BUTTE — Tucker Yates was close, but he needed some motivational help.
Having already won his third consecutive Class B state shot put title, the curly-haired Colstrip senior was now chasing history.
“I wanted the record,” he said.
Yates was better than 54 feet on his first throw of the finals and scratched on his second attempt. He had already thrown 55-7 in the preliminaries.
Yates had one attempt left in his highly-decorated high school career.
“I had to get it done,” he said.
As Yates approached the shot put circle, rhythmic clapping broke out amongst the large crowd watching in the morning portion of the Class B state meet.
“I think Brady’s dad started it,” said Yates with a smile of Brady Ostermiller of Shepherd, who finished second. “Brady and I are good friends.”
Spurred by those around him, Yates uncoiled a Class B-record toss of 57-feet, 11-inches, bettering the previous record by more than a foot.
The old record was 56-10 by Josh Rehm of Manhattan in 1991.
“It felt fast off my hand,” said Yates, who punctuated his record by a few celebratory leaps in the ring after the distance was announced. “I was pretty excited.”
It was the second state title for Yates in 2014. He also won the Class B heavyweight championship in wrestling despite suffering a torn left pectoral muscle on Dec. 21 at the CMR Holiday Duals tournament in Great Falls.
“I didn’t do anything for a month,” said Yates, who returned to wrestle at the divisional and state tournaments. “Then I had surgery the Monday after the state wrestling tournament. The injury feels OK. It still feels weak, but it doesn’t hurt.
“I really wanted the record. I knew I had to do something on that last throw. This means a lot.”
Manhattan boys, Plains girls can’t be beat
The Manhattan boys held off Glasgow for their third consecutive team title, while the Plains girls repeated as state champions.
The Tigers led the Scotties by three points going into the final event —the 1,600 relay.
A win by Glasgow and a third by Manhattan would have had the first-place trophy heading to the northeast part of the state. But the Tigers won the relay, while Glasgow was second.
The Plains girls, with two wins from Hailey Phillips (200 dash, 300 hurdles), won with a Class B record 83 points. Phillips was also second in the 100 hurdles.
Colstrip’s Poole snags javelin title
Yates was one of two champions for Colstrip.
Hailey Poole can now hold her own at the family dinner table when discussing state javelin titles.
The freshman cut loose with a throw of 133-10½ on her first attempt in the finals to join the family legacy. Both her father John and grandfather Don won state javelin titles.
“I’m very surprised,” said Poole of winning. “I just wanted to place. I actually thought it was shorter until they measured it.”
Poole came in seeded third and added nine feet to her previous best.
“I feel accomplished,” she said. “I came in as the underdog and was able to win.”
Glasgow’s Grandchamp sweeps sprints
Ryan Grandchamp will gladly run 200 meters. Don’t ask him to run 201.
“I don’t do anything over 200 … even that may be too long for me,” said the Glasgow senior with a smile.
Grandchamp did his part for the Scotties, winning both the 100- and 200-meter dashes, along with a leg on a second-place 400 relay team.
He won the 100 in a career-best 11.11 seconds and won the 200 in 22.43.
Grandchamp used a mid-race surge to pull away from the field in the 100.
“Usually, I’m around fourth to sixth coming out of the blocks,” he said. “I was able to come out a little faster and kick at the end. I focused on the starting blocks all week long.’’
A little while later, actually sooner than he expected, Grandchamp added the victory in the 200, holding off Sean Opland of Troy by .14 seconds.
“I heard Opland behind me and it scared me to go a little faster,” said Grandchamp. “This is awesome.”
Joliet’s Roginske wins 100 this time
Tru Roginske traded one state title for another.
The Joliet junior won her first 100 title and finished second in the triple jump, where she was the defending champion. In between, she also placed second in the 200.
Roginske won the 100 in 12.46 — one-tenth off her personal best. She held off Nicole Rehbein of Plains by .22 seconds.
“I was more nervous for the prelims,” Roginske said. “Not knowing how you’re going to do because there are so many good runners.
“This hasn’t quite sunk in yet.”
• Makena Morley of Bigfork finished her distance domination by easily winning the 800 and 3,200 on Saturday. She won the 1,600 on Friday. She also ran the anchor leg on her team’s winning 1,600 relay on Saturday.
Younger brother Logan Morley needed a last look to hold off Colstrip’s Tyus Mendoza in the final meters of the boys 1,600. Morley ran 4:34.58, while Mendoza was 4:34.84.
• In the day’s closest race, Hannah King of Choteau beat Phillips in the 100 hurdles by one-hundredth of a second, 15.18 to 15.19. Also in the mix was Sophia Stiles of Malta in 15.31.
Stiles a freshman, would later win the triple jump.
• Other state champions were: Autryey Hannum, Thompson Falls, high jump; Emily Billow, Eureka, shot put; Choteau, girls 400 relay; Silas Hasselbrook, Missoula Loyola, 110 hurdles; Caleb Neth, Manhattan, 300 hurdles; Josh Sandry, Bigfork, high jump; Wyatt Pannebecker, Choteau, triple jump; Missoula Loyola, boys, 400 relay.