Shepherd's Demar Pugh

Shepherd's Demar Pugh, center, beats edges Baker's Cleet Wrzesinski, right, and Forsyth's Cade Johnstone in a preliminary heat of the 110-meter hurdles at the Southern B Divisional track meet in Laurel on Thursday. Wrzesinski nevertheless came back to win the finals and also took first in the 300 hurdles and 200.

CASEY PAGE, Gazette Staff

Track & Field

Keegan Stroop won the 1,600 and 3,200, finished third in the 800 and was a member of the winning 1,600 relay team to help the Belt boys take the Northern C championship over Valier and Chester-Joplin-Inverness. Also for Belt, Jaren Maki won the discus and javelin. On the girls side, Kaitlyn Bird won the 800 and 1,600, Maddy Thompson took the pole vault and long jump, Coya Nack dominated the shot put and discus, and Fort Benton won both relays as the Longhorns won by 68 points over second-place Chinook.

• Cleet Wrzesinski delivered three wins for the Baker boys at the Southern B Divisional meet in Laurel, winning the 200 (22.40), 110 hurdles (14.75) and 300 hurdles (39.90). Huntley Project’s Lane Sumner won the 100 (11.25) and anchored the 400 relay team to a 43.87-second victory. Paul Johnstone of Forsyth took home wins in both the 800 (2:01.09) and long jump (21-09 3/4), leading the Dogies to the team title with 74 points. For the girls, Baker’s Wrenzi Wrzesinski bolted to four victories, winning the 100 (12.73), 200 (26.83), 100 hurdles (15.30) and 300 hurdles (47.15) while also running the final leg of Baker’s win in the girls 400 relay (51.59). Huntley Project took first in the team competition, scoring 99 points to Baker's 89.

• The Roberts boys and Park City girls won the team titles at the Southern C Divisional at the Laurel Sports Complex. The Rockets finished with 105 points and the Panther girls won with 117. Allexander Kosel paced Roberts with victories in the high jump and triple jump. Other double-winners among the boys were Jake Lockwood of Broadus, who swept the 100- and 200-meter dashes, and Ekalaka’s Tanner Fix, who won both the 110 and 300 hurdles. Rayna Laasko paced the Park City girls with wins in the 100, 200 and 100 hurdles. Freshman Laetin Lantis of Terry (400, 1,600 and 3,200) was a triple-winner and Jordan’s Tarissa Phipps (shot put, discus) was a double-winner. Park City swept all four relay races for the boys and girls.

• Bigfork’s Hailee Norred came away with three wins in the first day of the Western B Divisional girls meet in Frenchtown to lead the Valkyries to a 91-point first place lead. Norred won the 100 (13.01), 200 (26.11) and 400 (59.51). Ronan’s Jackson Duffey was a double-winner in the boys meet, winning the 800 (2:00.83) and 3,200 (10:30.26) to help the Chiefs secure a first place, 65-point lead. 


• Syrell Dufner’s second double of the game drove in the winning run in the bottom of the seventh to lift the top-seeded Glendive Red Devils to a 5-4 win over Sidney in the semifinals of the Eastern A tournament. Dufner finished 2 for 4 with two RBIs. Madison Thiel drove in two runs for Sidney, which reached the semifinals with an 8-7 win over Billings Central earlier in the day by scoring two runs in the bottom of the seventh. Logan Peterson homered for the Eagles and had three hits, and Madison Thiessen also had three hits, driving in two runs.

• Madissen Hill went 3 for 3 and drove in four runs, helping Miles City to a 12-6 win over Laurel in the other Eastern A semifinal. Arena Porter, Kylee Licht and Sarah Moore all had two RBIs for the Cowgirls, who will face Glendive in Friday’s championship game. Earlier, Miles City scored a run in the bottom of the seventh to beat Hardin 6-5 to reach the semifinals. Alexa Kappel allowed one hit and struck out four over 2 1/3 innings of relief to get the win for the Cowgirls.


• Simon Marshall won the Eastern A boys singles title, and third- and fourth-place finishes in doubles helped Billings Central to the team title over second-place Hardin. Billings Central finished with 42 points and Hardin 35. Hardin’s Darnell Lefthand and Michael Neeser won the boys doubles title.

• The girls team race at the Eastern A tennis tournament couldn’t have been tighter. Glendive took first with 39 points, followed by Billings Central with 38 and Hardin with 37. Glendive’s Ceeara Staiger won the girls singles crown and the Billings Central tandem of Molly Putnam and Hailey Keller won the girls doubles title.

• Bozeman’s girls grabbed the first-day lead at the Class AA state tournament, leading Great Falls CMR, Billings Senior and Missoula Sentinel by two points. Heather Sikoski of Bozeman and Mackenzie George of CMR both reached the singles semifinals, but on opposite sides of the bracket. George takes on Skyview’s Katie Hooton and Sikoski will play Hellgate’s Olivia Panarella. Sentinel has two doubles teams in the semis: Chelsea Bone/Bronwyn McCormick will play Helena Capital’s Fiona Powers/Bridget Powers, and Hannah Worden/Peyton Finch will play Bozeman’s Maya Buckingham/Anna Cecil of Kalispell Glacier.

• With two singles players and two doubles teams in the semifinals, Bozeman’s boys built a five-point lead after the first day of the Class AA state tournament. The Hawks’ Marcos Zelver will play Senior’s Jay Montague in one semifinal, and Ethan Hanley of Bozeman takes on Cory Bowlby of Helena in the other. Noah Metzger/Henry Stewart and Logan Derby/Jackson Pedersen were the doubles teams reaching the semis for the Hawks. Metzger/Stewart play Alex Seburn/Noah Jakovac of Helena, and Derby/Pedersen play Sean Ramsbacher/Ethan Violette of Missoula Sentinel. Bozeman had 16 points, followed by Senior and Sentinel at 11 after the first day.


• Libby’s Ryggs Johnston shot a 61-67—128 to set a Class B state record and win the state title at the par-72 Marias Valley Golf Club in Shelby. Johnston had a 14-stroke lead over second-place finisher Bucky Crippen (71-71-142) of Missoula Loyola, whose boys team finished first at 642. In the girls tournament, Missoula Loyola’s Kylie Esh was the overall first-place finisher after shooting a 76 in Round 2 for a total of 146. The Three Forks girls were the top team (714) and were led by Sydney Rochford (85-79-164), who finished fifth overall.   


Statewide 406 Sports Editor

Jeff Welsch is executive sports editor for 406 Sports and The Billings Gazette.