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What I’ll be watching: State’s top athletes to face off

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Posted at 4:35 PM, May 02, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-02 18:35:07-04
Kalispell Flathead’s Ben Perrin is eyeing his brother Jake’s State AA records in the 1,600 and 3,200. (RICHIE MELBY/MTN Sports)

District track meets are right around the corner, with District 2C getting the action started on May 7 in Lambert. There are some big meets on tap this weekend, though, that will feature some of the state’s premier athletes likely going head-to-head.

Only three Class A runners have run the 800-meter run in under 2 minutes this season, and two of those three are set to square off this weekend.

A handful of the state’s best sprinters will meet at the KLH Memorial in Missoula this weekend, and two Class A girls with the state triple jump record in their sights will battle each other at the John Polich Invitational.

With the regular season coming to a close, here are some of the matchups and storylines I’ll have my eye on over the weekend.

Boys

Class AA

  • Kalispell Flathead’s Ben Perrin ran his best 1,600-meter run time of the season at the Whitefish ARM meet last week but has been looking at the Archie Roe this Saturday in Kalispell to really ramp up his performance. Perrin also owns the top time in the 3,200-meter run this year and looks to be nearing his peak as the season comes to a close. How close can Perrin get to his brother Jake’s State AA record times?
  • At the Whitefish ARM last weekend, Kalispell Glacier’s Drew Deck triple jumped for the first time in his high school career. He was exceptional and posted Class AA’s No. 2 jump this season. Deck also owns the top long jump mark in Class AA. But it’s the hurdles where Deck could face his stiffest competition at the Archie Roe on Saturday in Kalispell. Kalispell Flathead’s Camas Rinehart could be healthy enough to compete, and Rinehart is just .02 seconds behind Deck in the 300-meter hurdles for Class AA’s top time.

Class A

  • Laurel’s Levi Taylor just broke the school record in the 1,600, which was previously held by Laurel legend Pat Casey, en route to winning the event at the Midland Roundtable Top 10 on Wednesday. Lewistown’s Tanner Trafton won the 800 at the meet in a time .09 seconds faster than Taylor’s season best. The two will likely meet up on Saturday afternoon at the John Polich Invitational in Miles City in what should be a preview of what to watch at the State A meet later this month.
  • Sidney’s Carter Hughes will likely have some stiff competition in the shot put and discus at the John Polich Invitational in Miles City on Saturday. Including Hughes, there will potentially be six of Class A’s top 10 shot put throwers at the meet. There will also be three of the top five discus throwers in Class A. Once again, Hughes will have to prove that he’s the guy to beat in Class A.

Class B

  • Troy’s Hunter Leighty owns Montana’s No. 2 time in the 400-meter dash so far this season at 50.50. Leighty will be the favorite at the Archie Roe meet on Saturday, but he’ll potentially face some of the top sprinters in the state. The race could feature up to four of the top 20 times in the state. No Montana male has cracked 50 seconds in the 400 this season, but Leighty could become the first.
  • Three of the state’s top 110-meter hurdlers will likely face off at the KLH Memorial in Missoula on Saturday afternoon. Townsend’s Kameron Rauser, who holds Class B’s No. 2 time this season, Valley Christian’s Benjamin Tuinstra, who is No. 3 in Class C, and Fairfield’s Dawson Allen, who placed second at last year’s State B meet, could meet up. Don’t blink, or you might miss the best race of the day in Missoula.

Class C

  • Scobey’s Martin Farver and Max Cole have been among the best Class C sprinters and hurdlers this season. Farver and Cole will likely square off with Richey-Lambert’s Casey Cayer, who is near the top in the 100-meter dash and the long jump. Regardless if the three athletes only meet in one event at Friday’s Gene Nelson Memorial in Wolf Point, it will be worth watching three of Class C’s most explosive athletes.
  • Logan Robinson owns Class C’s fastest time in the 100 this season at 11.29, but he’ll face a loaded field at the KLH Memorial in Missoula on Saturday. Robinson could potentially face off with Frenchtown’s Jace Klucewich, Fairfield’s Dawson Allen and Ryder Meyer, Townsend’s Kameron Rauser and St. Regis’ Ian Farris. This star-studded field could lead to season-best times.

Girls

Class AA

  • Madison Boles has placed fourth in the high jump at the State AA meet each of the past two seasons. The Kalispell Flathead senior has Class AA’s No. 2 high jump mark this season so far. Boles jumped 5 feet, 5 inches at the Archie Roe last season and is hoping to improve upon that this Saturday in Kalispell. She’s hit 5-05 several times over the past three seasons but will likely need to go higher to win the state title.
  • Kalispell Glacier junior Faith Brennan suddenly burst onto the scene of Class AA’s top triple jumpers with her performance at the Optimist Club Invite in mid-April. Brennan’s performance at the Archie Roe on Saturday in Kalispell will be worth keeping an eye on. Could Brennan be the third Montana female to triple jump 38 feet this year?

Class A

  • Miles City’s Dezi Chamberlin and Glendive’s Karsen Murphy both have the State A triple jump record in sight. The current record set in 2003 by Kalindra McFadden of Belgrade is 37-06.25. Chamberlin just broke the Midland Roundtable Top 10 meet record with a jump of 37-04.25 and Murphy is just eight inches shy of McFadden’s mark at 36-10.25. Chamberlin and Murphy will likely meet up at the John Polich Invitational on Saturday in Miles City. The two will be seeing plenty of each other in the coming weeks.
  • Lewistown sophomore Kylie Zimmer broke the Midland Roundtable Top 10 meet record in the shot put on Wednesday night with a throw of 42-08. Her throw leads Class A by just over two feet, as sister Anna is the only Class A girl within five feet of Kylie. The Zimmer sisters will look to improve upon their state-leading throws at the John Polich Invitational on Saturday.

Class B

  • Two of Class B’s top sprinters are likely to square off at the Archie Roe on Saturday in Kalispell. Cut Bank senor Kamdyn Molenda has Class B’s No. 2 time in the 100 this season at 12.83, but Eureka freshman Maya Carvey ran 12.93 on April 30. Molenda and Carvey will potentially be in a loaded field at the Archie Roe and could push Baker’s Wrenzi Wrzesinski for Class B’s top time.
  • Huntley Project freshman Macee Murphy has been a star for the Red Devils this season. Murphy recently placed in three events at the Midland Roundtable Top 10 and will look to carry that over to the John Polich Invitational in Miles City on Saturday. Murphy won the hurdles at the Top 10 meet and posted Class B’s second-fastest time. She’ll likely have a shot at Baker’s Wrenzi Wrzesinski on Saturday. Murphy and Wrzesinski are the only two Class B girls to run under 16 seconds in the hurdles this season.

Class C

  • Four of Class C’s top five 100-meter hurdlers will likely face off at the KLH Memorial Saturday in Missoula. Charlo’s Carlee Fryberger, who owns the top time in the class, and Kaitlin Cox will potentially be joined by Darby’s Casey Ehmann and Seeley-Swan’s Terra Bertsch. Fryberger, Cox and Ehmann all placed at last year’s state meet, and Bertsch has been among Class C’s best all season. This could serve as a preview of the State C 100-meter hurdles finals.
  • Seeley-Swan’s Terra Bertsch has been atop Class C in the pole vault all season long after winning the State C title last year. Bertsch, though, will face off with the defending Class B pole vault champion in Kamryn Scully of Deer Lodge. Two of Montana’s best female pole vaulters will likely be on display at the KLH Memorial in Missoula on Saturday.