BUTTE — He won the state title on the first throw.
On the third, he had the Class A state record.
The rest were in pursuit of greatness.
Chris Emter of Livingston was the first state champion of the day, easily winning the state shot put championship on the opening day of the State A track and field meet on Friday.
The state meet wraps up on Saturday.
Emter started with a throw of 55-feet, 2-inches that would have easily stood up the rest of the way.
“After that first throw, a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders,” said the 6-4, 270-pound senior.
Two throws later, Emter uncorked a toss that was initially announced at 58-6 in the preliminary round.
The throw was re-measured with a steel tape measure — an MHSA requirement — and changed to 58-5½.
“No, not at all,” Emter said with a smile if he was unhappy with the adjustment. “This feels awesome. When you throw, 58, 59 feet, it feels light as air. I knew it was good when I heard my dad (Dan) screaming from the sideline.”
The previous Class A record was 57-2 by Mark Olson, also from Livingston, in 1988. Emter had a school-record throw of 59-3 at the Central A Divisional last weekend.
Emter, who is headed to Carroll College next fall to play football and be a member of the track and field program, credits his success to changing his approach from a glide to a spin.
“I started using it late last year,” he said. “It takes a lot of practice and can be frustrating at times. You get more air with the spin.”
He scratched on all three attempts in the finals.
“I didn’t want to scratch on all three of them,” said Emter, who never got comfortable on his last three throws. “I was hoping to throw 60 feet … but I still got the record. It’s great to end on that one.”
Emter was one of two athletes to set Class A records.
Whitefish standout Marlow Schulz closed out the track portion of the competition with a blistering time of 55.06 seconds in the 400 meters, breaking her own record of 56.13 she set last year. Sadi Henderson of Corvallis was also better than the old record, finishing second in 55.057.
Schulz enters Saturday as the top seed in the 100- and 200-meter dashes.
Rides Horse wins the javelin
Of the javelin, shot put and discus, Bethany Rides Horse of Hardin said her favorite event is the javelin.
And it’s obvious why.
Rides Horse is the 2014 state javelin champion.
Putting up her winning throw of 135-9 early in the prelims, Rides Horse could only watch as the rest of the field tried to pass her.
“I was still nervous,” said the senior, who will walk on at the University of Montana next fall. “There were people around 128.”
While the field was chasing Rides Horse, she was chasing history.
“I was trying way too hard to get that state record,” she admitted. “I tried to reach deep down and throw it farther and my throws kept ending at 130 (feet). I was probably trying too hard.”
The Class A record is 145-7 by Jennifer Gill of Manhattan in 1995.
Earlier in the year, Rides Horse set the school record with a throw 138-7 at a meet in Miles City. And she kept the record in the family. The previous Hardin record was 136-3 by Ride Horse’s cousin, Owena Spotted Horse.
“She kept telling me I had to break her record,” said Rides Horse. “When I did and called her, she was very happy for me.”
Rides Horse placed second in the shot put later in the day.
Regan jumps right in
Timmy Regan hasn’t jumped competitively in a meet in almost a month.
“I jumped a little bit in practice,” said the Miles City junior.
Regan showed no ill effects from an injured left hamstring, winning the long jump with an effort of 21-2¾.
It came on his second jump of the day.
“The leg felt fine,” Regan said, who won by 2¼ inches over Tanner Schwartz of Glendive.
“I wasn’t nervous. I’m happy with the way I jumped.”
• The other state champions were: Isabella Pape, Corvallis, 1,600; Jane Booth, Corvallis high jump; Madi Page, Belgrade, long jump; Josee Pendleton, Dillon, shot put; Brock Butcher, Lewistown, 400; Emmitte DustyBull, Browning, 800; Easton Albert, Hamiltom, 3,200; Kameron Kohn, Hamilton, high jump.
• Michael Gulledge was Billings Central’s top finisher with a third place in the 400, while Ty Mogan was fourth in the 3,200 for Laurel.
• With a prediction of heavy rain on Saturday, meet officials added the Class A boys pole vault to Friday’s competition.
• Following the pole vault results, Hamilton led the boys standings with 35 points, while Corvallis led the girls with 57.