Butte High Track Superstars

May 16, 2012 — One of the amazing statistics I look at every year at this time is the number of individual track winners by the Butte High boys track team. It is an impressive list that now is on its sixth full page. Since the beginning of track here in Montana in 1904 the Bulldogs have been outstanding on the track and in the field. It all began in 1904 at the first state high school track meet in Missoula. Butte High’s W. Maloney won the 440-yard run And H. Hughes was first in the pole vault sailing 8 feet 8 inches. The Bulldogs had at least on individual track champion every year through the 1929 state event. Some of the better individuals included Buddy Phelps, an African-American, who won eight gold medals between 1913 through 1915. He took the 50 and 100-yard runs in 1913. Both those races plus the 220-yard runs in 1914 and 1915. Another multi-event winner was Fred Moulton who took the 880-yard run in 1915 and came back to win the 440, 880 and one mile run in 1916. One of Butte High’s great track athlete’s was Bob O’Malley. He took the 100 and 220-yard runs in 1932 and 1933. His clocking of 9.9 seconds in the 100-yard dash in 1933 set a new state record that stood the test of time for 28 years before being broken in 1961 by Larry Quigstad of Livingston. Phil Yovetich was the winner of both hurdles races at the 1937 and 1938 state meets. His teammate Evan Roberts won the 100-yard run at both the 1937 and 1938 meets to help propel the Bulldogs to their fourth straight state title. In the 1940s Dan Yovetich was the big star winning three hurdles races at the 1941 state finals. He went on to compete at the 1948 US Olympic trials. Leonard Vigus took both the 880-yard run and one-mile event in both 1943 and 1944. Don McAuliffe ruled the hurdles in 1948 and 1949 for the Bulldogs winning state titles both years. Marco Stanisich did the same in the long jump and pole vault in 1957 and 1958. One of Butte High’s biggest stars was Bob Hawke who competed for Butte High in the 1960s. Hawke won the shot Put three times and the discus four times in four tries at the state meet. Overall he won seven gold medals at the state meet. Hawke set a new state record in both the shot put and discus in three straight years from 1963 through 1965. The next big star on the track was Mike Houlihan. He took first place in the one and two-mile runs in both 1976 and 1977. Two great star emerged in the 1980s for Butte High. Danny Hanley won the 100 and 200 meter runs in 1980 and 1981 while Kelly Davis won both hurdles races in 1981 and 1982. Both Hanley and Davis set new state records with their winning efforts. Another outstanding performance came from Josh Paffhausen at the 1993 finals. He won both hurdles races plus added the triple jump title to his resume. One of the Bulldogs all-time greats was Jake Larson. He took both hurdles races at the 2000 and 2001 state meets and added the 400-meter run plus ran the final leg of the winning 4 by 100-meter at the 2001 finals. The last big star on the track for the Bulldogs was Tony Cunneen. He won the 110-meter high hurdles at the 2006 meet and came back the next year to win both hurdles races plus the 400-meter run. The last man added to the list of Butte High state champions is Cory Dennehy. He won the javelin at the 2010 state finals. Now comes a chance for a new crop of Butte High boys athletes to put their names on a
long list of state winners. The chance to do that begins this week with the divisional meet in Billings.