By Bruce Sayler
Butte Central added two more place-winnings, but lost a star track athlete to injury for the day while two new team champions were crowned in the State Class A High School Track Meet completed Saturday.
Temperatures were in the high 40s to mid-50s on a day consistently inconsistent in its weather with sunshine, rain, wind and other elements visiting the East Middle School facility’s Gene Fogarty Complex, home to the Charlie Merrifield Track in Bulldog Memorial Stadium several times through the day. (Results)
Probably up to 8,000 spectators filled bleachers on both sides and the field-events viewing areas behind the main grandstands.
The Dillon boys and the Whitefish girls replaced Hamilton and Laurel, respectively, as team champions.
Butte Central senior Rileigh McGree pulled a hamstring in her first event Saturday, costing her a full day of competition in which she was a favorite in three events. Junior Kyle Holter tied for fourth place in the boys’ high jump after taking second place Friday in the long jump. Sophomore Ella Moodry uncorked the javelin throw of her life and best in school history, but settled for second place in a big day in the event.
“She didn’t come off the first hurdle right and she could feel (the pulled hamstring) right away,” Dan McGree, head coach of the Maroons and father of Rileigh McGree. “She pulled up and we didn’t want to risk (any more injury).”
The injury occurred in the 100-meter hurdles final, in which she was the defending champion and had a run a personal-best 15.73-seconds time in Friday’s preliminary heats. The injury also knocked her out of the finals in the 100-meter dash and 300-meter hurdles. She ran a personal-best 12.8 in the 100-meter dash in Friday’s prelims. She will attend the University of Montana on a track scholarship beginning in the fall.
Holter was one of four boys to clear 6 feet in the high jump and wound up tied with Dillon’s Caden Hansen for fourth on number of jump attempts criteria. Payton Cates of Ronan won the event at 6-2, Payton Kokot of Livingston jumped 6-0 and finished in second place on the criteria with third place going to Trey Andersen of Libby via the same rule.
“It was a wet surface and a little slippery,” Dan McGree said, “but it was wet for everybody. It was fair, they all jumped in the same conditions. But, it would’ve been nice to see how they could’ve done on a dry surface.”
Holter cleared 6-4 at last week’s Western A Divisional meet in Hamilton and Cates also won the divisional, but with a leap of 6-7.
Moodry’s mighty chuck of 132 feet, 9 inches occurred on her first throw of the day. Her previous best was 130-8 and she won the event as a freshman with a Maroons record toss of 125-10. The 132-9 held up until Laurel’s Daeja Fike, also a sophomore, let loose with a 142-8 strike.
“I just threw it and was hoping for the best,” Moodry said, stating the conditions for the event were good and that she entered with a good mindset. “I threw 127 and 120 after it, and then a 107 that was terrible.
“I won at 125 last year and got second with a 132 this year. So, I think finishing in the top two my first two years is a pretty big deal.”
Clearly, though, Moodry was disappointed not to win, but was finding solace in her great effort and in knowing she has two more years of high school javelin ahead of her.
“It’s my favorite sport,” she said. “I would like to hit 140 to 150 (feet) next year. I will be getting into the weight room, doing the training and going to camps.”
Coach McGree said he isn’t putting any permanence to the girls’ javelin school record posted on a display at Butte Central.
“It’s hand-written on a piece of tape,” he said. “Ella sets a school record every time she throws. I’m just going to keep writing the new record on a new piece of tape and taping it over the old tape the next two years.”
The Dillon boys scored 103 points to win the two-day meet while defending champion Hamilton was second with 91 and Whitefish third with 57. Butte Central wound up with 12 points for 12th place.
Individual winners in the boys’ events were Jakob Webinger of Laurel in the 100 and 200, Treyton Anderson of Dillon in the 400 (just ahead of teammate Treyton Graham), the 110-meter hurdles and the 300-meter hurldes, Colter Kirkland of Hamilton in the 800, Lane Cole of Hamilton in the 1,600, Brinson Wyche of Corvallis in the 3,200, Dillon in the 400-meter relay, Corvallis in the 1,600-meter relay, Talon Holmquist of Whitefish in the shot put, Andrew Burrows of Hamilton in the discus, Jerome Entz of Sidney in the javelin, Cates in the high jump, Taylor Searle of Hamilton in the pole vault, Kokot in the long jump and Gabe Menicke of Whitefish in the triple jump.
Anderson also placed second in the 200-meter dash and third in the 100. He was part of the Beavers’ sixth-place 1,600-meter relay team and on the winning 400-meter relay team. He will attend Brigham Young University on a track scholarship.
Whitefish scored 103 points to top the girls’ team standings with Corvallis second with 78 and defending champion Laurel third with 70. Dillon was fourth with 62 and Butte Central tallied 16 points for ninth place.
Individual champions were Brooke Zetooney of Whitefish in the 100 and 200, Olivia Lewis of Corvallis in the 400, Carly Cook of Laurel in the 800, Mariah Aragon of Hardin in the 1,600 and 3,200, Ainsley Shipman of Dillon in the 100-meter hurdles, 300-meter hurdles, long jump and triple jump, the Whitefish 400-meter and 1,600-meter relay teams, Madison Lewis of Corvallis in the shot put, Kayla Botkin of Frenchtown in the shot put and discus, Fike in the javelin, Erin Wilde of Whitefish in the high jump, Charlie Ham of Frenchtown in the pole vault,
To go with her four wins, Shipman also placed second in the 100-meter dash, was o the third-place Dillon 400-meter relay squad and ran on the Beavers’ fourth-place 1,600-meter relay team. She is headed for the Univeersity of Montana on a track scholarship.
Zetooney, Anderson, Webinger, Kirkland, Cook, Holmquist, Cole and Shipman were all won events in 2021.
Celebrity guests for the state meet included former Olympian and record-setting state champion in the discus, Lorna Griffin of Corvallis, and former State Attorney Tim Fox, a record-setter while winning the 1976 Class A 300-meter hurdles.
Griffin placed ninth in the 1984 Summer Olympics. She also qualified for the 1980 United States Olympic Team, but couldn’t compete because the U.S. boycotted the Olympics that year over Russia’s invasion of Afghanistan. Moscow was the 1980 Olympics host.
The meet was held in conjunction with the state Class AA meet for the first time since 1997.
The State A will combine with the State C for their meets in Laurel next spring. The Class AA and Class B meets are to be held together in Bozeman.2 comments