LAUREL — It might have been the most jubilant celebration of a sixth-place finish in history, but it was worth every holler and hug.
When the Corvallis boys 1,600-meter relay team finished in sixth in the final event of the track and field season Saturday, it went a long way toward the Blue Devils claiming the Class A team championship at the state meet at the Laurel Sports Complex.
That, along with Hamilton's second-place finish in the same race, meant Corvallis had edged the Broncs 63 to 62 in team points to claim the crown. It's the seventh title in team history and the first since 2018, and was won without the benefit of an individual state champion.
Corvallis had a handful of top-three individual performances during the weekend, including second-place showings by Lucas Powell in the triple jump, Derek Criddle in the high jump, Levi Reynoso in the javelin and Wyatt Miles in the shot put.
"Fighters, fighters, fighters," Corvallis coach Spencer Huls said of his boys team. "All day long they kept responding. I just kept telling them, 'Keep swinging, keep swinging. Keep punching, keep punching.' Just give us a chance."
And after an extended lightning delay that put the brakes on the entire meet, the quartet of Aiden Read, Logan Avery, Criddle and Gavin Hagberg salvaged a point by taking sixth in the relay in 3:30.04 to stave off Hamilton.
But that was only half of the story.
Corvallis' girls also won the team title — also by one point — by virtue of a second-place finish in their 1,600 relay. Whitefish, anchored by sprint star Brooke Zetooney, won the race handily and would have otherwise won the team championship had the Blue Devils placed any lower than second.
But Rylee Herbstritt, Shaylee Weidow, Olivia Lewis and Farah Wyche came in behind the Bulldogs with a time of 4:07.1, good for eight points in the event and an 84 to 83 edge over the Bulldogs in the final team standings.
Lewis had a huge meet, with wins in the 400 and the he 100 and 300 hurdles. Her time of 43.37 set a new Class A record, breaking the previous mark of 43.76 set in 2011 by a former Corvallis standout, Paige Squire.
"I got to meet her last year," Lewis said of Squire. "My coach is always talking about her and how she ran her races and all of his race plans he had for her, and he's tried to incorporate that into how I run my races.
"She's always been a big role model for me, and I've looked at her name on the record board and I've been focusing on that name. So this means a lot."
Squire, incidentally, was able to present Lewis with her first-place medal after the 300 hurdles.
It was the eighth girls title in Corvallis team history, the first since 2016.
Class A boys state champions from Saturday were:
- Carter White, Frenchtown, and 200
- Caleb Tomac, Havre, 800
- Greyson Piseno, Billings Central, 3,200
- Wesley Tschacher, Laurel, 110 hurdles
- Treyton Graham, Dillon, 300 hurdles
- Tyson Bauder, Hamilton, javelin
- Dayrion Beard, Laurel, triple jump
- Lane Voermans, Columbia Falls, discus
- Columbia Falls boys 400 relay
- Dillon boys 1,600 relay
Class A girls state champions from Saturday were:
- Brooke Zetooney, Whitefish, 100 and 200
- Maeve Ingelfinger, Whitefish, 800
- Olivia Lewis, Corvallis, 100 hurdles
- Olivia Lewis, Corvallis, 300 hurdles
- Karis Brightwings-Pease, Hardin, 3,200
- Alanna Auch, Corvallis, discus
- Kendall Wahl, Billings Central, triple jump
- Whitefish 400 relay
- Whitefish 1,600 relay