High School SportsHigh School Track and Field


Track and field notes and numbers: Athletes crush state-best marks at MCPS, Billings invites

Brooke Reuter AOW
Posted at 5:23 PM, Apr 15, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-15 19:42:50-04

MISSOULA — The warmup period of the 2024 high school track and field season is officially complete. Last week, athletes across Montana ramped up their performances to obliterate numerous state-best marks at large invites and duals alike.

Twenty-six events — 14 on the boys side and 12 on the girls — saw athletes set or tie new state-best parks of the season. The MCPS Invitational in Missoula on Saturday had athletes hit state-best marks in 11 events, including the three fastest time in the girls 1,600-meter run this spring.

Missoula Hellgate senior Sophia Miller ran a personal-best 5:11.10 to grab the first-place finish. Teammate Kaitlyn Skinner was second in 5:13.24, and Hamilton freshman Annalise Lewis was third in 5:15.74.

The 1-2 finish from Miller and Skinner helped the Knights to the team trophy with 130 points. Helena was second with 110, while Hamilton was third with 101.5.

Hellgate also got first-place finishes from Sofia Szollosi in the 200-meter run (25.92), Anneliese Bessette in the 400 (1:01.20), Gia Petrini in the 3,200 (11:24.65) and Landrie Anderson in the pole vault (11-06).

Kalispell Flathead dominated the boys team race, racking up 149 points. Helena Capital was second with 89 points, and Helena High placed third with 62.

The Brave boys won five events, including both relay races in which they set the state’s fastest times of the season. Flathead clocked a 42.21-second time in the 400-meter relay and a 3:23.75 in the 1,600-meter relay.

Ben Bliven, who ran on both relay teams, added a win in the 200 with a PR of 21.96 for the Braves, and teammate William Hollensteiner ran a state-best 49.10 in the 400. Flathead senior Jacob Dolezal matched his season-best and state-leading high jump with a height of 6-06.

Other season-best marks set at the MCPS Invitational:

  • Hamilton’s Tyson Bauder continued his strong season throwing the javelin, hitting a season-best throw of 194-09.
  • Olivia Lewis, the senior hurdler from Corvallis, trimmed more time off the 300-meter version of the event, finishing in 44.06 seconds.
  • Helena High’s girls ran Montana’s fastest time in the 400-meter relay (49.32), and Hamilton ran the fastest in the 1,600-meter relay (4:06.56).
  • Logan Todorovich of Helena High and Emily McElmurry of Missoula Sentinel popped off big jumps, with Todorovich going 18-10¾ in the long and McElmurry hitting 37-10½ in the triple.

Not to be overshadowed, Saturday’s Billings Invite also featured six state-best performances. Sheridan, Wyo., swept the team titles, out-pacing the Bozeman Gallatin, Billings West and Billings Skyview boys and the Laurel, Skyview and Gallatin girls.

The boys ran a scorching 100-meter dash with Skyview junior Ryan Dierenfield lowering his state-best time to 10.64 seconds in the win. Cameron McAllister of Laurel ran a Class A-leading 10.9, and Caleb Conver of West also broke 11 seconds with a 10.94.

Bozeman’s Nathan Neil added another state-best time to his resume, winning the 800-meter run in 1:55.09. He also has Montana’s fastest times in the 1,600 (4:13.45 at the Belgrade Triangular in March) and 3,200 (8:35.32 at the Arcadia Invitational in California).

Nash Coley of Gallatin won the 300 hurdles in 37.59 seconds, and Evan O’Toole of Billings Senior cleared 14-06 to win the pole vault.

On the girls side at the Billings Invite, Gallatin’s Tesse Kamps threw a state-best 135-10 in the discus, and Laurel’s Kaitlyn Dantic ran a state-best 12.52 in the 100 to edge Skyview’s Angel Martin by one one-hundredth of a second.

Dantic also won the 200 with a PR of 25.94.

At the Cal Wearley Memorial in Havre last Wednesday, Havre’s boys and girls swept the team championships.

The Blue Ponies were the only Class A team at the meet, which featured 20 Class B and C programs. The Havre boys and girls combined for 14 individual wins:

  • Michael Emge — 200, 22.94
  • Caleb Tomac — 3,200, 10:01.30
  • Jacob Herring — 300 hurdles, 42.57
  • Boys relays — 400, 44.59; 1,600, 3:40.72
  • Kaydance Reiter — 100, 12.6; 200, 26.02
  • Macy Brandon — 400, 1:03.37
  • Ashlyn Ford — 800, 2:29.50
  • Hailey Gingery — 1,600, 5:58.50
  • Kyanna Jarvis — 100 hurdles, 16.22; high jump, 5-05 (tied with Flathead’s Kennedy Moore for the state-best height).
  • Girls relays — 400, 51.77; 1,600, 4:21.28

Also at the Cal Wearley Memorial, Box Elder junior Tracen Jilot cleared 6-06 in the high jump to tie the top mark in Montana this spring. That’s a PR for Jilot, who placed second at last year’s State C meet with a jump of 6-04.
Elsewhere …

Savage senior Brook Reuter had another strong showing at the Baker Invitational on Saturday. The sprinter tied Dantic’s 12.52 in the 100-meter dash and ran 25.71 in the 200, the fastest time in Montana this spring.

Jackson Tarver of Great Falls CMR went 21.84 in the 200 at a dual with Bozeman Gallatin last week. That’s the fastest time in the state, and only two other sprinters — Skyview’s Dierenfield and Flathead’s Bliven, both with season-best times of 21.96 seconds — have broken the 22-second barrier.

The Class AA boys 110-meter hurdles race is setting up as one to watch. Six guys have already posted sub-15 second times with Helena Capital junior Gavin Mow leading the way. Mow went 14.51 at a dual with Butte last week. At the same dual, Butte’s Sam Henderson popped off a 46-5½ mark in the triple jump to take the state’s top spot.

Kalispell Glacier’s Aiden Krause uncorked a 192-06 in the discus at a dual with Butte last week. The throw is pending validation, but if it stands it's the best mark in Class AA by more than 20 feet and would smash Krause’s previous PR of 181-07 set last spring.

(Note: Results are compiled from athletic.net.)