It was a tense situation Saturday.
Harriers from Manhattan, Glasgow and Lincoln County huddled around the awards stand waiting for the final results. Any one of the three could be the state champion as it was an extremely tight finish to cap the State B meet at the University of Montana Golf Course.
Lincoln County was announced as the third place finisher, and after nerves had reached their peak it was announced Glasgow was the runner up much to the elation of Manhattan’s runners.
“It came down to six points. Just kind of crushing for them,” Manhattan coach John Sillitti said. “But same moment when they announced Glasgow was second and our boys knew they had it, they wept. A couple of them just dropped to their knees.”
It was the second consecutive state championship for the Tigers, who edged Glasgow 80-86. Lincoln County followed with 101 points.
Zak Meeker, the defending individual champion, placed second for the Tigers in 16:34.58, while teammate Bryce Love was third in 16:51.94. Poplar’s Hudson Atkinson won with a time of 16:18.21.
“Hudson Atkinson of Poplar just came out blazing fast and just left the field and actually held on. His first mile was under five (minutes),” said Sillitti. “He just got out in front of everybody too much and Zak really poured it on at the end and came on real strong. Thought he ran a great race. He had a lifetime best.”
In fact, all seven of Manhattan’s runners boasted lifetime bests and Wyatt Barney also earned All-State honors after placing 15th (17:52.07). Isaac Boyd was 20th (18:08.41) and a late surge lifted the team to the title.
“We were back pretty good,” noted Sillitti. “Same thing as last year. We figured we were down about 10 (points) halfway through the race and finished 10 ahead. Boys just really finished hard.”
Manhattan swept the meet with the girls also winning the team championship — their third straight and fourth in five years — with 74 points. Colstrip and Broadwater rounded out the top three with scores of 98 and 103.
“We knew our girls were in a pretty good spot. We knew we could have a couple things go wrong and still be okay there,” said Sillitti. “The boys going in ... we figured we could win it or finish fourth. Could have come in first or finished just outside of trophies and it was going to come down to who ran well.”
Jodi Cameron led the Tigers with a time of 20:01.82 to place fifth. Saige Duffin and Jessa Steele also earned All-State honors after placing 12th and 14th, respectively, with times of 20:20.96 and 20:42.83. Teammate Hallie Hemenway was 17th in 21:20.27.
After graduating a large senior class from last year’s team, Manhattan simply reloaded and is set up to make another run in 2019 as the entire varsity roster is expected to return.
“Those girls are motivated. They want to see if we can do even better and beat most of the double A’s,” said Sillitti. “They’re a pretty special group and I’m excited to have another year with all of them and couple more years with a lot of them.”
Three Forks’ girls placed 8th with 250 points led by the effort of Kyle Olson. The senior finished fourth with a personal best time of 19:59.88.
“She wanted to break 20 and that’s what she did,” Three Forks coach Tara Forsberg said. “She has worked so hard all season and knew this was her last shot. I knew she could place in the top five and when she came across in fourth and hit her goal time, we both cheered.”
Bryce Olson led the boys, who placed 14th with 455 points, after finishing 25th. The senior posted a personal best time of 18:16.58.
Schott wins Class C title
Winning the team championship wasn’t much of a surprise. After all, Manhattan Christian has dominated Class C the past two years.
The surprise came in the form of Riley Schott. The sophomore won the individual championship and set a classification record in the process to lead the Eagles to a third straight crown.
“Riley did the same sort of thing last year. He was my No. 5 runner and came in third,” Christian coach Nate TeSlaa said. “He shows up for the state meet. What can I say?”
Schott posted a time of 16:54.18 to win by more than eight seconds. Teammates Ben Morrison (3rd, 17:09.38) and Sam Leep (5th, 17:30.84) also placed in the top five as the Eagles boasted a team score of 9 points. Richey-Lambert placed second with 24.
“I sure didn’t see it coming man. It was wild. I just wanted to go out and see if maybe I could get top five or something. I would have been happy with top 15,” said Schott. “On this course I haven’t performed the greatest. I had my hip messed up early in the season and I was out for a bit.”
On the girls side, Shelby Walls broke her own school record en route to placing eighth with a time of 21:14.54.
The Eagles dedicated their season to the family of Brian Eekhoff, a Christian graduate who was tragically killed in a car accident in August. His parents attended the meet.
“That was pretty special for us that Hank and Kathy could be up here for the meet,” said TeSlaa. “We took a lot of pictures with them and the trophy. That was very special for us that they could be here at the state meet.”
Panthers place 7th, 11th in Class A
Belgrade’s boys, led by Caden Chisholm (27th, 17:43.44), placed seventh with 205 points, while the girls were 11th with 238 led by Kyra Giese who as 26th in 21:28.52. Older sister Marissa was 30th in 21:41.26.
“Slower course than (divisional at) Havre. The times show that,” Belgrade coach Rachel White said. “But they had a sweet pack time for boys and really raced and pushed through the course. Same for the girls. Really solid performances that they can be proud of.”
State A Meet
(University of Montana Golf Course)
Team scores: Columbia Falls 76, Hardin 107, Laurel 110, Lewistown 115, Corvallis 189, Frenchtown 204, Belgrade 205, Hamilton 216, Havre 250, Ronan 262, Polson 274, Whitefish 291, Miles City 310, Livingston 335, Glendive 343, Billings Central 356, Browning 478, Dillon 485, Libby 541, Stevensville 606, Sidney 615.
Top 15: individuals: Levi Taylor, Laurel, 16:18.24; Sam Fulbright, Lewistown, 16:28.79; Joe Lamb, Columbia Falls, 16:42.20; Seth Umbriaco, Columbia Falls, 16:44.99; Will Flowers, Corvallis, 16:48.15; James Normandeau, Ronan, 16:53.76; Luke Lutz, Frenchtown, 17:02.52; Tyler Schmautz, Frenchtown, 17:05.19; Colter Kirkland, Hamilton, 17:06.43; Mason Sloan, Polson, 17:09.48; James Role, Columbia Falls, 17:10.61; Wyatt Ostler, Laurel, 17:15.89; Jaxon McCormick, Hardin, 17:16.09; Brian Healy, Corvallis, 17:16.65; Jesse Shaske, Frenchtown, 17:19.36.
Team Scores: Hardin 56, Whitefish 73, Corvallis 120, Frenchtown 168, Polson 180, Columbia Falls 182, Laurel 186, Dillon 189, Havre 192, Hamilton 229, Belgrade 238, Lewistown 368, Glendive 379, Browning 459, Miles City 479, Libby 507, Billings Central 519, Ronan 542, Sidney 556
Top 15 individuals: Beatrix Frissell, Polson, 19:02.57; Brynnli Poulsen, Hamilton, 19:23.59; Khylah Two Leggins, Hardin, 19:32.15; Jade Greenberg, Whitefish, 19:46.34; Libby Nedens, Hardin, 19:48.62; Ella Greenburg, Whitefish, 19:59.08; Kadia Miller, Havre, 19:59.55; Natalie Yocum, Frenchtown, 20:03.64; Marion Hugs, Hardin, 20:08.41; Lilli Day, Corvallis, 20:09:41; Grace Timm, Laurel, 20:18.84; Madalen Shipman, Dillon, 20:22.02; Molly Sitter, Polson, 20:22.73; Katie Gleason, Corvallis, 20:23.59; Kelle Mosher, Dillon, 20:29.11.
State B Meet
Team scores: Manhattan 80, Glasgow 86, Eureka 101, Townsend 118, St. Labre Catholic 136, Huntley Project 142, Red Lodge 260, Deer Lodge 296, Anaconda 309, Wolf Point 352, Shepherd 367, Poplar 435, Three Forks 455, Bigfork 472, Joliet 476, Lodge Grass 479, Harlem 483, Thompson Falls 526, Big Timber 528, Boulder 532, Missoula-Loyola 542, Cut Bank 549, Colstrip 555, Whitehall 618, Columbus 633, Lame Deer 748, Shelby 781.
Top 15 individuals: Hudson Atkinson, Poplar, 16:18.21; Zak Meeker, Manhattan, 16:34.58; Bryce Love, Manhattan, 16:51.94; Wilson Overby, Glasgow, 16:53.19; Marik Chrisman, Deer Lodge, 17:28.60; Ike Braaten, Glasgow, 17:39.80; Louis Ingalls, Townsend, 17:40.74; Kyle Schaff, Huntley Project, 17:41.10; Patrick Richardson, Shepherd, 17:42.80; Jakob May, Joliet, 17:43.12; Garrett Bates, Eureka, 17:43.17; Hunter Steele, Eureka, 17:46.53; Ellis McKean, Glasgow, 17:46.96; Wyatt Barney, Manhattan, 17:52.07; Bernadine Fisher, St. Labre, 17:56.57.
Team Scores: Manhattan 74, Colstrip 98, Broadwater 130, Glasgow 157, Red Lodge 169, Bigfork 207, Lincoln County 229, Three Forks 250, Huntley Project 288, St Labre Catholic 290, Lodge Grass 333, Shepherd 382, Anaconda 423, Thompson Falls 425, Cut Bank 442, Poplar 450, Malta 486, Joliet 547
Top 15 individuals: Whitney Hanson, Colstrip, 19:31.23; Natalie Lile, Huntley Project, 19:37.39; Hayley Burns, Colstrip, 19:42.35; Kyle Olson, Three Forks, 19:59.88; Jodi Cameron, Manhattan, 20:01.82; Emma Stolte, Broadwater, 20:03.97; Shantell Pretty On Top, Lodge Grass, 20:15.06; Anya Young, Bigfork, 20:16.48; Zoey Stroop, Colstrip, 20:24.88; Mckay Guckenberg, Lincoln County, 20:25.14; Allie Azure, Poplar, 20:26.74; Saige Duffin, Manhattan, 20:28.96; Destynne Two Moons, St. Labre, 20:41.55; Jessa Steele, Manhattan, 20:42.83; Katie Jacobsen, Red Lodge, 21:11.73.
State C Meet
Team scores: Manhattan Christian 9, Richey-Lambert 24, Plenty Coups 36, Roberts 48, Darby 52, Centerville 60, Twin Bridges 84, Hays Lodge Pole 96, Box Elder 121, Great Falls Central 127, Arlee 149, West Yellowstone 156, Ennis 163, Seeley-Swan 170, Culbertson 179, Two Eagle River 204, Fromberg 264, Plentywood 304.
Top 15 individuals: Riley Schott, Manhattan Christian, 16:54.18; Samuel Smith, Richey-Lambert, 17:02.24; Ben Morrison, Manhattan Christian, 17:09.38; Luke Dvorak, Sheridan, 17:21.74; Sam Leep, Manhattan Christian, 17:30.84; Boone Schmaltz, Roberts, 17:31.39; Chase Brown, Richey-Lambert, 17:32.17; Marlan Goes Ahead, Plenty Coups, 17:43.48; Grant Van Dyken, Manhattan Christian, 17:50.52; Matt Kenney, Manhattan Christian, 18:16.67; Robert Gliko, Centerville, 18:20.14; Zane Plain Feather, Plenty Coups, 18:20.72; Ryan Devries, Roberts, 18:22.94; Donavon Chaffin, Darby, 18:28.00; Nick Ellerton, Richey-Lambert, 18:32.15.
Team Scores: West Yellowstone 11, Centerville 45, Plenty Coups 55, Seeley-Swan 59, Richey-Lambert 77, Harrison 103, Cascade 108, Plentywood 120, Powder River County 132, Twin Bridges 135, Box Elder 154, Culbertson 156, Great Falls Central Catholic 166, Winnett-Grass Range 180, Fairview 183, Fromberg 203, Hays Lodge Pole 209, Arlee 223, Two Eagle River 241, Dodson 257
Top 15 individuals : Sariah Maughan, Seeley-Swan, 19:52.89; Averi Parker, West Yellowstone, 20:18.27; Gracie Lang, Darby, 20:42.50; Abigail Jackson, West Yellowstone, 20:47.01; Julia Everst, West Yellowstone, 20:49.80; Lena Standsoverbull, Plenty Coups, 21:02.23; Reata Crafton, Lima, 21:10.81; Shelby Walls, Manhattan Christian, 21:14.54; Brooke Holland, Sunburst, 21:17.95; Kayla Komboi, Melstone, 21:19.71; Hannah Ayers, Seeley-Swan, 21:41.39; Maida Knapton, Ennis, 22:02.24; Draya Wacker, Melstone, 22:10.85; Shayln Dilley, Centerville, 22:11.70; Lindsey Paulson, Centerville, 22:16.88.