Keeping Pace

Manhattan’s Leonard McComas (right) leads teammate Colter Barney as they compete in the 1,600 meter run at Van Winkle Stadium in Bozeman.

BOZEMAN — The postseason is still quite a ways down the road, so it’s all about improving times and marks even after the fourth track and field meet of the season.

That philosophy held true for Manhattan, Manhattan Christian and Three Forks’ boys on Saturday.

Manhattan used its own invitational at Van Winkle Stadium to flex its muscle one again. The four-time defending state Class B champion won its third meet of the season, scoring 186 points. Jefferson followed with 78 points, while Ennis was third with 77.5, Christian fifth with 50 points and Three Forks eighth with 11.

Manhattan’s athletes posted improved times, including Reid Wiersema in the 800. The senior had a time of 2:07.41 to place second behind Jefferson’s Rahkei Eyer (2:06.15).

Colter Barney was another who posted a better time in the 1,600. The junior finished in 4:47.21 to place second behind Jefferson’s AJ Eckmann (4:44.92).

In addition to improving, the Tigers, like most teams, are about getting healthy as well. That includes the Stone brothers.

“We’re still trying to get everybody 100 percent. Turner, it’s his first week out of a boot. He’s still not 100 percent. And Tracer has been held out with a hamstring injury,” Manhattan coach John Sillitti said. “Mostly we are starting to get healthy.”

Leonard McComas ran his first race of the season, the 1,600 meter run, the previous week in Belgrade. Saturday, he competed in run both distance races, finishing third in the mile and winning the two-mile. His time in the 3,200 was 10:42.52 and 4:51.79 in the mile.

“His time was pretty solid for where we hoped he would be considering he has missed some training,” said Sillitti.

One of the featured races at the meet was Ennis’ Cleet Wrzesinski and Manhattan’s Caleb Neth in the hurdles. Wrzesinski beat Neth in the 110 hurdles with a time of 15.34, while Neth crossed the finish line in 16.13.

Conner Cross faced off with Wrzesinski in the 200 and 400, and placed second place in the 200 (23.23). Wrzesinski also won the 400 (50.93), while Cross was third in 51.03.

“He is such a good athlete,” said Neth. “He competes every time. It’s nice to have someone like Cleet. I’m very fortunate to have him.

Manhattan’s Shondel Connerton is still chasing the school record in the pole vault record. At the Belgrade meet the results were wrong. He actually cleared 14-feet for a PR. Not 14-6. The school record is 14-5.5.

Kevin Blanksma competed after finally completing his 10 mandatory practices following an extended basketball season. The Christian senior won the high jump with a state-qualifying height of 6-feet. He also won the triple jump (40-10.50) and was third in the long jump with a state qualifying leap of 20-feet, 11.75-inches.

Blanksma noted that his triple jump wasn’t his best, but he’ll take the mark.

“It wasn’t my best jump. It was two feet under my PR,” he said. “Next meet I should do a better job.  It’s getting better. My marks on the board almost every time. We’ll step up the training and see where we need to improve.”

It was Jesper Koski’s first meet as well. He competed in the 3,200 and finished sixth with a time of 11:17.18

“Kevin’s first meet. He did a good job,” Christian coach Nate TeSlaa said. “Jesper looked good for his first time.”

Christian’s Brad Kamps qualified for state in the discus with a throw of 133-feet, 7-inches.

“Brad still has more in him,” noted TeSlaa. “But breaking that hurdle and getting to the qualifying mark, that’s a huge thing.”

Lincoln Young keeps getting closer to the school record in the pole vault. The sophomore cleared the bar at 12-feet, 7-inches for second place. Keith Heidema holds the record at 13-feet.

“The throwers are starting to come and our jumper are starting to solidify,” said TeSlaa. “Our team is really starting to come together. It’s fun to see at this point. It’s been a good season. You can see the hard work is paying off.”

The Lynn brothers, Payden and Tyson, shined for Three Forks. Payden Lynn was third in the triple jump while Tyson Lynn was sixth in the 400.

Manhattan and Christian will return to action this Saturday at the Gallatin Valley Invitational in Belgrade at 10 a.m.

Manhattan Invitational

(at Van Winkle Stadium, Bozeman)

Team scores: 1, Manhattan 186; 2, Jefferson 78; 3, Ennis 77.5; 4, Twin Bridges 52; 5, Manhattan Christian 50; 6, Deer Lodge 30; 7, Whitehall 13; 8, Three Forks 11; 9, Willow Creek 10; 10, Shields Valley 8; 11, Big Timber 5; 12, Gardiner 4; 13, White Sulphur Springs 2; 14, Harlowton .5.

100 - 1. Conner Cross, Man, 11.46. 2. Cade Benjamin, DL, 11.49. 3. Nick Winfield, Jeff, 11.57. 4. Bill Yeager, TB, 11.60. 5. Justin Kingma, Gar, 11.58. 6. Corbin Wood, Ennis, 11.83.

200 - 1. Cleet Wrzesinski, Ennis, 23.03. 2. Conner Cross, Man, 23.23. 3. Cade Benjamin, DL, 23.46. 4. Tanner Wood, Ennis, 23.85. 5. Wade Luly, Ennis, 24.42. 6. Wesley Harshbarger, TB, 24.46.

400 - 1. Cleet Wrzesinski, Ennis, 50.93. 2. Bill Yeager, TB, 51.03. 3. Conner Cross, Man, 51.58. 4. Jered Padmos, Jeff, 52.67. 5. Justin Kingma, Gar, 53.06. 6. Tyson Lynn, TF, 54.17.

800 - 1. Rahkei Eyer, Jeff, 2:06.15. 2. Reid Wiersema, Man, 2:07.41. 3. AJ Eckmann, Jeff, 2:08.55. 4. Tyler Smith, MC, 2:10.20. 5. Grant VanDyken, MC, 2:12.50. 6. Tony Krogstad, Man, 2:14.23.

1,600 - 1. AJ Eckmann, Jeff, 4:44.92. 2. Colter Barney, Man, 4:47.21. 3. Leonard McComas, Man, 4:51.79. 4. Zak Meeker, Man, 4:59.76. 5. Tony Krogstad, Man, 5:02.51. 6. Ryan Busch, MC, 5:02.87.

3,200 - 1. Leonard McComas, Man, 10:42.52. 2. AJ Eckmann, Jeff, 10:47.96. 3. Colter Barney, Man, 10:59.34. 4. Zak Meeker, Man, 11:02.87. 5. Charlie Rasnick, Man, 11:13.31. 6. Jesper Koski, MC, 11:17.18.

110 hurdles - 1. Cleet Wrzesinski, Ennis, 15.34. 2. Caleb Neth, Man, 16.13. 3. Ethan Kneeland, TB, 18.99. 4. Daly Nesbit, WC, 19:05. 5. Seth Wendt, WSS, 20.50. 6. Quetin Cooper, DL, 21.31.

300 hurdles - 1. Caleb Neth, Man, 39.86. 2. Braden Larsen, Whi, 44.95. 3. Daly Nesbit, WC, 45.30. 4. Casey Gunlikson, BT, 45.32. 5. Max Feight, Whi, 46.96. 6. Ethan Kneeland, TB, 48.84.

4x100 relay - 1. Ennis 43.76. 2. Manhattan 43.92. 3. Jefferson 45.18. 4. Twin Bridges 46.34. 5. Manhattan Christian 46.35. 6. Big Timber 47.60.

4x400 relay - 1. Jefferson 3:36.05. 2. Manhattan 3:41.01. 3. Twin Bridges 3:42.71. 4. Three Forks 3:44.35. 5. Manhattan Christian 3:53.72. 6. Whitehall 3:57.28.

Shot put - 1. Alec Nehring, Man, 57-05.50. 2. Ty Morgan, Ennis, 48-01.25. 3. Trase LeTexier, Jeff, 46-03.25. 4. Chase Barta, Man, 46-01.75. 5. Austin Forson, DL, 45-09. 6. Mitchell Odden, DL, 42-02.50.

Discus - 1. Alec Nehring, Man, 164-02. 2. Austin Forson, DL, 151-03. 3. Ty Morgan, Ennis, 144-0. 4. Brad Kamps, MC, 133-07. 5. Chase Barta, Man, 127-07. 6. Trase LeTexier, Jeff, 125-03.

Javelin - 1. Cooper Christensen, TB, 147-08. 2. Jered Padmos, Jeff, 144-07. 3. Jordan Delgatty, Man, 143-03.50. 4. Kaleb Rosselot, TB, 139-05. 65. Andrew Simon, Whi, 136-07.50. 6. Steve Smathers, TB, 135-04.50.

Pole vault - 1. Shondel Connerton, Man, 13-07. 2. Lincoln Young, MC, 12-07. 3. Cole McCloud, Man, 11-07. 4. Sam Wandishin, Man, 10-07. 5. Sawyer Johnson, DL, 10-07.