Photo Finish

Belgrade junior Jacob Grinwis, left, and Manhattan senior Caleb Neth leap over the final hurdle of the 110 hurdles Saturday morning during the Gallatin Valley Invitational. Neth won the event with a time of 15.61, while Grinwis finished in 15.611.

The wet weather wasn’t ideal for a track meet, but athletes battled through the conditions at the annual Gallatin Valley Invitational hosted by Belgrade on Saturday. While it rained much of the day, plenty of athletes still met pre-qualifying times and marks for state.

Teams from as far away as Havre and Broadview-Lavina participated. Class B Manhattan won the meet with 115 points, which was 25 ahead of Belgrade, which had 90. Class A Dillon was third with 76 points, while Class C Manhattan Christian ninth with 18 points.

The meet had some competitive races throughout the day despite the rain and chill. One such race came in the 400 between Manhattan’s Caleb Neth and Jefferson’s Rahkei Eyer. The two have been battling all season long with Neth winning on Saturday with a time of 50.96. Eyer finished in 51.39.

“It was a great race,” said Neth. “Rahkei is such a great competitor. We push each other. In every race he comes out and gives 100 percent. We just went out to do the best that we could. We still have more races to go.”

“Caleb didn’t run the 200 so he could run the 400,” Manhattan coach John Sillitti noted. “He had a good time and qualified for state.”

Neth was in another tight finish in the 110 hurdles with Belgrade’s Jacob Grinwis. Neth won again, by a nose, with both recording times of 15.61.

The Manhattan senior also won the long jump at 22-feet, 4-inches.

100-Meter Dash

Belgrade’s Mason Reed, from left, Kayden Wyatt, and Jordan Shockley compete with a sprinter from Billings Central in the 100-meter dash on Saturday.

Grinwis won two events, the 800 and 300 hurdles. The junior out-legged teammate Kyle McLaughlin in the 800, winning the race in a time of 1:59.18. McLaughlin finish second in 2:00.51.

Grinwis also won the 300 hurdles, posting a time of 41.96. Teammate Zach Smith was on his heels, finishing with a time of 43.84. Smith also followed Grinwis in the 110 hurdles, taking third with a time of 16.58.   

“That was my fifth 400 I’ve ever ran,” noted Grinwis. “I’ve been trying to break two (minute mark) the last couple of races. I finally reached the milestone and it was the one event that hadn’t qualified (for state) in.”

“We had some really good competition. The pace was set,” added McLaughlin. “There was a strong sense that Jacob and I were going to go for that sub-two mark and we held each other up for the pace.”

McLaughlin missed qualifying for state by .51 seconds. The qualifying mark for Class A is 2:00 minutes.

“I’m right there,” he said. “There was a much more push today. Our long distance programs are shaping up to being really good.”

Manhattan had others that competed well during the day with Alec Nehring winning the shot put with a heave of 55-feet and the discus with a throw of 165-feet, 4-inches. Chase Barta was third in the shot put, while Nehring was third in the triple jump, leaping 41-05.50.

The Tigers’ Conner Cross was second in the 200 with a time of 23.02. The senior was third in the 100.

“Cross has worked so hard in the off-season,” said Sillitti. “He’s always been here for us. He was state champion in the 100. He has worked harder than anybody in the off-season.”

Shondel Connerton had some bad luck in the pole vault while trying to break the school record of 15-5.50 after clearing 13-feet, 6-inches. On his third attempt at 14-feet, 6-inches the bar landed on him and knocked out a tooth and cut his upper lip. But he managed to finish his attempts in the long jump and finished fifth with a mark of 19-08.75.  

Jordan Delgatty had his personal best mark in the discus with a throw of 126-feet, 8-inches finishing in a tie for sixth with Fergus’ Matt Harrison. Delgatty was fifth in the javelin with a throw of 141-feet, 3-inches.

“Jordan is starting to step up,” said Sillitti. “He had a solid javelin throw in on sloppy grass.”

Manhattan’s relay teams also did well with the 4x100 winning in 43.52 seconds, edging Jefferson, which finished in 43.73. Jefferson won the 4x400 relay in 3:32.29, Manhattan followed with a time of 3:33.89.

“Our four-by-four relay auto-qualified and we had to sub two guys,” said Sillitti. “We have good depth and had some really kids step up. We had a couple mid-distance runners, Reid Wiersema and Colter Barney, step in. We didn’t have Caleb or Shondel on the team today. Conner Cross ran a really good leg in the relay to get us the lead.”

Manhattan’s distance runners didn’t place high, but ran good times.

“Our two-milers did great,” said Sillitti. “Leonard McComas was sick and couldn’t go today. But Colter is eight seconds off of qualifying. Zak Meeker did well also.”

Hefty Heave

Belgrade junior Will Blewett heaves the weight while competing in the shot put Saturday morning at the Gallatin Valley Invitational.

Barney ran a 10:35.70 for sixth place in the 3,200. Meeker had a time of 10:39.75. The qualifying time in Class B is 10:27.00.

Belgrade had some standouts as well with Morgan Eitel taking third in the long jump, going 20-feet, 2.25-inches. The senior was fourth in the discus with a throw of 137-05.

Matt Smith was third in the discus with a mark of 137-06. Evan Luhrsen had a throw of 145-feet, 1-inch to finish second in the javelin, while Matt Penner took third in the pole vault at 10-feet.

Belgrade’s Dawson Fowler was fifth in the triple jump at 40-feet, 3.50-inches. The sophomore was sixth in the high jump, clearing the bar 4-feet, 10-inches.

Belgrade’s 4x400 relay team was third, running a time of 3:38.35.

Kevin Blanksma led Manhattan Christian, placing second in the triple jump (41-9.50). The senior also finished fourth in the long jump (19-11.75) and fifth in the high jump (6-0).

Brad Kamps place fifth in the discus with a throw of 133-feet, while Christian’s 4x400 relay team was also fifth, posting a time of 3:45.65.   

Christian will host its meet Saturday in Bozeman, while Belgrade will be in Butte for the Bulldog Invitational.

Gallatin Valley Invitational

(at Belgrade Booster Club Track)

Team scores: 1. Manhattan 115; 2. Belgrade 90; 3. Dillon 76; 4. Jefferson 60; 5. Laurel 36; 6. Broadview 33; 7. Fergus 30; 8. Havre 28; 9. Manhattan Christian 18; 10. Billings Central 14; 11. Simms 10; 12. Park 9; 13. Whitehall 4; 14(tie). Gardiner and Townsend 2.

100 - 1, Haiden Collins, Fer, 11.31; 2, Troy Andersen, 11.39; 3, Conner Cross, Man, 11.45; 4, Colin Marks, Park, 11.48; 5, Nick Winfield, Jeff, 11.49; 6, Tracer Stone, Man, 11.57.

200 - 1, Troy Andersen, Dil, 22.78; 2, Conner Cross, Man, 23.02; 3, Nate Rismon, Hav, 23.11; 4, Nick Winfield, Jeff, 23.25; 5, Mike Loftus, Hav, 23.40; 6, Rahkei Eyer, Jeff, 23.47.

400 - 1, Caleb Neth, Man, 50.96; 2, Rahkei Eyer, Jeff, 51.39; 3, Nate Rismon, Hav, 52.68; 4, Jered Padmos, Jeff, 53.27; 5, Justin Kingma, Gar, 53.63; 6, Ty Parsons, Fer, 54.28.

800 - 1, Jacob Grinwis, Bel, 1:59.18; 2, Kyle McLaughlin, Bel, 2:00.51; 3, Ty Parsons, Fer, 2:01.97; 4, Luke Karnauskas, Hav, 2:05.91; 5, Jacob Labrie, Hav, 2:05.96; Tommy Frost, Broad, 2:06.26.

1,600 - 1, Byant Edgerton, Broad, 4:38.59; 2, AJ Eckmann, Jeff, 4:41.13; 3, Levi Taylor, Lau, 4:48.43; 4, Hunter Flynn, White, 4:52.72; 5, Colter Barney, Man, 4:54.84; 6, Zak Meeker, Man, 4:58.92.

3,200 - 1, Bryant Edgerton, Broad, 9:55.80; 2, Levi Eckmann, Jeff, 10:22.02; 3, Levi Taylor, Lau, 10:27.90; 4, Devin Nelson, Park, 10:35.00; 5, Noah Majerus, Fer, 10:35.31; 6, Colter Barney, Man, 10:35.70.

110 hurdles - 1, Caleb Neth, Man, 15.61; 2, Jacob Grinwis, Bel, 15.611; 3, Zach Smith, Bel, 16.58; 4, Joel Nelson, Broad, 16.86; 5, Colt Spencer, Lau, 17.16; 6, Chris Abell, Lau, 17.53.

300 hurdles - 1, Jacob Grinwis, Bel, 41.96; 2, Zach Smith, Bel, 43.84; 3, Colt Spencer, Lau, 45.00; 4, Joel Nelson, Broad, 45.58; 5, Chris Abell, Lau, 46.03; 6, Tyson Racht, Broad, 46.13.

400 relay - 1, Manhattan 43.51; 2, Jefferson 43.73; 3, Dillon 44.90; 4, Have 45.26; 5, Fergus 45.71; 6, Belgrade 45.77.

1,600 relay - 1, Jefferson 3:32.29; 2, Manhattan 3:33.89; 3, Belgrade 3:38.35; 4, Havre 3:44.29; Manhattan Christian 3:45.65; 6, Townsend 3:48.65.

Shot put - 1, Alec Nehring, Man, 55-00; 2, Matt Harrison, Fer, 46-01; 3, Chase Barta, Man, 45-01; 4, Scott Bymaster, Broad, 44-11.50; 5, Micah Holt-Seavy, BilC, 44-08; 6, Brenan Hammer, Dil, 44-07.50.

Discus - 1, Alec Nehring, Man, 165-04; 2, Patrick Griffin, Dil, 145-00; 3, Matt Smith, Bel, 137-06; 4, Morgan Eitel, Bel, 137-05; 5, Brad Kamps, MC, 133-00; 6, Matt Harrison, Fer, 129-08.

Javelin - 1, Patrick Griffin, Dil, 154-07; 2, Evan Luhrsen, Bel, 145-01; 3, Erik Pschernig, Simms, 144-04; 4, Tyler Gray, BilC, 141-06; 5, Jordan Delgatty, Man, 141-03; 6, Jered Padmos, Jeff, 136-11.

High jump - 1, Isaiah Girard, Dil, 6-02; 2, Jacob Hadley, BilC, 6-02; 3, Josh Eckmann, Jeff, 6-00; 4, Cordell McGinley, Dil, 6-00; 5, Kevin Blanksma, MC, 6-00; 6, Dawson Fowler, Bel, 5-10.

Pole vault - 1, Shondel Connerton, Man, 13-06; 2, Carver Thompson, Lau, 12-00; 3, Matt Penner, Bel, 10-00; 4, Colton Atkinson, Lau, 10-00; 5, Sam Wandishin, Man, 10-00; 6, Gabe Castillo, Park 9-06.

Long jump - 1, Caleb Neth, Man, 22-04; 2, Luke Harper, Dil, 20-02.50; 3, Morgan Eitel, Bel, 20-02.50; 4, Kevin Blanksma, MC, 19-11.75; 4, 5, Shondel Connerton, Man, 19-08.75; 6, Jared Schmidlin, Dil, 18-11.

Triple jump - 1, Luke Harper, Dil, 42-04.50; 2, Kevin Blanksma, MC, 41-09.50; 3, Alec Nehring, Man, 41-05.50; 4, Logan Rushton, Simms, 40-07.50; 5, Dawson Fowler, Bel, 40-03.50; 6, Erik Marquis, Lau, 38-11.50.