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What caught my eye: Athletes nearing state-record marks

Posted at 7:06 PM, Apr 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-30 21:06:33-04
Jefferson’s Avery Stiles clears 6 feet, 9.25 inches to set a new record at the Russ Pilcher meet in Missoula. (MTN Sports)

It’s nearly here.

High school district track and field meets kick off in seven days with the District 2C meet in Lambert on May 7.

With the regular season winding down, several athletes have seen their names jump to the top of their respective classification’s performance lists and within reach state records.

Billings West’s Connor Ryan ran Montana’s fastest times in both the 100- and 200-meter dashes over the weekend at the Kelly Walsh Invitational in Casper, Wyo. Ryan has dropped more than .70 seconds off his time from the beginning of the season.

Noxon senior Levi Brubaker launched Montana’s longest triple jump of the year at the Russ Pilcher Top 10 meet on April 23. Suddenly, the State C record held by Columbus’ Greg Stene since 1976 could be in jeopardy.

The State A girls triple jump record will likely be threatened at the state meet in late May, as well. Last week it was Miles City’s Dezi Chamberlin with a massive jump. This week, Glendive’s Karsen Murphy launched herself to within a foot of the record.

Here are a few athletes and storylines that caught my eye on a busy and competitive track and field weekend.

Boys

Class AA

  • Billings West’s Connor Ryan now holds the mantle as Montana’s fastest guy. Ryan ran the 100-meter dash in 10.9 seconds and crossed in 21.94 the 200-meter dash at the Kelly Walsh Invitational in Casper, Wyo. Ryan becomes the first Montanan with multiple times under 11 seconds in the 100 this year and the first athlete with a time below 22 seconds in the 200. The junior has dropped 1.48 seconds off his 200 time since the season began and .73 seconds off his 100 time.
  • Kalispell Glacier’s Drew Deck had never triple jumped before Saturday’s Whitefish ARM meet, but that didn’t seem to matter. Deck posted Class AA’s No. 2 jump on the year in his final attempt of the day (42 feet, 10 ½ inches). With more time and practice in the event, Deck has the ability and explosiveness to become Class AA’s top triple jumper. Deck already leads Class AA in the long jump and 300-meter hurdles.

Class A

  • The Dillon boys team will be among the strongest contenders at the State A track and field meet in late May, as the Beavers boast top-end talent and depth across several events. Alfred Peterson posted Class A’s best high jump at the Russ Pilcher Top 10 meet, where Peterson cleared 6 feet, 6 inches. Peterson and teammate Michael Haverfield are 1-2 in the high jump this year. Only five other Class A athletes have hit the qualifying standard of 6-00.
  • Hamilton’s Jacob Campbell nearly overtook Sidney’s Carter Hughes for the state’s top shot put throw. Campbell’s throw of 55-05 at the Bob Reed RCIA meet on April 27 is just 6 ½ inches behind Hughes’ best throw this season. Campbell and Garrett Brown of Corvallis have joined Hughes as the only three Montana boys to throw the shot put more than 55 feet this season.

Class B

  • Jefferson’s Avery Stiles looks poised to add a second State B high jump title this spring. Stiles won the Russ Pilcher Top 10 with a leap of 6-09 ¼, which broke the meet record set by Helena High’s Trey Tintinger in 2017. Stiles could be the State B record-holder in the high jump by late May with the current record standing at 6-09, which was set in 1986 by Whitehall’s Darby Jones.
  • Ry Olson popped Montana’s longest long jump of the season with a 22-01 mark at the Park City/Harlowton Invitational on April 27. The Joliet senior joined Melstone’s Brody Grebe as the only Montana long jumpers to go more than 22 feet this season. Olson also defeated Grebe at the meet, as Grebe jumped 22-00 ½. Olson is the defending State B long jump champion, where he also jumped 22-01 last May.

Class C

  • Noxon senior Levi Brubaker is suddenly eyeing the State C triple jump record. Brubaker, who won the State C triple jump last year with a jump of 44-03, jumped 45-00 at the Russ Pilcher Top 10 meet to win. Brubaker became the first Montanan to eclipse the 45-foot mark this season and leads Class C by more two feet. Brubaker will turn his attention to the State C record of 45-07 ¾, which was set by Greg Stene of Columbus in 1976.
  • Scobey sprinter Martin Farver had quite a day at the Glendive Elks meet on April 27. Farver posted season-best times in the 100 (11.41 seconds), 200 (22.68) and 400 (51.19). Farver now ranks No. 2 in the 100 and 400 and owns Class C’s top time in the 200. Farver leads a strong contingent of Scobey sprinters that could make some noise at the State C meet in late May.

Girls

Class AA

  • What can’t Delaney Bahn do? The Bozeman senior has dropped jaws around the state with her ability in the jumping events, but Bahn isn’t a one-trick pony. Bahn posted Class AA’s fastest time in the 100 at the Skor DeKam on April 27, running it 12.27 seconds. Add the 100 to the list of events that Bahn is threatening a state record in, as Morgan Sulser’s time of 12.19 in 2014 for Billings Senior could be surpassed.
  • Helena freshman Odessa Zentz has been as good as advertised this season. Zentz has been atop Class AA in the 400 all season, and she proved her status as the top dog at the Russ Pilcher Top 10 meet. Zentz won in a Montana-best time of 58.42 seconds. Zentz also stands No. 2 in the 800 and No. 5 in the 200 in Class AA this season.

Class A

  • Glendive’s Karsen Murphy has shown that she’s among Class A’s best jumpers. Murphy already had a Class A season best in the high jump at 5-05 before she popped off Class A’s No. 2 triple jump this season. Murphy’s leap of 36-10 ¼ has her within reach of the State A record of 37-06 ¼, which was set in 2003 by Belgrade’s Kalindra McFadden. Murphy and Miles City’s Dezi Chamberlin will both be eyeing McFadden’s record at the State A meet.
  • Lewistown sophomore Kylie Zimmer could be a real threat to Corvallis senior Calla Haldorson’s run at four consecutive discus titles. Zimmer posted Class A’s No. 2 throw at the Fergus Invitational with a toss of 138-06 on April 27 and is just four feet behind Haldorson. Zimmer also passed her sister, Anna, for the top shot put throw in Class A (40-09).

Class B

  • Deer Lodge’s Kamryn Scully had a successful week. On April 23, Scully posted Class B’s No. 2 time in the 300-meter hurdles (46.94 seconds) and the top mark in the pole vault at 10-06. On April 26, Scully marked Class B’s No. 6 long jump (15-10) and No. 2 time in the 100-meter hurdles (16.29). Scully looks to be a threat to Baker’s Wrenzi Wrzesinski in both hurdles races and could provide valuable scoring for Deer Lodge at the State B meet.
  • Whitney Hanson of Colstrip posted a pair of qualifying times at the Glendive Elks meet on April 27. Hanson ran Class B’s No. 2 time in the 400-meter dash so far, clocking in at 1 minute, 1.68 seconds. Hanson then became the first Class B girl to qualify for state in the 800-meter run, as she crossed in 2:22.68. Hanson also holds Class B’s top time in the 1,600. She will be looking to improve upon back-to-back runner-up finishes in the 800 at the State B meet.

Class C

  • Carlee Fryberger became the first Class C girl this season to run under 16 seconds in the 100-meter hurdles, as the Charlo sophomore placed fourth at the Russ Pilcher Top 10 meet on April 23. Fryberger has steadily dropped her times in the hurdles throughout the season and has hopes of improving upon her runner-up finish in the 100 hurdles at the 2018 State C meet.
  • Denton-Geyser-Stanford’s Cassidy Randel finds herself atop the Class C shot put after a throw of 38-08 ½ at the Fairfield/Belt #2 meet. Randel’s toss is exactly two feet farther than Class C’s No. 2 toss, which was thrown by Arlee’s Peyton Lammerding. Randel is looking for a bit of redemption from last season. She won the shot put at the Northern C divisional meet but placed eighth at the state meet. With her success early on, Randel should be able to find herself on the podium for the shot put at the State C meet.