This weekend the smaller schools around Montana will be competing head-to-head in some of the larger meets around the state this season. While Class AA schools such as Bozeman and Helena Capital will compete at the Skor Dekam Invitational, which currenly will host six schools, the Park City/Harlo Invitational in Laurel on Saturday will have 25 teams in attendance and the Manhattan Christian Invitational will host 20 teams. The weather appears to finally be cooperating for athletes to post their top performances to date. Here are a few things to watch for in the week ahead:
Colstrip Invite Thursday at Colstrip
• The boys 200-meter dash will likely feature four of the top six times in Class B this season. Forsyth’s Cade Johnstone holds the No. 2 time in Class B at 22.62, while Huntley Project freshman Mitchell Burns is No. 6 at 23.73. Huntley Project’s Austin Hernandez and Lane Sumner rank Nos. 3 and 4, respectively.
• The boys pole vault will potentially boast the Nos. 1 and 2 marks in Class B. Joliet’s Brett Robinson currently leads Class B with a vault of 13 feet, but Logan Donally of Huntley Project sits in second with a vault of 12 feet, 6 inches.
• In the girls long jump, two of Class B’s top five jumpers will potentially take center stage. Whitney Hanson of Colstrip currently sits at No. 3 in Class B with a jump of 15-10. Joliet’s Kallie Zinne, with a best of 15-06, will look to move up from her No. 5 spot.
Ranger Invite Thursday at Livingston
• Livingston’s Colin Marks currently sits No. 2 in Class A in the 100-meter dash with a time of 11.24 and will potentially take on the top sprinter in Class B – Big Timber’s Casey Gunlikson. Gunlikson owns Class B’s top time in the 100, 200, and 300-meter hurdles.
• Gunlikson will likely be tested in the 300-meter hurdles. Whitehall’s Max Feight owns the No. 3 time in Class B this season, less than one second off of Gunlikson’s time.
Park City/Harlo Invitational Saturday at Laurel
• The boys triple jump will likely be one of the most loaded fields of the season. Class C’s top two jumpers, Melstone’s Brody Grebe and Roberts’ Alex Kosel, will potentially be joined by seven of the top nine jumpers in Class B. Grebe currently ranks No. 2 in the entire state, while Kosel ranks No. 4. Whitehall’s Braden Smith, Forsyth’s Paul Johnstone, and Joliet’s Ry Olson are currently the top three in Class B.
• More action in the field for the boys, as the shot put will likely boast four of the top eight distances in Class B. Huntley Project’s Trey Copeland leads the field with a toss of 47-02 ¾, but Roundup’s Curtis Harper sits on Copeland’s heels with a toss of 47-02. Copeland and Harper are likely to be joined by Shepherd’s Tanner Harrell and Big Timber’s Nathan Baker.
• Harrell and Baker will also potentially duel in the discus, too. Baker sits No. 2 in Class B in the discus with a toss of 145-08, while Harrell sits No. 3 after throwing 139-02 earlier this season.
• The girls 400-meter dash will feature a trio of Class B’s top times. Roundup’s Savanna Wolff ranks No. 3, and she’ll potentially be joined by fourth-ranked Alana Graves of Huntley Project and seventh-ranked Jolie Wood of Big Timber.
• The girls throwing events will be highlighted by Huntley Project’s Emily Poole. Poole leads Class B in the discus and javelin, and she ranks No. 3 in the shot put. Park City’s Brittany Frank will look to challenge Poole, specifically in the javelin where she owns the No. 3 distance in Class C at 123-05.
Manhattan Christian Invitational Saturday at Bozeman
• In his first meet following ACL surgery in the fall, Jefferson sophomore Avery Stiles set a new school record in the high jump clearing 6-07. Stiles has the Class B record of 6-09 in his sights.
• Twin Bridges’ Kailee Oliverson and Ennis’ Jourdain Klein will potentially square off in the girls high jump. Klein, the defending Class C state champion in the high jump and triple jump, leads Class C with a jump of 5-05, while Oliverson is tied for third with a leap of 5-02.
• This meet will also potentially feature the Class C boys top pole vaulter in Manhattan Christian’s Lincoln Young, Class B girls top long jumper in Three Forks’ Sinclair Oliver, Class C’s No. 2-ranked girls 800-meter run time from Manhattan Christian’s Alex Veltkamp, and Geraldine’s Shyanne Clark, who currently sits No. 3 in Class C girls shot put and No. 5 in discus.
Richey-Lambert High School Invite
• Westby-Grenora’s Kinley Peterson, who holds Class C’s top times in the 400 and 800, will potentially take on the fourth and fifth-ranked runners in the 800, both from Scobey. Freshman Gracee Lekvold and sophomore Kortney Nelson will look to climb the Class C ranks. Peterson placed fourth in the 200, fourth in the 400, and second in the 800 at last spring’s Class C state track and field meet.