MISSOULA — To put it mildly, it's a been a tough spring sports session for high schools across Montana due to the weather, but on Tuesday in Missoula, it was a beautiful day for one of the top track and field meets of the season in the 23rd annual Russ Pilcher Top 10 meet, which featured some of the best athletes across western Montana competing head-to-head at MCPS Stadium.
Top 10 meets bring out the best in the athletes competing, and that was true again Tuesday as three meet records fell, with Stevensville's Claire Hutchison setting a new mark in the girls 400 at 57.82 seconds. That breaks the 2016 mark of 57.93 set by Helena's Carly Smiedala.
Both 400 relay records were also reset, as the Helena girls won the race in 48.93 seconds — the previous mark being 49.55 seconds set in 2014 by Missoula Big Sky — while the Kalispell Glacier boys broke a 22-year old record at 42.22 seconds. The previous mark was 42.72 seconds set in 2001 by Butte.
The anchor of Glacier's relay was Kash Goicoechea, and he took care of business in the 100 as well for the Wolfpack, who had a big day on the boys side as Jeff Lillard also took home the gold in the 400.
There were two multi-event winners on Tuesday, as Missoula Sentinel's Ava Kellenberg won both the long and triple jumps for the Spartans while Helena Capital's Merek Mihelish won both hurdles races on the boys side.
It was a Hamilton sweep in the pole vault events, as Taylor Searle cleared 14 feet, 6 inches, and Chesnee Lawrence won the meet and kept going from there as she went 12 feet to take the win.
Corvallis' Olivia Lewis topped her own state-best mark in the 300 hurdles with a win at 45.08 seconds to continue leading that event statewide while Missoula Loyola had a winner in Isabelle Berry who just edged out Lewis in the 100 hurdles.
Missoula Hellgate had a handful of winners in the Top 10 meet, including Sophia Miller in the 800, and Jamison Molloy picked up a victory in the 3,200. On the boys side, Hunter Preston went 6 feet, 6 inches in the high jump to take the victory, while Aiden Nichols won the javelin with a state-best toss of 189 feet, 8 inches, and Finneas Colescott added a victory in the 1,600 for the Knights.
Other winners included reigning Class A state champ Brooke Zetooney of Whitefish in the girls 100 and Columbia Falls' Malaki Simpson won in the 200, while Dillon's Hailey Powell won the girls 1,600, Jefferson's Luke Mest took first in the boys 3,200, and Frenchtown saw Sadie Smith take home the victory in the shot put and Sentinel's Grady Walker also walked away with a win in the triple jump.
Helena's Madilyn Todorovich won the 200 and the Bengals also got a win from Henry Ballinger in the 800. Libby saw Cy Stevenson pick up a win in the boys shot put while Seeley-Swan got a victory from Klayton Kovatch in the discus. Drummond's Jessie Struna won the girls javelin and Corvallis had another winner in Alanna Auch in the discus. Frenchtown's Carter White won the boys long jump and Kalispell Flathead's Kennedy Moore took the victory in the girls high jump.
Helena High also took first in the boys 1,600 relay while Hellgate won the race on the girls side to cap off the meet. For full results from Tuesday's meet, click here.