GREAT FALLS — It isn’t often the towns of Winnett and Grass Range claim state track and field champions. Zoe Delaney wasn’t having that.
Delaney, only a sophomore, clocked the fastest 400-meter dash time in the state this season, winning the Class C championship in 57.88 seconds on Friday. She held the state’s top time in the event for the majority of the season before Maddie Brockel of Class AA Billings West ran 57.89 at the Eastern AA divisional last weekend.
“I couldn’t be more proud,” Delaney said. “I realized in the end that hard work pays off. I would train after practice and it’s really paying off. I’m really thankful I had the motivation to push myself. I couldn’t have done it without my friends and family.”
The win in the 400 was only a portion of Delaney’s monstrous Day 1 at the State C meet at Memorial Stadium. The sophomore also ran the fastest preliminary times in the 100- and 200-meter dashes, 12.98 and 26.66, respectively, giving her the advantage to add two more individual titles on Saturday.
Delaney says she finds motivation from her community.
“I think it’s pretty neat. It’s neat what can be done in a small school,” she said. “It was a good race. I could hear (Manhattan Christian’s Alex Veltkamp and Westby-Grenora’s Kinley Peterson) behind me, pushing me forward. It was a great race.”
Delaney disappeared from the finish line, jetting into the crowd to a sea of hugs from fans in black, yellow and white attire.
“I broke my personal record of 58.82 and got a 57-second time, so I was pretty excited to tell my dad,” she said.
Peterson holds off Veltkamp for 800 title
Peterson, Veltkamp and Delaney were three of the biggest names to watch at this weekend’s State C meet. The trio compete together in multiple events, including Peterson and Veltkamp in the 800.
The Westby-Grenora senior held off Veltkamp down the stretch, finishing in 2 minutes, 18.31 seconds. Peterson says she dug deep in the final 50 meters to cap the victory.
“It felt really good, I was happy with it,” she said. “I was just hoping, because I couldn’t really tell where she was, I was just hoping I could stay in front.”
“It felt good to finish,” Peterson added. “After a while it got painful, so it felt good to get done with it. It was hot, but it was nice to finish and win.”
Peterson competes in multiple events — the 100, 200, 400, 800 and 400-meter relay — making for an exhausting weekend, both physically and mentally.
“I just go one event at a time, try not to think about all of them. Just focus on that one event and get to the others later,” she said.
Morgan Radtke steals long jump title
Veltkamp was a contender to take down the Class C girls long jump record of 17 feet, 7 1/2 inches. Fran Peterson and Nicole Stroot share the record, but Veltkamp had reached 17-09 1/2 this season.
Veltkamp marked 17-05 1/2 in the prelims, ranking her No. 1 of Friday’s jumpers, then scratched all three of her jumps in the finals to focus on the 800. While she jetted to the starting line, Drummond’s Morgan Radtke sailed 17-06 1/4 to steal the long jump title.
Corbin Wood wins long jump title, dives to runner-up finish in 400
Ennis superstar Corbin Wood had an entertaining half hour.
After scratching his first two attempts in the long jump competition, he re-evaluated his starting mark and popped an impressive 22-foot jump on his final attempt in the prelims. The jump vaulted him to first place, and Wood decided to skip the finals to turn his attention to the 400.
“Honestly, I give that all to God. I was praying this morning on my bed, ‘Please help me in the long jump,’” said Wood. “I scratched my first two jumps and I was panicking, but I scooted up about a foot, went for it, watched the board so I wouldn’t scratch and I busted out a 22-foot jump. I don’t even know what to say about it. It’s my best jump ever, I couldn’t have done any better.”
Wood’s mark held throughout the finals, giving him the long jump title, while he took to the starting line for the 400-meter dash. After only running the event three times this season, beginning with the District 12C meet earlier this month, he entered the state meet with the second-fastest time, 51.29, behind Turner’s Eddie Harmon.
The two were side by side throughout the race, with Wood holding a slight advantage in the final 50 meters. As Harmon pulled in front near the finish line, Wood dove in an attempt to re-gain the lead, but Harmon held on, 50.31 seconds to Wood’s 50.32.
“I didn’t really want to dive, but I knew I had to lean a lot and I knew I was going to tip over after I leaned,” Wood laughed. “I got a little crazy there in the end with my arms, I felt (Harmon) pass me. It was such a close race.”
“I dropped my personal-best by almost a second,” he continued. “It’s only my third time running it all year, I wish I would have run it more during the year. I started running it at districts. I really wanted to get that win, but I couldn’t quite lean enough at the end.”
Corbin and brother Tanner paced Ennis to second place in the team standings after Day 1, just four points back of first-place Scobey. The Wood brothers hope to capture a state trophy on their own, and Corbin believes they have the motivation to do so.
“I really do. Especially after that long jump (win),” he said. “I think those 10 points, plus I think I have the 100 and 200 in the bag pretty easily, I don’t think anyone will be close to me in those. With triple jump (Saturday), we’ll see how that goes. I’m hoping to place. If Tanner can place in the 100 and 200, get second or third, it will be everything.”
Logan Maughan’s 1,600 has Seeley-Swan in team contention
There were times throughout the boys 1,600-meter run that Seeley-Swan runner Logan Maughan appeared to be in control of the race. But the Blackhawks’ senior wasn’t so sure.
“I was not going to let myself think I had it at all. I knew if I did that I was probably going to lose,” admitted Maughan. “I felt like I had nothing left, probably right about the final 300 meters. I’m pretty sure the guy that took second, (Denton-Geyser-Stanford’s Kordell Carpenter), I think he was feeling the same way. I figured we would see who was stronger mentally in the last 100, see who’s the better man and runner.”
Maughan, who entered the 1,600 as the No. 5 seed, finished in 4 minutes, 31.61 seconds to hold off Carpenter (4:32.01) and Belt’s Keagan Stroop (4:35.71).
It was an added boost to the Blackhawks’ team championship aspirations.
“Let’s just say we need every point we can get. I think that was a very good win,” Maughan said. “We did really well in the 400-meter relay, they actually broke our school record, so I figured I better match their response. That’s what we do. If you see someone else do good, ‘Well, it’s my turn to match it.’”
Seeley-Swan accumulated 15 points Friday and enters Saturday ranked third in the boys team race. The Blackhawks’ short relay ran 43.93, but will need to trim a second to defeat Ennis’ 2016 class record of 42.95.
Other key winners from Friday’s opening day at the State C track meet can be found below.
- Scobey’s CJ Nelson opened Friday morning with an impressive win in the javelin. The senior, known for his basketball skills, improved his personal best by nearly seven feet, winning the event with a throw of 174 feet, 2 inches. Park City’s Connor McNeil was second at 173-01.
- Fellow eastern Montana athlete Trace Simonson of Whitewater added a win in the throws. Simonson tossed 145-08 to defeat Reed Point-Rapelje’s Sol Arno by nearly six feet in the discus.
- Corbin Wood enters Saturday with the fastest prelim times in both the 100- and 200-meter dashes, 11.18 and 23.16, respectively. St. Regis’ Ian Farris, Circle’s Dylan Yerbich and Scobey’s Riley Linder will try to upset Wood in the 100 on Saturday.
- Manhattan Christian’s Lincoln Young came close to setting a new Class C record in the pole vault. The University of Kentucky commit cleared 14 feet to secure the championship, then raised the bar to 15-02 in an attempt to take the record.
- The Fort Benton girls are the defending Class C team champions and own the fastest 400-meter relay time entering Saturday’s finals. The Longhorns — Maddy Thompson, Abby Clark, Leah Gannon and Nicole Axtman — ran 50.52 on Friday.
- Gannon added a podium finish in the girls 400, finishing fifth with a time of 59.92. She added a third-place effort in the 800 (2:22.41) while McKenzie Clark (2:27.98) placed fourth and Aspen Geise (2:29.29) was sixth.
- Seeley-Swan is also chasing a girls team trophy. Klaire Kovatch won the discus, throwing 135-03 and Terra Bertsch took the pole vault title at 9-06 to pace Seeley-Swan to third place after Day 1.
- West Yellowstone’s Averi Parker followed in the footsteps of her older sister, Bailee, who owns Class C records in the 1,600 and 3,200. Averi won the 3,200 on Friday, finishing in 12:01.72.
- Twin Bridges’ Kailee Oliverson and Charlo’s Carlee Fryberger are in for a showdown in the girls 100-meter hurdle finals on Saturday. Oliverson ran 15.73 in the prelims, while Fryberger clocked a 15.98. Oliverson also owns Class C’s best time in the 300 hurdles, 47.53.
For Friday’s complete results from all four state track meets, please click here.