Huntley Project vaulters dominate at State B track meet

2014-05-30T21:00:00Z 2014-05-31T00:50:05Z Huntley Project vaulters dominate at State B track meetBy JOE KUSEK jkusek@billingsgazette.com The Billings Gazette

BUTTE -- As Garrett Frieling went to put away his equipment, he turned to classmate Rachael Buzanowski, who was standing nearby.

“Now it’s your turn,” Frieling said.

Buzanowski obliged as the Huntley Project seniors swept the Class B pole vault titles at the Class B state track and field meet on Friday.

The meet finishes Saturday.

Both won their respective events by a full foot.

“That’s awesome,” said Buzanowski of the first and first finish by the Red Devil vaulters.

They were two of Huntley Project’s three winners. Junior Tanner Miller won the discus on his last throw of the day.

Frieling cleared 13-feet, 6-inches for his win, while Buzanowski went 10-0 for her victory.

Frieling knew that going 13-0 would put him in title contention.

“I couldn’t sleep Thursday night, I was focusing so much on 13,’’ he said. “This is awesome, I worked hard for this.”

He went over 13-0 on his first attempt and 13-6 on two tries.

Frieling’s victory came after a late-season change of poles.

“We had a hard time finding the right poles,” said Frieling. “I switched poles a couple of weeks ago. It’s a lot different jump with a longer pole. It gives you a lot longer time to do work.

“I wanted 13-9, but 13-6, it’s a good jump. I’m happy with it.”

Buzanowski had mixed emotions.

“I wanted to go 11-6,” said Buzanowski, whose previous best was 11-3.

She came in at 9-0 and missed on her first attempt. “I’ve been having problems with that first jump this year,” Buzanowski said.

She made her first try at 9-6 and went 10-0 for the win.

Buzanowski was fourth last year.

“The other three people in front of me graduated,” said Buzanowski, who was also a starter on Huntley’s state championship volleyball team. “I knew I had to make the most of it.”

Miller, who had the third-best throw entering the state meet, was trailing by five feet with one throw left.

“I was nervous,” he said. "I knew I needed a big throw. I knew I had to pull on it.”

Miller delivered a clutch career-best discus throw of 168-7 to rocket past the rest of the field.

“I knew it was good when I heard everybody start screaming,” he said. “I didn’t feel good on any of my throws until then. Anything can happen.”

Colstrip's Mendoza 'takes' 3,200

Halfway through the 3,200 meters race, Tyus Mendoza made a decision.

“Right at the mile, I felt I needed to take it,” said the Colstrip junior.

So Mendoza shifted gears and broke away from the rest of the field, easily winning his second state title of the academic year with a personal-best time of 10:06.51.

“It’s a personal record by 10 seconds,” he said. “My early plan was to stay with Logan (Morley of Bigfork) through the 800 and see what happens.”

Mendoza had another reason to make his move at the mile mark. “I wanted to run under 10 minutes,” he said. “I saw the scoreboard and we were around five (minutes). I knew I had to pick up the pace.”

Mendoza also won the Class A state cross country title last fall.

There was only one senior among the top six finishers in the 3,200.

“There is a lot of hard work ahead this summer,” Mendoza said of preparing to defend his titles.

Notes 

 Other state champions were: Darren Hecker, Big Timber, 800; Hailey Phillips, Plains, 400; Makena Morley, Bigfork, 1,600; Kourtney Coverdell, Fairfield, long jump; Leah Thompson, Plains, discus; Sean Opland, Troy, 400; Caleb Neth, Manhattan, long jump; Tay Hall, Choteau, javelin.

Hecker led the 800 wire-to-wire holding off Kenny Wilbur of Townsend. Hecker won in 1:57.63, while Wilbur was second in 1:58.55.

Morley was five seconds off the all-class 1,600 record. Morley will try to chase down the 800 record on Saturday. She is seeded No. 1 with a time of 2:12.86. The Class B record is 2:10.52 by Chiana Warner of Townsend, set last year. The all-class record is 2:08.31 by Billings Senior’s Dani Aragon in 2012.

 Joliet’s Tru Roginske enters Saturday with the top time in the 100 meters. She is also seeded second in the 200 behind Phillips. Phillips is also seeded first in the 100 hurdles.

 Ryan Grandchamp of Glasgow had the fastest prelim times in both the 100 and 200.

 The Plains girls, the defending state champions, lead with 26 points, while Manhattan had 20. The Manhattan boys lead the team standings with 36, followed by Glasgow with 25.

Copyright 2014 The Billings Gazette. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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