High School SportsHigh School Track and Field


State C track: Athletes flourish as five records tumble in Laurel

Posted at 6:41 PM, May 26, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-31 17:16:57-04

LAUREL — Records are made to be broken, and Friday at the Class C state track and field meet they fell like dominos.

Of the six completed girls events through Friday, five new marks were set at the Laurel Sports Complex. Roberts' Taylee Chirrick and Savage's Brooke Reuter re-wrote Class C history, with Chirrick establishing new records in both the 400- and 800-meter finals and Reuter setting new standards in the 100- and 200-meter trials.

Chirrick's first event Friday was the 800, and she blazed to a time of 2:12.97, which easily earned her the state title and broke the record of 2:13.89 established just last season by Seeley-Swan's Sariah Maughan. Chirrick, a Billings West transfer, also eclipsed her personal record of 2:15.2 from last year's Class AA state meet in Butte and shattered her season best of 2:20.21 at the Red Lodge Invitational.

"It was nice having (the 800) be my first race of the state meet. I really feel that helped me," Chirrick said. "I was kind of nervous and I decided I just needed to go out and relax, and I felt really good the whole time.

"After the first lap I felt strong and I was like, 'All right, one more to go,' and I just pushed myself."

Roberts' Taylee Chirrick, center, broke the Class C record in the 800 meters Friday at the Laurel Sports Complex.

She later broke the 400 record with a time of 56.69 to win the title in that event in a photo finish against Manhattan Christian star Jadyn VanDyken, who crossed the line in 56.84. Chirrick's time surpassed the previous Class C mark of 56.74 set by Kourtney Danreuther of Big Sandy in 2007.

Reuter, meanwhile, won the first heat in the 100 with a time of 12.35, which broke her own record of 12.47 from last season. VanDyken, following up in the second heat, ran even faster at 12.23, but her time was deemed to be wind aided and Reuter kept the record.

VanDyken's time was initially announced over the public address system as the new mark, but that declaration was retracted.

"Jadyn, she had a faster time. Sure there was wind, but still," Reuter said.

Reuter finished her 200 heat in 25.33, which also nudged her Class C record of 25.51 from her freshman year two seasons ago. VanDyken, a Montana State-bound senior, ran a 25.36 in her heat. Reuter and VanDyken will go head-to-head in the 100 and 200 finals on Saturday in what are surely two of the most anticipated races of the weekend — races that could again feature record-setting times.

Of the 100 finals, Reuter said she's hoping for "a good block start and then lean at the end because it's going to be close."

Beyond the exploits of Chirrick and Reuter, the record breaking began Thursday when Plentywood's Annie Kaul took down the Class C mark in the pole vault by successfully clearing 11-6. Kaul won the event initially with a vault of 10-6, then she tied her PR of 11-1. That's when Kaul went for broke at 11-6 and went over the bar unscathed on her final attempt.

"I vaulted 11-1 at divisionals, so I knew I had it in me to do it," said Kaul, who had an eventful Friday by winning the 3,200 title in 11:28.91 a few hours after feeling the disappointment of false starting in the 100 hurdles. "And when I did (11-6) after a long day of waiting I was just super happy that I was able to do it. It's always fun to end your season on PR."

Other Class C girls champions from Friday included Kaul's Plentywood teammate Emma Brensdal, who took the discus with a throw of 133-04. Seeley-Swan's Emily Maughan won her second straight crown in the long jump with a leap of 17-05½.

On the boys' side, Manhattan Christian had a big day with gold-medal wins from Shaphan Hubner in the 800 meters — his second consecutive title in the event — with a time of 1:58.15.

"The first lap was pretty fast; faster than I intended it to be," Hubner said. "And then the second lap it was able to fall into place."

Teammate Oren Arthun won the 3,200 in 9:44.41, also his second straight crown.

That, along with Arthun's second-place showing in the 800 and Seth Amunrud's second-place finish in the 400, allowed the Eagles to grab a comfortable lead in the Class C boys team race with 46 points, 25 points ahead of second-place Belt.

Plentywood leads the girls standings with 36 points, while Manhattan Christian and Roberts are in second and third with 22 and 20 points, respectively.

Other Class C boys champions so far are Ennis' Cole Kramer in the 400 (51.16), Melstone's Bryce Grebe in the discus (172-04), Simms' Josey Hinderager in the javelin (167-03), Saco's Blaine Downing in the pole vault (13-06) and Chinook's Brenden Fetter in the long jump (21-10).