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State A track: Multiple records fall as Corvallis sweeps team titles

State A/B track and field
State A/B track and field
Posted at 10:58 PM, May 25, 2024

LAUREL — Olivia Lewis said she realized last year she can run the hurdles "pretty well."

This year, she made sure the Montana High School Association record books reflect that. Lewis obliterated the all-class record in the 300-meter hurdles Saturday at the Class A state track and field meet at the Laurel Sports Complex, running a blazing 41.86-second personal-best time to top the 42.87 Liz Harper of Missoula Sentinel recorded in 2013.

"I realize there’s a target on my back, so there’s always going to be someone that wants to beat me. I know that’s some girl’s goal, is to finally beat me, so I just know that they’re behind me, they’re waiting for a chance, they’re waiting for me to stumble," said Lewis, who also won the 100-meter hurdles (14.49 seconds) and 400-meter run (55.52) this weekend.

She also ran on both Blue Devil relay teams, placed fourth in the 200-meter race and tied for sixth in the high jump.

"I just have to remember I need to run my cleanest race and do the best I can and put down my best effort," continued Lewis, who will run at Montana State next year. "As I’m running, I think of my team and the number I want to get and time just over and over again to push me, and just remembering that there’s always someone that’s going to be faster."

State A/B track and field
Olivia Lewis of Corvallis runs in the 300-meter hurdles at the Class A state track and field meet at the Laurel Sports Complex on May 25, 2024.

Behind Lewis' sensational performance, Corvallis ran away with the girls team championship for the second consecutive season. The Blue Devils scored 92.5 points to out-pace Whitefish (77.5 points), Hamilton (77) and Havre (68).

The Corvallis boys also won their second straight team title, edging Columbia Falls 68.8 points to 67. Whitefish was third with 56 points.

Lewis was the only Corvallis athlete, boy or girl, to get a win on the track Saturday (Derek Criddle won the boys 400 on Friday), but the Blue Devils earned important points in the field. For the girls, Ella Varner completed a double win in the jumps, adding a triple jump title to her long jump win from Friday. Varner PR'd with a triple jump of 36-10 ¾.

For the boys, Levi Reynoso and Hunter Loesch teamed up for a 1-2 finish in the javelin. Reynoso hit a PR by 12 feet with a throw of 187-06, and Loesch threw 186-08.

"There were PRs after PRs (on Friday), both boys and girls, so coming into today, we were like, 'Oh shoot, we have to keep the stone rolling,'" Reynoso said. "And we sure did."

State A/B track and field
Levi Reynoso of Corvallis throws the javelin at the Class A state track and field meet at the Laurel Sports Complex on May 25, 2024.

The Corvallis boys had the team title wrapped up before the final event of the day, but Columbia Falls made it close on the scoreboard.

The Wildcats won the 1,600-meter relay and got a sweep in the sprints from senior Malaki Simpson. Early Saturday, Simpson tied the Class A record in the 100-meter dash with a time of 10.74 seconds. Havre's Steve Heberly also ran 10.74 in 2003.

Later, Simpson broke Heberly's Class A record of 21.86 in the 200, crossing the finish line in 21.67 seconds.

"Everything has to be perfect. Your start has to be perfect, your form has to be perfect, your finish has to be perfect," Simpson said. "You can't really have any slips ... especially in a place like this where it's high pressure. You've got to be in the zone, you've got to be prepared mentally and physically."

State A/B track and field
Columbia Falls' Malaki Simpson (226) wins the 100-meter dash at the Class A state track and field meet at the Laurel Sports Complex on May 25, 2024.

And Simpson wasn't the only one to break a Class A record Saturday.

Ben Bird of Hardin won the 1,600 meters in 4:17.71, besting the old record of 4:19.43 set by Scott Adams of Havre in 1995.

Bird sat in third behind Billings Central's Grey Piseno and Livingston's Fin Schretenthaler much of the race, but the freshman made his move on the final lap.

"(Piseno) had a huge gap on us, on me and Fin, and I saw Fin slow down toward the (100-meter mark of the final lap), so I passed him, started making my move, and I realized I was getting close to this guy, catching up to Greyson," Bird said. "After that (first 200 meters of the final lap), I just gave it everything I got on the last stretch, eventually I caught him at the very end."

"I was shocked at first when my coach told me, 'You got the state record,'" Bird added. "She pointed at the freaking board, I looked at it, I was like, '4:17?' They were like, 'That's the state record.' I was shocked. I was in shock when I found out."

State A/B track and field
Hardin's Ben Bird (right) passes Billings Central's Grey Piseno in the 1,600-meter run at the Class A state track and field meet at the Laurel Sports Complex on May 25, 2024.

Other boys winners Saturday included Carson Krack of Whitefish, who won the 110- and 300-meter hurdles in 14.81 and 38.95 seconds, respectively.

Glendive's Kohbe Smith added a win in the triple jump (45-11½) to Friday's long jump win, Andrew Burrows of Hamilton won the discus (170-01) and Havre won the boys 400-meter relay.

Though she false started in the 100-meter dash prelims on Friday, Whitefish star and future University of Montana runner Brooke Zetooney still left her mark on the state meet, running an all-class record time in the 200-meter dash and helping the Bulldogs' 400-meter relay team set the Class A record.

"It's been an emotional roller coaster, for sure, but just trying to maintain my mindset," she said. "I know what I've worked hard for, and I've got another four years with the Griz, so just kind of keeping that in mind, that it's not my last ever, so that's definitely helped me get through, and same with just praying and giving it all to God has just really helped me maintain my mindset without the mental breakdowns."

State A/B track and field
Whitefish's Brooke Zetooney (1019) runs in the 200-meter dash at the Class A state track and field meet at the Laurel Sports Complex on May 25, 2024.

Zetooney won the 200 in 24.41 seconds, beating the previous all-class record of 24.75 seconds set by Billings West's Jaeden Wolff in 2022. And the Bulldogs' relay team of Rachael Wilmot, Hailey Ells, Anna Boysen and Zetooney won with a time of 47.9 seconds, breaking the 48.54 a Whitefish team ran in 2014.

"We weren't even talking about going sub-48, but we did it, and that was just an awesome surprise to experience that with my teammates," said Zetooney, who also ran a leg on Whitefish's winning 1,600-meter relay team.

Other girls winners Saturday included Havre's Kaydance Reiter in the 100 (12.27 seconds) and Hamilton's Annalise Lewis in the 1,600 (5:10.59) and Mya Winkler in the discus (129-03).

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