With the wind blowing and snow/rain falling, the opportunities for personal best marks were limited, at best, as Butte High, Butte Central, Billings West and Missoula Sentinel met at Charlie Merrifield Track for a quadrangular meet Saturday afternoon.
Actually, the only personal best time of the day came courtesy of meet organizers, who saw the varsity competition end in just a shade over three hours.
“Obviously the conditions weren’t the greatest today, and a lot of kids were held out of a lot of the events,” said Butte High head track coach Arie Grey. “But the kids got out and competed. They’re working hard to get better every day.”
Billings West came away with team wins in both the boys’ and girls’ competitions, while Missoula Sentinel was second in both. Butte High’s teams wound up third and Central was fourth, though the Class A Maroons showed some fine finishes among the small field of Class AA schools.
“The kids weren’t afraid to get out and do what they could,” said Butte Central coach Zack Stajcar, who noted that his team has gotten used to competing in less-than-ideal weather conditions. “We’ve had meets in the snow three or four times this spring.”
Central’s Connor McGree won the long jump at 18-10 thanks to better second jumps, as Butte High’s Damien Hayden was second at 18-10 as well. Butte had a nice showing in the long jump pits, as Central’s Wyatt Kingston was third and Butte High newcomer Sydney Robinson was fifth.
Butte High’s Clay Dean ran well in the weather, winning the 300 hurdles handily in 42.33, well off his personal best of 40.55. Dean also claimed second in the 110 high hurdles. Just behind in third was Butte’s Tyler Earless, who also claimed second in the 100. Earles’ time of 11.68 – his best so far – was the same as the winning time, but Earles lost the photo finish.
Central’s Kyle Harrington ran well enough to win the 400, and posted a time just a second short of qualifying for State in the event in just his second time running the race in competition. Butte High’s Justin Best was fourth in the 200 as well.
Butte High’s Mitchell Harper won the high jump at 5-8 and took sixth in the 110 hurdles, while Central’s Mike Cooney was second in the high jump at 5-6, and Butte’s Jared Haran was third.
The triple jump pit was the site of a nice surprise for Stajcar, as two freshmen – Tanner Kump and Ryan Ashby – took fifth and sixth in the event.
Stajcar was also pleased with his throwers, who earned a number of places in the meet. Marcus Ferriter took third in the shot put, while Kaemen Richards was fourth in the discus. Mike Cooney rounded out the Maroons’ throws with a third-place effort in the javelin. Butte High’s Tyler Leary was fifth in the discus, while Tyler Wonnacott was fifth in the javelin.
Shannon Tempel led the way in the mile for Butte High with a second-place time of 4:34.12, a tenth of a second off a state qualifying time, while Nic Raiser had a nice run in the 3,200, where he finished second as well.
Butte High speedster Dalton Daum was out due to a bout with both tonsillitis and strep throat, while Butte Central’s Cole Harper saw his season come to an end after a hip injury at last week’s Tomich Invitational meet.
“Dalton needed a little rest,” Grey said. “But he should be good to go later this week.”
Butte High’s girls are usually led by Erika McLeod, and that didn’t change Saturday even though she ran in only two races. McLeod easily claimed the 200, and ran a 59.1 split in the anchor leg of Butte High’s winning mile relay team.
Bailee Hanson claimed the 800 for Butte High’s girls in a time of 2:42, while Jessica Buckley ruled the shot put ring with a toss of 35-2 1/2 – a throw that beat second place by more than a foot. Buckley also went on to take third in the javelin at 94-5.
Joby Rosenleaf was fourth in both the 400 and 1,600 for Butte High, while Andie Hogan was fifth in the 800 and Caitlin Carmody took sixth in the mile.
Butte’s Abby Dodge took second in the high jump at 4-11, while Kassidy Caprara and Mija McLeod went 3-4 in the long jump with marks of 14-2 and 14-2 1/2. Savana Panich was sixth in the pole vault, which was moved indoors due to the wet and slippery conditions.
Butte Central’s Chandra McCurdy led her team with a second-place mark in the javelin, while teammate Abby McGee took fourth overall in the 400.
Butte High is back in action at Bozeman on Thursday, while the Maroons travel to Dillon for a Friday afternoon meet.
“We’re at that point in the season where the hardest workout these kids are going to get is the day of the meets instead of at practice,” Grey noted. “But for these kids to come out and compete like they did on a day like this? It was awesome.”