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State AA track: Kalispell Flathead boys, Bozeman's Nathan Neil run to all-class records

Posted at 6:36 PM, May 24, 2024

GREAT FALLS — The Kalispell Flathead boys 400-meter relay team and Bozeman distance runner Nathan Neil broke all-class records Friday at the State AA track and field meet in Great Falls.

The Braves' relay squad, consisting of Jacob Dolezal, Ben Bliven, William Hollensteiner and Brody Thornsberry, recorded a time of 41.47 seconds to take down the mark of 41.48 set by Billings West back in 2009. Their seed time coming in was 41.64, but a complete performance on Friday lifted the Braves to history.

Brody Thornsberry crosses the finish line to help lift the Flathead boys to a 4x100 meter relay all-class record.

“We were close to it, and we knew we had to get a little more aggressive,” said Thornsberry, who ran the anchor leg. “You have to get every last inch. Just get a clean, clean handoff and just finish. Go fast.”

The win helped the Flathead boys earn 31 points on Friday, who currently sit one behind Gallatin which has 32 points.

And while Flathead’s record in the relay was a surprise to some, Neil’s state record in the 1,600-meter run felt like a forgone conclusion. The Bozeman star ran a 4:04.89 to break the all-class record of 4:10.68 set last year by Neil’s Bozeman teammate Weston Brown.

“It’s not something you get all the time. I mean, I only started winning races this cross country season. So it feels really good to start winning,” Neil said. "You can never underestimate the Montana distance field, something crazy always happens. Last year we saw everyone run really fast. I think this year is even faster. So it means a lot.”

Nathan Neil (in red) gets off a start in the 1600 meter run.

The boys long jump saw a potential all-class state record wiped away due to the elements.

Great Falls High senior Scotty Klinker leaped 24 feet, 5½ inches on his first attempt which temporarily shattered the all-class record of 23-05 set back in 1988. But the jump and all of Klinker’s subsequent attempts were ruled wind-aided on a gusty day, with gusts measuring at 4 meters per second. The wind speed has to be less than 2 m/s for a state record to count.

So he had to settle for a stadium record and state title.

“It’s nature, man. I can't really control it, but it did kind of carry me,” Klinker said. “But I'm glad that I could set the stadium record and I could reclaim my school record again. I jumped 23 feet, 8¼ inches last week, so I felt like I could have beat it without the wind. But I’m happy either way.”

Scotty Klinker (left) poses on the podium after winning the long jump.

No state records fell on the girls side, but the Todorovich sisters of Helena had a great day. Logan Todoroovich, a senior, won the high jump (5-6) and long jump (19-03). And while she didn’t break her own all-class mark in the long jump (19-04½), her Friday mark of 19-03 was good enough to hold off a strong field.

“I’m very excited. But there’s a lot of emotions going through my mind right now,” Logan said. “I mean, I have more stuff going on (Saturday), so I think trying to focus on that is just kind of a big, big goal of mine.”

Logan teamed with her sister Madilyn Todorovich, Hazel Bishop and Reghan Skogen to claim the girls 400-meter relay, as well, in a school record time of 48.04 seconds. Madilyn also claimed the 400-meter run title in 57.82 seconds. Helena is favored to repeat as team champions and has a commanding lead after Day 1 with 72 points which is 40 points ahead of second place Gallatin with 32.


Other event winners on the boys side are Hollensteiner in the 400-meter run (48.32), Kalispell Glacier’s Aiden Krause in the shot put (58-02½), Bozeman Gallatin’s Quinn Clark in the high jump (6-8), and Billings Senior’s Evan O’Toole in the pole vault (14-9).

Girls winners include Missoula Hellgate's Kaitlyn Skinner in the 1,600 (5:00.64), Billings Skyview’s Rae Smart in the shot put (42-06) and Butte’s Brityn Stewart in the javelin (130-07).

For full results click here.