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Jeff Hedstrom's weekly track and field recap

Jeff Hedstrom's weekly track and field recap

As we start the postseason with Classes B and C holding their district meets this week, we recap last week’s action headlined by the Midland Roundtable Top 10 meet in Laurel, Archie Roe Invitational in Kalispell, Belgrade Quad and Kim Haines Invitational in Missoula. We’ll take you around the state recapping what happened and highlighting different performances. If there are any time corrections please feel free to contact Jeff Hedstrom via Twitter (@Montana_Track) or email at jeff_hedstrom07@hotmail.com.

Chade Gonter (Kalispell Flathead) is hitting his stride at the right time of year, winning both the 110- and 300-meter hurdles (15.15 and 41.13) at the Archie Roe, both season-bests for Gonter and putting him near the top of the elite lists.

Aidan Reed of Helena had a very good week, winning the 1,600 in a season-best time of 4:31.04 at Tuesday’s Big Sky-Helena Dual and winning both the 1,600 and 3,200 at the CMR-Helena Dual.

• Something must be in the water in northwest Montana, a region known to produce very good distance runners in the past. Logan Morley (Bigfork) and Kalispell Flathead's Sylas Schutt and Jake Perrin ran 1-2-3 in the 3,200 at the Archie Roe and are among the top runners in the state in both the 1,600 and 3,200. Morley (9:34.53) narrowly edged Schutt (9:34.67) and Perrin (9:35.83). Those times rank 1-2-4 among the state leaders.

Jacob Grinwis (Belgrade), after setting a personal record by more than a second the previous week, may just have emerged as one of the top Class A hurdlers with only two weeks left until the state meet. With a second-best Class A time (40.49) at the Midland Roundtable Top 10 meet, Grinwis now only trails defending 300-meter hurdles champion Daniel Pendergast (Stevensville).

• The Manhattan 1,600-meter relay team won a stacked race at the Midland Roundtable Top 10 with a time of 3:26.51, clearly giving them the top Class B time in the state and the third-best overall. With many of last year’s relay members returning, they are already ahead of last year’s winning time, and now can start aiming for the State B record of 3:21.5. Likely to push Manhattan at state is Jefferson, who has a season-best time of 3:29.62.

Alec Nehring (Manhattan) and Marcus Ferriter (Butte Central) combined to have a very good week. Nehring had a season-best throw in shot put of 55-5 ½ at the Belgrade Quad, which ranks second among the state leaders. Ferriter on Tuesday in Butte threw a 161-0 in discus, which is second-best among Class A throwers and sixth-best overall.

• The Wessel name made quite the headlines at the Midland Roundtable Top 10, as brothers Cade and Chance (Bozeman) both marked season-best throws in their respective events. Cade won the discus (166-8) and javelin (170-10), and now ranks third in discus and 12th in javelin on the state bests list. Chance took third in the discus (158-2 ½) and fifth in the shot put (48-8 ½). He now ranks eighth and 13th on the state bests list.

Annie Hill (Glacier) and Gillian Maness (Flathead) each had a victory on Saturday. Hill smashed the 11-year-old meet record by 15-plus seconds in the 1,600 (4:49.65), and she is the state leader in the event. Maness won the 3,200 with a season-best time of 11:01.41, moving her up to second among the state bests.

• At the Kim Haines Invitational in Missoula, this trio of hurdlers made for a great race. Janessa Williams of Jefferson (15.48) won the 100 hurdles, edging out Tessa Burke of Missoula Loyola (15.65) and Carly Hergett of Arlee (15.69). Williams and Burke (both Class B runners) will likely meet again at the state meet.

Morgan Evans (Great Falls) over the weekend became the favorite in the 100-meter hurdles, running a 15.33 at the Belgrade Quad and now leading Class AA in the event. Evans, only a sophomore, didn’t even run the hurdles last season. She has emerged as one of the best young hurdlers in the state. In the same race, Hannah Coburn (Missoula Big Sky) ran a 15.43, and she will likely challenge both Evans and Hailey Copinga (Billings Skyview) at the state meet.

• Two weeks from now, there’ll be a relay race battle in Class AA. The girls 400-meter relay race looks like it will between Billings Skyview, Billings West and Missoula Big Sky. All three relay teams ran season-best times last week: Skyview at 49.27, West at 49.68 and Big Sky at 49.73. When the three teams meet in just two weeks in Kalispell, they will likely all approach the low 49-second time.

• Many of you may not know the name of BreElle Wacker (Melstone), but she has emerged as one of the best distance runners in the state as a sophomore. She placed second at the Midland Roundtable Top 10 meet in both the 1,600 and 3,200, with season-best times of 5:15.75 and 11:36.67. She will look to challenge Bailee Parker of West Yellowstone at state, the defending champion in all three distance races (800, 1,600, and 3,200).

• At the Eastern Top 10 meet, teammates Aubrey Kessel and Harmony Hampton of Sidney went 1-2 in the pole vault. Kessel won the event with a jump of 11-0, her best jump of the season. She is now second among Class A vaulters. Hampton was second with a jump of 10-6, which moves her up to third among Class A vaulters.

Keaunna Mason of Hardin had an amazing shot put of 42-3 at the Mile City Invitational, moving her up to the top of the state leader board. With only to weeks until state, she remains on pace to win the shot put title.

Lacey Hochhalter (Frenchtown) was said to be the preseason favorite in the javelin event, and she is back in the mix with her performance last week at the Archie Roe with a throw of 128-0, moving her up to second among Class A throwers.

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