State to challenge Bravettes, Wolfpack

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Flathead's Jessica Barnhart competes in the girls' 4 x 100 relay at the Flathead Mini Invite at Legends Stadium on Tuesday. (Casey Kreider/Daily Inter Lake)

The only thing Flathead girls track coach Charlie Dotson is concerned about this week is getting his 12 state qualifiers in 13 events ready for the season finale.

“I kinda believe it’s bad luck,” he said of trying to figure out who will place where and how many points the Bravettes will tally beforehand.

“I’ve said it before, there are really good marks around the state in AA girls. There will be three, four records broke, but I focus on us peaking in May, having our best marks and times at the state track meet.”

State for AA and B happens at Legends Stadium on Friday and Saturday.

Bozeman enters as the AA favorite based on it having best times and marks for all classes in seven events.

Leading the way for the Hawks is Delaney Bahn with top times in the 100 (12.27) and 200 (25.31), a state-best 5-7 in the high jump and she also leads long jumpers with a distance of 19-11¼.

Teammate Terra Trom has top times in the 800 (2:15.99) and 3,200 (10:47.92 at Arcadia, 11:11.27 in Montana).

Trom is also second in the 1,600 (5:03.22).

Bozeman (4:04.61) has the top time in the 1,600 relay.

Missoula Sentinel, Capital, Billings West and Missoula Hellgate will be challengers. Sentinel is the defending champion.

Flathead finished second at last week’s Western AA Divisional.

Glacier will have 15 athletes competing, with 11 of those in the field events.

“Our strength is in the field events, pretty much all the field events,” Glacier girls coach Jerry Boschee said.

“That’s where we have the most qualified.”

Glacier has four in the high jump and triple jump.

Faith Brennan, a junior, has qualified in triple jump, long jump and 100 hurdles.

“She has the potential to do great things,” he said.

“I don’t think we have tapped into where she can be.”

Taylor Brisendine, a sophomore, is in high, long and triple jump.

“She’s pretty equal in all three,” Boschee said.

“She keeps getting better and better

“Those two (Brennan and Brisendine) have the potential to surprise some people (this weekend).”

Glacier sophomore Mya McNeely has the third best distance in the shot put (38-7 1/4) in AA.

“She’s getting more consistent,” Boschee said.

“The bigger the meet, she comes prepared. She rides with the occasion.”

Glacier was sixth at state last year with 39 points.

Flathead is also well represented in the field with senior Maddie Boles in the high jump, senior Kayla Martin in the shot put and discus and Rebecca Eacker in the discus.

“She broke her toe at the beginning of the season,” Dotson said of Boles.

“She’s been battling through that. At Archie Roe she high jumped 5-6 and then won at divisional She’s back to where she should be.”

Dotson said Martin “has been consistent, especially in the shot put.

He’s also expecting big things from Eacker, who is out for track for the first time.

“She has a lot of talent,“ he said.

“Has long arms, can really whip it. If she has a big day, she could place high.”

On the track, junior Jessica Barnhart is entered in the 100, 200 and will run on both relays.

“She continues to improve,” Dotson said.

“She’s right in the mix for the 100, 200. It will be fun to watch her.”

Flathead’s distance crew — Tori Nolan-Gillespie, Hannah Perrin and Meaghan Fisher — will push for places in the 800, 1,60 and 3,200.

Freshman Cerise Lee continues to shave time off her 400 time. She will also run with the 1,600 relay.

“Every time she runs the 400 she improves her time by about a second.”

Sophomore Skyleigh Thompson has been strong in the 300 hurdles.

Flathead finished 13th at state last year with 6 1/2 points.

Although state officially begins Friday, the Class B girls pole vault will be held Thursday at 5 p.m.

The schedule for Friday and Saturday begins at 9 a.m. with field events and 10:30 with running events.

Class B

The Bigfork girls will be looking to make it three straight state championships.

The Valkyries are coming off an impressive Western B Divisional showing last week in Missoula, led by double winner Anya Young (800 and 3,200), Ashton McAnally (shot put) and Jordan Nelson (200). Bigfork also finished first in the 1,600 relay. Young, McAnally and Nelson should all push for individual titles at state.

The Eureka girls will be led by divisional winners Mckay Guckenberg (1,600) and Karley Frost (javelin).

For the boys, Troy’s Hunter Leighty was a double winner last week in the 200 and 400. Bigfork’s Wyatt Duke won the high jump.

Eureka’s Jakeb Kindle (javelin) and Hunter Steele (3,200) were event winners as well.

Missoula Loyola claimed the boys divisional title.

Forsyth is the defending state boys champion.

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