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Competition on the track heating up as season winds down

Posted at 2:10 PM, May 03, 2018

This is the penultimate weekend for most high school track and field teams around Montana. District meets start as early as Tuesday when the District 2C meet kicks off in Fairview. While Class B and Class C schools are prepping for district meets, Classes A and AA are getting in their final tuneups before their divisional meets in the coming weeks.

John Polich Invitational at Miles City     

  • One of the nation’s top pole vaulters will likely be back in action this weekend. Sidney’s Garrison Hughes, fresh off breaking his own North/East Top 10 meet record, continues his ascent up the record books as he searches for the 17-foot mark. Hughes’ vault of 16 feet, 9 inches is the best mark in Montana history, according to the MHSA website.
  • The season-long battle between Forsyth’s Johnstone brothers and Huntley Project sprinters Austin Hernandez, Mitchell Burns and Lane Sumner looks to continue this Saturday in Miles City. Cade Johnstone owns the No. 2 100-meter dash time in Class B, but Hernandez and Sumner sit Nos. 4 and 5, potentially setting up another fierce showdown. In the 200-meter dash, Cade Johnstone sits second while his brother Paul is third. Hernandez, Burns and Sumner rank Nos. 4, 6 and 7.
  • Potentially joining the Johnstone brothers and Huntley Project sprinters are Miles City sprinters Keith Vanderlaan and Kip Krebsbach. Vanderlaan and Krebsbach rank Nos. 3 and 4, respectively, in the Class A 100, and Nos. 2 and 3 in the 200.
  • The girls 100-meter hurdles should provide plenty of intrigue, as it will likely feature Montana’s third- and fourth-ranked times. Baker’s Wrenzi Wrzesinski, the Class B leader, and Lewistown’s Marissa James, the Class A leader, are slated to battle on the track on Saturday afternoon.
  • Billings Central freshman sensation Kellan Wahl will look to take down Wrzesinski in a possible showdown in the girls 100. Wahl owns the second-fastest time in Class A at 12.77 seconds, while Wrzesinski is third in Class B at 13.13.

Archie Roe Invitational at Kalispell

  • Phenomenal Frenchtown freshman Jace Klucewich will likely have his hands full in the boys 100. The field will potentially boast four of the top seven times in Montana this season. The other three sprinters are Kalispell Glacier’s Ethan Larson, Drew Turner, and Mark Estes.
  • Although they’re teammates, the boys triple jump will potentially have the Nos. 1 and 2 jumpers in the state on hand. Glacier’s Mark Estes leapt a state-best 45 feet, 11 inches last weekend at the Whitefish ARM to take the lead over teammate and defending Class AA state champion Hunter Nicholson.
  • In what may be the race of the season, the girls 1,600-meter run is slated to pit Bigfork’s Bryn Morley against Glacier’s Annie Hill, as well as Missoula Hellgate’s Ellee Becker and Elise Stearns. Morley currently owns Montana’s top time in the event at 4 minutes, 50.05 seconds, but Hill is not far behind at 5:04.42. Hill owns Montana’s top time in the 800-meter run, while Morley ranks No. 2.
  • The Fort Benton girls team features a trio of jumpers ranked in the top seven of Class C. Leah Gannon, Maddy Thompson and Aspen Giese are likely to face off with Hellgate’s Severine Armstrong, Class AA’s fourth-ranked jumper, and Kalispell Flathead’s Kennedy Kanter, Class AA’s eighth-ranked jumper.

Dillon Invitational at Dillon

  • Whitehall currently has two of Class B’s top 10 triple jumpers in Braden Smith and Cade Briggs. Smith and Briggs are likely to face off again this weekend. Smith has qualified for the Class B state track and field meet, while Briggs’ jump of 40-09 ½ is just short of the Class B qualifying mark of 41-01.
  • Dillon sprinter Tylia DeJohn, currently the fastest girl in Class A in the 100 and owner of the No. 2-ranked time in the state (12.65 seconds), and teammate Hayle Sundquist, who owns the No. 3 time in Class A, will potentially square off yet again. DeJohn and Sundquist have both qualified for the Class A state track and field meet.