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What caught my eye: Huge performances by state’s top athletes

Posted at 8:14 PM, May 07, 2019
Winnett-Grass Range’s Zoe Delaney leans at the line to win the 2018 State C 100-meter dash in Great Falls. (RICHIE MELBY/MTN Sports)

Montana’s high school track and field season came to a close for Classes B and C over the weekend, as District 2C kicked off its district track meet on Tuesday afternoon.

With several large meets boasting great matchups taking place on the regular season’s final weekend, some of the year’s best marks were hit on both the track and in the field.

Big Timber’s Casey Gunlikson posted Montana’s fastest time in the 100-meter dash this season on Saturday at the Al Walker Memorial Stillwater Invite in Laurel. Gunlikson could soon be the new State B record holder in the event.

Lauren Heggen and Ashley McElmurry are two of the best high school triple jumpers to ever come through Montana. Heggen and McElmurry are the first pair of teammates in the country to each post a triple jump over 40 feet this season.

With district track meets looming, several of the state’s top athletes busted out season-best performances in another busy track and field weekend.

Boys

Class AA

  • Kalispell Flathead’s Ben Perrin ran a pair of Class AA-best times on Saturday at the Archie Roe in Kalispell. Perrin ran a season-best time in the 1,600-meter run, crossing in 4 minutes, 21.02 seconds. Perrin also ran a season-best in the 3,200-meter run, winning in 9:16.53. Perrin appears to be hitting his peak at the right time of the season, as he continues to chase his brother Jake’s State AA records in both events.
  • Billings Skyview hurdler Caden Olsen became the first Class AA boy to break 15 seconds in the 110-meter hurdles this season. Olsen ran 14.95 at a triangular with Bozeman and Billings West last Friday and is now behind only Huntley Project’s Bradley Graves for the top time in the state. Olsen has held Class AA’s top time this season since he ran a 15.00 on April 6.

Class A

  • Frenchtown sophomore Jace Klucewich is back atop Class A in the 100-meter dash. Klucewich set a personal best in the event with a time of 11.06 seconds. Klucewich also posted Class A’s best time in the 200-meter dash, running a 22.46 at the KLH Memorial on Saturday. Klucewich enters the final week of Class A’s regular season as favorite in each event.
  • Sidney’s Carter Hughes is seeking three consecutive State A titles in the shot put and discus. Hughes unleashed the longest throw in the state in both events on Saturday at the John Polich Invitational in Miles City. Hughes has had competition breathing down his neck in the shot put, but his mark at the John Polich represents a personal best. Hughes could break the State A record, too, as his throw of 59 feet, 6 inches is just more than a foot farther than the current record of 58-05 ½ set in 2014 by Livingston’s Chris Emter.

Class B

  • Casey Gunlikson is as fast as they come. The Big Timber senior and defending State B champion in the 100- and 200-meter dashes and the 300-meter hurdles has his sights locked in on the State B record in the 100. Gunlikson ran 10.83 in the 100 at the Al Walker Memorial Stillwater Invite on Saturday, setting a new best time for all of Montana this season. The Class B record of 11.01 by Deer Lodge’s Arie Grey looks to be in serious jeopardy. Gunlikson could also break the 200 record, as his time of 22.56 isn’t far behind Fort Benton’s Troy Estell, who ran 22.22 in 1986.
  • Huntley Project sophomore Noah Bouchard jumped himself right into contention for the State B high jump crown at the John Polich Invitational in Miles City on Saturday. Bouchard leapt 6-08, becoming just the second Class B athlete to hit that mark this season, joining Jefferson’s Avery Stiles. Bouchard also joins Stiles as a threat to the State B record of 6-09 set in 1986 by Whitehall’s Darby Jones.

Class C

  • Scobey’s Martin Farver has taken over the mantle of the fastest guy in Class C this season. Farver ran the 100 in 11.11 seconds at the Al Walker Memorial Stillwater Invite in Laurel on Saturday and now owns Class C’s top time in both the 100 and 200. Farver’s exceptional day in Laurel continued in the 110 hurdles, where he ran Class C’s No. 4 time. Farver also has Class C’s No. 2 time in the 400. If Scobey is to come away with a trophy at the State C meet, Farver will need to perform well.
  • Seeley-Swan’s Hunter Shelmerdine became the first Montana guy to run the 400-meter dash in sub-50 seconds this season, as he won the 400 at the KLH Memorial in 49.82 seconds to set a new meet record and Seeley-Swan school record. Shelmerdine placed fourth at the State C meet in the 400 last year, but he is the only Class C guy to run faster than 51 seconds this season in the event.

Girls

Class AA

  • Missoula Sentinel’s Lauren Heggen and Ashley McElmurry became the first pair of high school teammates in the country to triple jump more than 40 feet this season. They’ll both look to push the all-class state record, which Heggen owns at 39-07. Both Heggen and McElmurry broke the old all-class record on multiple occasions at last year’s State AA meet and will likely do so again this year. Heggen and McElmurry also popped off some massive long jumps at the Butte Invite to try to keep pace with Bozeman’s Delaney Bahn. Keep an eye on this historic duo, as records will likely fall again.
  • It looked like Bozeman’s Delaney Bahn might be a runaway favorite at the State AA meet in the high jump, but Kalispell Flathead’s Madison Boles had a great day at the Archie Roe on Saturday to put her name right back in contention. Boles leapt 5-06, just an inch behind Bahn’s 5-07, to win against a solid field. It’s a personal best for Boles, who is looking to improve upon her fourth-place finish at last year’s state meet.

Class A

  • Miles City’s Dezi Chamberlin has already taken down one prestigious triple jump record and certainly has her sights set on a second. Chamberlin broke the Midland Roundtable Top 10 meet record in the triple jump with a leap of 37-04 ¼ en route to winning the event. Chamberlin now will take aim at the State A record of 37-06 ¼, which was set by Belgrade’s Kalindra McFadden in 2003.
  • Another record fell at the Midland Roundtable Top 10 meet, as Kylie Zimmer threw the shot put 42-08 to break the previous record held by Bridger’s Kylee Zent at 42-07 ½. Zimmer then improved upon her personal best with a toss of 43-07 at the John Polich Invitational in Miles City. Zimmer, just a sophomore, will be chasing the State A record of 46-05 set in 2000 by Polson’s Bree Fuque.

Class B

  • Huntley Project freshman Macee Murphy is likely going to make a big impact at the State B meet later this month in Kalispell. Murphy owns Class B’s best mark in both the long jump and triple jump, having leapt 16-11 ½ at the Midland Roundtable Top 10 and placing second to Bozeman’s Delaney Bahn. Murphy won the 100 hurdles at the Top 10 and is now No. 2 in Class B in the event behind Baker’s Wrenzi Wrzesinski. Murphy is also No. 3 in the 300 hurdles and sixth in the 100. It seems as if Murphy is blossoming into a star already.
  • Harlem’s L’Tia Lawrence and Colstrip’s Whitney Hanson haven’t faced each other this season and won’t until the State B meet later this month. However, they’re already setting up for a tremendous race in the 1,600-meter run. Over the past two weeks, Lawrence and Hanson have each dropped more than 10 seconds off their time and are leading Class B by more than 10 seconds.

Class C

  • Charlo’s Carlee Fryberger had herself quite the weekend. On Thursday, Fryberger became the first Class C girl to run faster than 13 seconds in the 100, clocking in at 12.95 at the Lake County track meet in Polson. Fryberger then posted Class C’s No. 3 time in the 200 at 27.04 on Saturday afternoon at the KLH Memorial in Missoula. She also posted a Class C’s No. 6 mark in the triple jump at the Lake Country meet, as well as owning Class C’s top time in the 100 hurdles this season and is the only girl in Class C under 16 seconds.
  • Winnett-Grass Range’s Zoe Delaney introduced herself to the rest of Class C in 2017, winning the 200 and placing second in the 100 and 400 at the State C meet. Now a junior, she was magnificent this past week, posting Class C-bests in the 200, 400 and 800. Even against loaded fields in the 200 and 800 at the Al Walker Memorial Stillwater Invite, Delaney placed first. Delaney looks to be rounding into championship form as the postseason is set to begin.