BILLINGS – There had only been one tie in over 100 years of Montana track and field coming into 2019. By the end of Saturday, there were three.
Dillon had a 15 point lead in the State A boys race entering Saturday in Laurel, but the hometown Locomotives knew things were going to be close after a surprise second place finish in the opening 4 x 100 relay.
“It’s a huge deal,” said 110 hurdles state champion Chris Abell. “We were coming in not expecting any points, coming in 7th, and now stealing eight points from that, it’s going to help us catch the top teams like Dillon.”
After Levi Taylor completed a distance race sweep in the mile, the Locos grabbed a two-point lead, but Dylan Cervelli’s monster anchor leg of the 4 x 400 relay put the Beavers back in front and feeling good.
“10 points is as good as we’re gonna get,” said Cervelli, “so we definitely feel like we did our part.”
Only one event remained: the discus, where Laurel’s Ely Kraft would have to finish second to pull Laurel back even. 150 feet, 5 inches later, there were officially two ties in the Treasure State record books.
Huntley Project and Baker’s girls would make it three minutes later at the State B meet up in Kalispell. But it was Huntley Project’s boys who stole the show, setting a Class B record with 122 points, including a new all-class 110 hurdles record from Brad Graves.
“That’s been a goal of mine for three years, ever since freshman year ended not the way I wanted it to,” Graves said. “I just set a goal myself, and that was to run as fast as I could and chase that record.”
Big Timber’s Casey Gunlikson broke two Class B records in his three wins, while Baker senior Wrenzi Wrzesinski also dominated her events.
In Class AA, some of the best individual performances helped boost their teams to the podium.
“I think it’s awesome. Not only did I contribute but everyone on the team obviously,” said Bozeman senior Delaney Bahn who won three events. “Our team works so hard at what we do, so the title just shows how hard we worked at it.”
“I was very scared, then I don’t know what happened – I got a speed boost,” said Missoula Sentinel’s Jaden Foster of his win in the 200 meters. “That’s what it felt like. We all feel great because this will be the first state title since 1960 or something like that.”
Actually, it was the Spartans first state track and field since the school officially became Missoula Sentinel.
Class C meanwhile was dominated by stellar individual performances. Winnett Grass Range junior Zoe Delaney won the 200, 400, and 800 meters – watch out for more next year. Melstone senior Brody Grebe won a rare trifecta of the long jump, triple jump, and shot put with two PR’s. And Scobey senior Martin Farver won the 100, 200, and 400 meters, and was second in the 110 hurdles by 0.02.
“It feels awesome. I mean, it’s just such a long road,” Farver said. “You finally get to track and you get to really see what you can do, and it’s just awesome to fulfill that goal.”
Farver helped Scobey captured the State C title this year, after coming up two points short in 2018.