


Malaki Simpson is one of two Class A athletes to break 11 seconds in the 100m this year and after runner-up finishes last year in the 100m and 200m, the Columbia Falls senior is hungry to claim both titles. In the team race he’ll be helped by junior Lane Voermans who has top-four marks in the shot put and discus, and Banyan Johnson who is tied for the top mark in the high jump.

Carson Krack might just be the busiest boy at the state meet. With a state leading mark in the long jump and 300m hurdles, a second-ranked mark in the 110m hurdles, and a third-ranked triple jump and 400m, plus the chance to score on both relays and the open 200, it’ll be an exhausting two days of heats and finals for the Whitefish senior. Another Bulldog to watch will be Simon Douglas, with scoring potential in the 800m and 1600m.

For the Vikings, senior Jack Jensen is looking to replicate his 800m/1600m championship double from Class B last year. His 800m best form this year is third ranked in the state, while his 1600m time is fifth. Also making strides against Class A competition is Wyatt Johnson, ranked fourth and fifth in the 110m and 300m hurdles respectively.

The Class A state meet will be held at the Laurel Sports Complex May 24-25.  

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