High school sports likes to save the fastest weekend of the school year for the end, as the State track and field meets are slated for this weekend.
Butte High will run in the Class AA meet Friday and Saturday at Legends Field in Kalispell, while Butte Central will take a shot at the Class A meet Friday and Saturday at Laurel High School Stadium.
The Bulldogs have hopes pinned on senior speed demon Dalton Daum, the reigning 100- and 200-meter dash champion in the AA. He’s also got the second fastest qualifying time in the 400, a race he has run only a handful of times during his high school career.
Daum blazed to a 10.77-second finish in the 100 at last weekend’s Eastern AA divisional meet, and the only other sub-11-second qualifying time has been Billings West’s Remington Hjelvik, in at 10.84. Daum’s fastest time in the 200 thus far – 21.53 – is in a class by itself this season.
Butte High senior Clay Dean has qualified to compete in both the 110 and 300 hurdles this weekend. After a tough go at last year’s state meet, Dean will have his mind set on the podium for both events.
Junior Shannon Tempel will compete in the 800 for Butte High, as his times have improved throughout the year. The only other Individual qualifier for Butte is Bryce Liebel, who will look for a big throw from the shot put ring.
The Bulldogs send both relay teams, with only a couple of changes between the two. The sprint relay will include Dean, sophomore Bryce Gallagher, junior Paul Campbell and Daum. Butte’s mile relay squad consists of Dean, junior Anthony Cooney, Tempel and Daum.
Butte High’s girls look to sophomore Abby Dodge, who is qualified in the high jump, long jump and triple jump. Fellow sophomore Joby Rosenleaf is entered in the 1,600, 3,200, and also in the opening leg of the 4×400 relay.
That team is rounded out by sophomore Mar Sorini, junior Mijah McLeod and sophomore Caitlin Carmody. McLeod and Carmody are both qualified in the triple jump as well, and will be looking for a big hop, skip and jump this weekend.
Butte also saw Hailee Regan make it into the shot put ring for the weekend.
Butte Central has a full contingent of athletes qualified, both on the track and in the field. The Maroon boys are strong in the weights, where Marcus Ferriter, Kaemen Richards and Kyle Schulte are all slated to compete in the discus. Ferriter’s mark of 161 feet is less than a foot shy of the best throw in the Class A ranks this season, while Richards comes in as the Southwestern A champion.
Ferriter and Richards both have a shot in the shot put, while Danny Peoples will round out the throwing crew in the javelin.
Central is usually well represented in the jumping events, and this season is no exception. Nate McGree is entered in the long and triple jumps, Cole Harper is in the long jump and Michael Cooney competes in the high jump.
Kyle Harrington and Blake Burton will represent the Maroons in the 100-meter dash, while freshman Brian McGeehan tries his hand in the 800.
Central’s sprint relay team consists of Burton, Tanner Kump, Harper and Harrington, while the mile team has McGeehan, Harper, Conor McGee and Harrington passing the baton.
The Maroon girls will depend on Rachael McGree in the 100 hurdles, the triple jump and long jump, while Whitney McGree is in the 100 and Abby McGee is in the 800. Rachael McGree’s sprint hurdle time is the second fastest qualifying mark in the Class AA ranks.
Butte Central’s girls’ 4×100 relay is run by Rachael McGree, freshman Olivia Norton, Lacey McGree and Whitney McGree. The mile loops are run by Abby McGee, Rachael McGree, Olivia Bolton and Whitney McGree.