Track and Field

Braves Claim All-Class State Relay Records

Over two days of competition in Great Falls, Flathead Valley’s Class AA athletes put on a track and field clinic against the best in the state, coming away with numerous individual and relay titles, state records and a second-place trophy for the Braves

By Micah Drew
Flathead High School set an all-class state record in both the 4x400m and 4x100m relays at the state championships in Great Falls. Gary Marshall BMGphotos.com/406mtsports.com

Flathead High School athletes powered through windy conditions on the first day of competition in Great Falls on Friday, May 24 to take a commanding lead in the team scores. The Braves were unable to hold off Gallatin High School over the final three events on Saturday, but finished second as a team, the highest placement for the program since a runner-up finish in 2018.

The highlight for the Braves, who scored just five points at the state meet in 2021, came with a pair of relay victories that broke all-class state records.

First up was the 4x100m relay team comprising Jacob Dolezal, William Hollensteiner, Ben Bliven and Brody Thornsberry. Their time of 41.47 broke the all-class state record set by Billings West in 2009 by 1/100 of a second. Glacier High School finished in second place.

Then, in the final event of the state meet, the Braves earned an even more commanding victory and state record with a 4x400m relay time of 3:15.92, more than two seconds faster than the all-class record set by Billings Senior in 2017. The team of Hollensteiner, Bliven, and Thornsberry was joined by Lane Chivers, who also scored points in the 300m hurdles.

In addition to the relay victories, Hollensteiner earned another state title for the Braves in the open 400m, running 48.23 as a sophomore. He also contributed points in the 200m (fourth) and long jump (fifth).

The Braves’ strength came primarily from the sprints, as Thornsberry took third in the 100m and fifth in the 200m, while Bliven finished third in the 200m.

On the field, Michael Mahar and Trevin Olivier took third and fourth in the pole vault and Braden Capser was runner-up in the javelin.

Glacier High School finished in fourth, missing the podium for the first time in three years. Aiden Krause was the lone individual champion for the team in the shot put, and also finished second in the discus. The Wolfpack also had runner-up finishes in the 4x100m relay (Evan Barnes, Ethan Anderson, Shae Warner, Kash Goicoechea) and 300m hurdles (Ethan Anderson) and a pair of fifth place finishes from distance runner Owen Thiel in the 1600m and 3200m.

Glacier’s Aiden Krause throws for a distance of 58.02 to win the shot put at the MHSA State AA track meet May 24, 2024 in Great Falls. Gary Marshall BMGphotos.com/406mtsports.com

For the Class AA women, Flathead finished fourth in the team scores, with Glacier in ninth.

Flathead junior Alivia Rinehart won the 200m, keeping one of the Helena High sisters Madi and Logan Todorovich from reaching the top of the podium for a 10th time over the two-day meet. Rinehart also finished third in both hurdle disciplines.

Other points for the Bravettes came from Mikenna Conan in the 800m (fourth), Zoey Bortz in the 300m hurdles (second), and Kennedy Moore in the high jump (second).

Glacier’s top performances included Kai Johnson’s third place shot put and fourth place discus throws, and freshman Lauren Bissen’s third place finish in the 3200m.   

Results from the 2024 Class AA State Track and Field Championship can be viewed online.

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