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Butte Central's Rileigh McGree continuing sisters' long jump legacy

Posted at 5:49 PM, Jun 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-04 20:14:56-04

BUTTE  — On the Montana track and field landscape, Rileigh McGree's last name precedes her.

"'McGrees can jump,' that's what they always say," she said before listing family members who have excelled in the sport.

"My uncles, my dad, my cousins my sisters, everyone in my family has done track," she said. "I think when you hear the McGree name, you think about track."

She certainly elevated her surname at last weekend's State A meet.

McGree, a Butte Central junior, bolted to three wins in Laurel. She took first in the 100-meter hurdles in 15.74 seconds and won the 300 hurdles with a time of 16.38.

And her winning leap of 17 feet, 8 3/4 inches in the long jump ensured that the State A title in that event will remain with her family for at least another year.

Rileigh's sister Rachael claimed the long jump titles in 2016 and 2017 and her other sister Lindsay won the event in 2018 and 2019. Both are now members of the Montana State track and field team.

After watching her sisters both take home consecutive titles, Rileigh knew they had started something special. She wanted to continue it.

"It was really cool because I watched Rachael win it and thought, 'I want to be doing that one day,'" said Rileigh. "Then I watched Lindsay do it."

Neither her sisters nor her father, Dan, Central's track and field coach, made her feel obligated to replicate their success but she said she "wanted to keep that going."

"My dad always told me, 'Don't make that a thing in your mind,'" Rileigh said. "But when I actually made that happen I was really happy."

She's still not sure what her plans are after high school or if she'll be following her sisters to MSU. But she knows clearly what she wants to accomplish as a senior.

"I just hope that I can be healthy and have a good season and have a good outcome like I did this year," she said.

Moodry takes title as freshman

While Rileigh McGree continued an impressive streak at the State A meet, freshman Ella Moodry may have begun one.

After taking third place in javelin at the Western A meet, Moodry placed first in the event at state with a winning heave of 125 feet, 10 inches.

Despite her confidence admittedly hovering around "70%" as she geared up for state, the stars managed to align.

"I wasn't expecting to win, I kind of came in as an underdog" Moodry said.

Her first throw ended up being both a personal best and the winning toss to give the Maroons two state champions.