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Illustrious end: Columbia Falls sprinter Malaki Simpson went out on top

State A/B track and field
Posted at 4:12 PM, May 31, 2024

COLUMBIA FALLS — Malaki Simpson has been a star on the track for the Columbia Falls Wildcats for the last four years. Now with his high school career at its end, he's etched his name deeper into the record book for multiple events at state.

"It meant everything," said Simpson. "I was working for this for so long and to not win it last year and then come back again and win it this year, it felt like I earned more than if I were to win it both years."

Last week in Laurel, Simpson set a new Class A record for the 200-meter race with a time of 21.67 seconds, and tied the Class A record for the 100 with a time of 10.74 seconds. Both marks were previously established by Havre’s Steve Heberly in 2003.

And after achieving both feats, Simpson will trade his Wildcat blue for Grizzly maroon and silver as he prepares to continue has career on the track at the University of Montana.

"Oh it feels great, it feels like I've finally accomplished something that I've been looking forward to since freshman year," said Simpson. "I can be at rest now and get ready for college."

As for what made the difference this year compared to years prior and placing second in both races at state last year, Simpson credited his determination.

"I think overall, I just wanted it more," said Simpson. "Last year I was happy to be there as a junior and hoping to win it, but this year I felt like I had that responsibility on my shoulders, like I needed to get it."

When it comes down to it, Simpson knows he couldn’t have accomplished all he has and be in the position he’s in now without the support of the Columbia Falls community.

"It's meant everything, like the support they've shown me like even when I felt like I didn't deserve it they've given it to me," said a grateful Simpson. "And it just pushed me to be a better runner, a better person, and a better athlete."

With his record-setting high school career now having been capped off with an illustrious end, Simpson will hope to continue that trend in the Treasure State as a Griz.