Repeat Champion

Manhattan Christian's Riley Schott celebrates after winning the boys 3,200-meter run during the State C track meet at Laurel Sports Complex in Laurel on Friday.

Paeton Ohs scratched on her first two discus throws and wasn’t even in contention to place until her last attempt. Three Forks head coach Tracy Welter called the situation “a little nerve-racking.”

Keaton Lynn dealt with a leg injury that prevented her from long jumping throughout the past month and a half.

Her sister Kendall Lynn had never long jumped as far as she did Friday.

Despite the challenges each faced, the three recorded standout performances to lead the Three Forks girls to a first-place tie with Powell County after the first day of the Class B meet in Kalispell. The Wolves have racked up 22 points. The boys team is tied for 15th place with four points, led by Bryce Olson taking fourth in pole vault by clearing 13 feet.

Keaton Lynn (17-0.25) won long jump, Kendall Lynn took third (16-9) and Ohs (115-2) placed third in discus as all three set personal records.

“We had a really good day,” Welter said. “We had some unexpected things happen.”

Keaton Lynn’s winning jump even surprised her, Welter added, as she proved to herself that she could perform at full strength at her first state meet. Lynn is slated to run in the 1,600 relay Saturday having already experienced winning a state title.

The Wolves didn’t qualify any sprinters, so they plan to continue relying on field events and distance races to rack up points.

“They’re very surprised. Having those points today, it’s a nice feeling, but tomorrow’s what’s going to count most,” Welter said. “… We know we got to keep going with the little things and keep improving on our times and keep getting personal bests in order to stay in that trophy contention.”

Manhattan boys in second at state

Throughout the spring, Manhattan head coach John Sillitti has commended seniors Bryce Love and Zak Meeker for putting the team first. As they battled fatigue before the 3,200 Friday, both told Sillitti they wanted to continue pushing.

The duo is projected to place during Saturday’s 1,600, and Sillitti proposed resting in order to be fresh for the second day of the Class B meet in Kalispell. But like they’ve shown all season, the seniors never quit.

Through the meet’s first day, the Tigers’ boys sat in second place with 25 points, only behind Huntley Project’s 36. Manhattan’s girls finished the first day in 10th with six points.

Meeker finished the 3,200 in 10:17.77, good for fifth place, while Love came in sixth with a personal record of 10:19.94. Manhattan also shined in the 800, as Wyatt Barney (1:57.91), Love (1:59.62) and Meeker (1:59.89) finished in first, second and fourth, each setting a personal record.

Entering Day 2, Sillitti said Huntley Project has first place “locked up,” based on who is slated to compete. His squad is focused on emerging from a handful of teams battling for second and third.

“They’re pretty tired, and now we’re counting on them to score in the 1,600 if we’re going to trophy,” Sillitti said. “... We’ll see how they’ll hold up with their heavy load and their injuries. It’s going to take a really, really gutsy day for them to snag a trophy. We knew it was going to be tough for us.”

The Tigers planned to take ice baths, roll out and continue hydrating Friday night. Sillitti expects the 1,600 relay to play a crucial role in the standings and Meeker, Love and Barney will all compete if healthy.

In the girls’ 1,600, Hallie Hemenway set a personal record of 5:19.51 and placed third. Olleca Severson finished sixth in the 100 hurdles in 16.97 seconds to round out the Tigers’ girls placers.

Manhattan Christian girls second, boys third

Manhattan Christian junior Faith Shepard competed in four events Friday, finished second in her two finals and single-handedly carried the Eagles girls to second place at the Class C meet in Laurel.

Shepard cleared 9 feet, 9 inches in pole vault, a personal record, and long jumped 16-9, a season record. The two performances totaled Christian’s 16 points as the Eagles trail Seeley-Swan’s 37 points through Day 1.

On the boys’ side, the Eagles (20 points) finished the opening day in third behind Fort Benton’s 29 and Seeley-Swan’s 24.

Sophomore Riley Schott defended his 2018 title by winning the 3,200 in 9:58.42. In the 400, Caleb Bellach placed fourth in a personal record 51.6 seconds. Ben Morrison took fifth in the 800 in 2:03, a personal record. Jakob Boscha long jumped 20-5.25 for fifth.

Locals stand out at Class A meet

At the Class A meet in Laurel, the Belgrade girls sit in seventh with 14 points through the first day. In pole vault, Emily Sullivan and Cynthia Smith placed second and third, respectively, as each cleared 10-6.

The Park boys are tied for eighth with eight points. The Rangers’ Jack Waddell (49.74) set a personal record in the 400 and claimed second place.