The start of American Legion baseball season last week added a new crop of local prep athletes to the competitive scene, and a few of them have already worked their way to the top of the pack.

Each week, we nominate an equal number of boys and girls for our “Prep Athletes of the Week.” Readers will be able to vote for one boy and one girl in polls that appear by noon Monday at Missoulian.com. Voting will be open through 6 p.m. on Wednesday.

The winners will be published in the Missoulian’s Prep Extra section each Thursday.

Here are this week’s nominees:

Boys

The Missoula Mavericks’ Ryan Anderson had three hits, including two doubles, and batted in three runs in the first game of the Mavs’ baseball doubleheader sweep of Lethbridge on Saturday. He also picked up the pitching win in relief in Game 2.

Loyola Sacred Heart’s Kalen Christiaens won both of his tennis matches at No. 1 singles Tuesday handily, beating Bigfork’s Kyle Thompson, 6-0, 6-1, and St. Ignatius’ Jamie Mullins 6-1, 6-1 at Playfair Park.

Missoula Hellgate’s Colin Dolese was the only double winner on the boys’ side at the Missoula County Invitational track and field meet on Saturday, winning the 200 meters (22.55 seconds) and the 300 hurdles (38.38).

Missoula Sentinel’s Kyle Douglass set a track and field state-best mark this spring in the discus throw, hitting an even 174 feet Thursday to win the event at the Frenchtown Quad.

Bitterroot Bucs pitcher Brad Schaff struck out 16 batters in seven innings, throwing a two-hitter in an American Legion baseball victory over Gallatin Valley last Sunday.

Girls

Corvallis’ Jane Booth broke the Missoula County Invitational high jump record Saturday, clearing 5 feet, 8 inches to win the event and also take home the Class A field events’ outstanding performer award at this year’s meet.

Mission-Arlee-Charlo’s Emilie Charlo batted 2 for 4 with a whopping eight RBIs in the first game of a softball doubleheader sweep of Troy on Thursday before going 3 for 4 in Game 2 with an RBI-triple.

Missoula Hellgate’s Sofia Panarella defeated both Big Sky’s and Sentinel’s No. 1 singles players last week as her Knights won both tennis duals. She beat Spartan Kelsey Thomas 6-2, 6-1, on Tuesday and Eagle Molly Langland 6-0, 6-0, on Thursday before adding sweeps against Kalispell schools Flathead and Glacier on Saturday.

Frenchtown’s Vanessa Stavish hit two home runs and had five RBIs in the Broncs’ 17-5 victory over Polson on Tuesday, a rematch of last year’s State A softball championship.

Deer Lodge’s Dani Walker homered three times Thursday in a doubleheader sweep of Thompson Falls – one day after signing with the University of Montana to play collegiate softball.

​Reach the Missoulian newsroom at @missoulian, at newsdesk@missoulian.com or at (406) 523-5240

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