The high school track and field season is getting into full swing with snow melting away around the state. It’s early in the season, as some athletes have only been able to compete once, but there have been some outstanding performances to date.
On the boys side, Helena High’s Trey Tintinger continues to add to his gaudy high jumping resume, but there will be a head-to-head matchup to watch throughout the season in Class AA with Tintinger trying for his third consecutive State AA high jump title.
Sidney’s Carter Hughes, a two-time champion in both the shot put and discus, made his season debut over the weekend and picked up right where he left off last May. Hughes is also within reach of the State A discus mark, something he’ll be chasing throughout the season.
Last spring, Bozeman’s Delaney Bahn wowed with her exploits in the long jump and high jump. Bahn is back at it again, as she has posted two of Montana’s best marks and will certainly have a chance at etching her name in the state’s record books.
Dillon’s Tylia DeJohn, just a junior, will be looking to add to her collection of state medals this year. DeJohn got 2019 off to a quick start, qualifying for the State A meet in the 100-meter dash with Montana’s top time in Class A.
As the weather begins to heat up, so will the performances on the track and in the field. These are some of the marks and performances that caught my eye during high school track and field’s opening meets.
- Helena High’s Trey Tintinger jumped 6 feet, 11 inches to win the high jump at the prestigious Arcadia Invitational in Los Angeles over the weekend. Tintinger, a two-time Class AA high jump champion and three-time USA Track and Field Hershey National Junior Olympics high jump champion, will need to keep his foot on the gas pedal, because there will be some serious competition in Class AA this year.
- That competition that Tintinger will face in the high jump will likely come from Billings Skyview junior Julius Mims. Mims lept 6-10 on his home track at the 4B’s meet over the weekend to join Tintinger as the second Montana high jumper in the past three seasons to jump that height. Mims looks like he could pose a serious threat to Tintinger’s three-peat hopes.
- Sidney’s Carter Hughes will be chasing his third consecutive Class A title in both the shot put and discus this season. Hughes made his season debut over the weekend at the Wibaux Invitational and instantly made it be known that he’s the favorite once again. Hughes tossed the shot put 54-01 ½ and the discus 150-11, both currently tops in Class A.
- Frenchtown sophomore Jace Klucewich is out for a bit of redemption after false starting in the 100-meter dash at last spring’s State A track and field meet. Klucewich had the fifth-best mark in Class A prior to last year’s state meet. In Klucewich’s first meet of the season, he ran the 200 at the Frenchtown Invitational and matched his personal best of 22.63 seconds, Montana’s top time to date.
- Casey Gunlikson will be taking aim at the State B 100-meter dash record later this spring. In his first meet of the year, Gunlikson clocked in at 11.18 seconds, already Montana’s top time in the event. Gunlikson also qualified in the 200 and holds Class B’s top time in that event, but Huntley Project’s Austin Hernandez looks to be a legitimate challenger to Gunlikson. Hernandez has times of 11.26 and 22.73 to rank No. 2 in both events in Class B.
- Avery Stiles burst onto the scene last year, jumping 6-07 in the high jump in his first meet following ACL surgery in the fall of 2017. Stiles wound up winning the 2018 State B high jump at 6-06. Stiles looks to be even better this year, as the junior jumped 6-08 in his season debut at the Choteau Acantha Invitational on Saturday. Stiles is the overwhelming favorite in Class B’s high jump and has the State B record of 6-09, set by Whitehall’s Darby Jones in 1986, in sight.
- Seeley-Swan finished third as a team at last year’s State C meet in Great Falls, and the Blackhawks look like an early contender in Class C this year. Senior Logan Robinson set Class C bests in both the 100 and 200 at Saturday’s Frenchtown Invitational, clocking in at 11.43 and 22.73. Robinson leads a strong contingent of Blackhawks sprinters, as Seeley-Swan owns Class C’s best time in both the 400- and 1,600-meter relays.
- Melstone multi-sport standout Brody Grebe showed his athletic prowess in the opening weeks of the season. Grebe has top-two marks in Class C in all five events he’s competed in this season. He’s qualified for the state meet in all five, as well. Grebe owns the top mark in the long jump and shot put, while he’s second in the 100, 200 and triple jump. Grebe will have the potential to keep Melstone in the running for a trophy at May’s State C meet.
- Bozeman’s Delaney Bahn will be chasing the State AA long jump record this season, and she certainly has it in her sights. Last spring, Bahn broke long jump meet records at the Midland Roundtable Top 10 and the Swede Dahlberg Invite. Bahn picked up where she left off, jumping 18-08 in her season debut in the event. Bahn also high jumped 5-05, matching Glendive’s Karsen Murphy for the state’s best to date.
- Lauren Heggen jumped into Montana’s record books last spring, breaking Montana’s all-class record in the triple jump in dramatic fashion to win the State AA title. Heggen is right back atop Class AA this spring, jumping 38-07 ¾ at the Arcadia Invitational. Her long jump of 17-11 ¾ is second in Montana only to Bahn.
- Dillon’s Tylia DeJohn is again Class A’s fastest girl. DeJohn was No. 1 all season last year until finishing second to teammate Hayle Sundquist at the State A meet. DeJohn, now a junior, is Class A’s only girl to run under 13 seconds in the 100, clocking in at 12.74 at the Frenchtown Invitational. DeJohn will again be among the favorites in Class A in the 100 and 200.
- Calla Haldorson is looking to become Montana’s first female four-time champion in the discus. Haldorson already has the top toss in Class A this season, winning the Frenchtown Invitational with a throw of 134-03 ½. Haldorson will be the overwhelming favorite to win her fourth consecutive title and is chasing the State A record of 154-10 by Bree Fuque of Polson in 1999. Haldorson’s lifetime best is 153-05, which she threw at last April’s Sapphire Twilight Invitational.
- Huntley Project junior Emily Poole appears to have some serious competition in the shot put and discus this season. Poole holds Class B’s top discus throw at 128-03, but Colstrip freshman Jamie Whitedirt is hot on Poole’s heels with a toss of 119-03. Whitedirt has the advantage over Poole in the shot put with a toss of 37-00. Poole won both the discus and javelin at last year’s State B meet and finished third in shot put.
- There’s a new face in the Class B field events that has made some noise in the first few meets of the season. Huntley Project freshman Macee Murphy currently owns Class B’s best marks in both the long jump and triple jump. Murphy’s triple jump of 35-08 ½ is the only jump in Class B to qualify for the State B meet. Murphy and Baker standout Wrenzi Wrzesinski are the only two Class B girls qualified in the long jump. Murphy will be a name to watch as a rising star throughout the season.
- Ennis senior Jourdain Klein has won two State C triple jump titles and one State C high jump title in her first three years. Last year, Klein finished second at the State C meet in both events. Klein’s 2019 season debut went about as good as can be, as she cleared 5-04 in the high jump and jumped 35-02 in the triple jump. Both are currently Class C bests in Montana. Klein will be looking to add to her state medal collection in late May.
- Klein, though, will have at least one new challenger to her triple jump title, as Chester-Joplin-Inverness freshman Tatum Hull has had a blistering start to her first high school track and field campaign. Hull’s triple jump of 34-05 ½ is currently No. 2 in Class C. Hull is also second in Class C in long jump (16-07 ¾), fifth in the 100 (13.65), fifth in the 200 (28.35) and owns the top time in the 100-meter hurdles at 16.46. Hull will be a new name to watch throughout the season.