BILLINGS - The Arlee Warriors got a quick start out of the blocks, but it was the Kremlin-Gildford KouGars who had the best kick.

The K-G boys, scoring 35 points in the final six events, rallied from way back in the pack to capture their third straight state Class C track and field championship Saturday afternoon at MetraPark. K-G finished with 45 points, followed by Arlee with 39Þ, Park City with 36, Charlo with 32 and Terry with 28.

The Harlowton girls coasted to their fourth consecutive championship, riding four individual victories from senior Erin Jones to 109 points. Manhattan Christian was second with 53 points, followed by Ryegate (44), Twin Bridges (42), Fromberg (36) and Victor (22).

The Arlee boys came close to claiming a second state crown - their only one came as a Class B school in 1993 - but in the end couldn't match several clutch K-G performances on a hot, breezy afternoon.

Arlee began the day with a crackling performance in the 400-meter relay, winning that event for only the second time this season as Rafe Espinoza, Brian Bachmeier, Robert Sanchez and Kyle Thomas combined for a clocking of 44.32 seconds.

"Our handoffs were real smooth," said Thomas, whose strong anchor leg held off runners from Terry and Park City. "That was huge for us."

Espinoza added a runner-up finish in the 110 hurdles, just behind Park City's Blake Barnes, and a tie for sixth, worth one-half point, in the high jump. Mitchell BigSam's fourth place in the 3,200 and Sanchez's sixth place in the 200 rounded out Arlee's scoring.

K-G had just 10 points midway through the afternoon, but picked up victories from favored Aaron Smith in the 3,200 and darkhorse Casey Crites in the high jump, plus a runner-up finish by Matt Aageson in the 200 and a sixth by Roger Larson in the 400.

Crites delivered the decisive points by clearing 6 feet, 4 inches in the high jump, four inches better than his previous best.

"We felt the high jump was up for grabs, and he (Crites) went out and grabbed it," said Arlee coach Dan Nile. "You have to give him credit."

Arlee led 39Þ-39 through 16 events, but didn't qualify a team for the climactic 1,600 relay. K-G did, and wrapped up the title by placing third, worth six points.

"I'm very proud of our kids," said Nile, who guided Arlee to the Western C divisional crown last week. " I thought we had a terrific weekend. K-G had some stumbles early in the meet, but you knew they'd be there in the end. As it turned out, they had just enough."

Espinoza was disappointed with himself, despite accounting for more than half (24Þ) of Arlee' s points in an all-around effort that included a Class C record in the pole vault and a third place in the javelin, both on Friday. He said he got off to a slow start in the 110 hurdles, and Barnes, the defending champion, outleaned him at the tape. Espinoza also was hoping to accomplish more in the high jump and in the triple jump, where he didn't make the finals.

"I just hate to lose," said Espinoza, who is headed to Boise State to play quarterback. "I really wanted that team title. But that's the way it goes."

Charlo capped its meet by winning the 1,600 relay behind the quartet of Ben DuMont, Scott Smith, Drew DuMont and Devon Cox. The same team placed fourth in the 400 relay, and Drew DuMont and Cox went 3-4 in the 400 to round out the Vikings' total.

The regional highlight in the girls' meet was provided by Victor senior Robin Wemple, who added a victory in the 1,600 to go with her 3,200 triumph on Friday. Wemple, as expected, took control early in the metric mile and built a big lead, winning in 5 minutes, 26.96 seconds.

"I tried to run a three-lap race and then push it as hard as I could on the final lap," said Wemple, who set the Class C 3,200 record and will graduate next week as class valedictorian. "I was right where I wanted to be, but I kind of hit the wall the last 400 (meters)."

Jones was a wonder for Harlowton, winning the 100 hurdles, 300 hurdles, 100 dash and long jump, and placing second in the triple jump. She also contributed legs to the Engineers' victorious 400 and 1,600 relays. The Montana State-bound senior finished her career with 13 individual victories at state, which could well be a record, including a sweep of the 300 hurdles all four years.

NOTES: Sophomore Dani Finley of Charlo threw a personal-best 136-11 to place second in the girls' javelin behind another sophomore, Kim Berg of K-G (144-6). Arlee sophomore Lynssey Baker was third at 130-9. … Cory Cromwell of Victor placed third in the boys' high jump. … Sophomore Kelsey Kirkpatrick scored 32 of Ryegate' s 44 points, and set a Class C record in the triple jump at 37-5Ž. That broke the mark of 36-4Ž set by Harlowton's Erin Jones in 1999.

BOYS

Team scores: Kremlin-Gildford 45, Arlee 39Þ, Park City 36, Charlo 32, Terry 28, West Yellowstone 26, Belt 24, Nashua 24, Chester 22, Denton 22, Bridger 20, Circle 19, Sheridan 19, Harlowton 16, Medicine Lake 16, Power 14, Scobey 12, Dutton 10, Noxon 8, Sunburst 8, Geraldine 7, Culbertson 6, Custer 6, Gardiner 6, Grass Range 6, Harrison 6, Hysham 6, Manhattan Christian 6, Outlook 6, Savage 6, Victor 6, Whitewater 4, Wibaux 4, Lambert 3, Belfry 2, Granite 2, Centerville 1, Heart Butte 1, Judith Gap 1, Shields Valley 1, Fromberg Þ.

100-1, Paul Stickel, Terry, 11.35 seconds. 2, Tim Crabtree, Denton, 11.38. 3, John Scott, Power, 11.40. 4, Dana Knox, Denton, 11.41. 5, Blake Gauer, Park City, 11.44. 6, Gregg Owen, Geraldine, 11.47.

200-1, Tim Crabtree, Denton, 23.20. 2, Matt Aageson, Kremlin-Gildford, 23.21. 3, Tyson VanDyken, Manhattan Christian, 23.22. 4, Gregg Owen, Geraldine, 23.31. 5, Blake Gauer, Park City, 23.40. 6, Robert Sanchez, Arlee, 23.73.

400-1, Jeff Graham, Chester, 51.06. 2, Tyler Viste, Nashua, 51.39. 3, Drew Dumont, Charlo, 51.57. 4, Devon Cox, Charlo, 51.82. 5, Kevin Hansen, West Yellowstone, 51.97. 6, Roger Larson, Kremlin-Gildford, 52.12.

800-1, Craig Widhalm, Belt, 1:59.51. 2, Jed Kirkland, Nashua, 2:00.87. 3, Kevin Hansen, West Yellowstone, 2:01.06. 4, Andrew Bucklin, Outlook, 2:01.85. 5, Jeff Richter, Harlowton, 2:01.95. 6, Jason Klempel, Lambert, 2:02.17.

3200-1, Aaron Smith, Kremlin-Gildford, 10:14.19. 2, Mike Sveum, Sunburst, 10:16.79. 3, Tyler Jones, Grass Range, 10:24.40. 4, Mitch Big Sam, Arlee, 10:25.27. 5, Travis Johnston, Culbertson, 10:34.85. 6, Dan Nottingham, Sheridan, 10:35.51.

110 hurdles-1, Blake Barnes, Park City, 15.12. 2, Rafe Espinoza, Arlee, 15.13. 3, Boe Meredith, Custer, 15.41. 4, Shawn Wanderaas, Harlowton, 15.52. 5, Jeff Graham, Chester, 15.69. 6, Eric Wilson, Noxon, 15.74.

300 hurdles-1, Jeff Graham, Chester, 39.49. 2, Aaron Johansen, Medicine Lake, 39.77. 3, Kevin McElvaney, Scobey, 40.13. 4, Eric Wilson, Noxon, 40.48. 5, Blake Barnes, Park City, 40.49. 6, Joey Stuart, Kremlin-Gildford, 40.93.

400 relay-1, Arlee (Rafe Espinoza, Brian Bachmeier, Robert Sanchez, Kyle Thomas) 44.32. 2, Terry 44.48. 3, Park City 44.96. 4, Charlo 45.21. 5, Sheridan 45.31. 6, Noxon 45.33.

1600 relay-1, Charlo (Ben DuMont, Scott Smith, Drew DuMont, Devon Cox) 3:29.04. 2, Park City 3:31.07. 3, Kremlin-Gildford 3:32.15. 4, Scobey 3:36.18. 5, Noxon 3:37.82. 6, Shields Valley 3:38.18.

Shot put-1, Josh Henigman, Bridger, 54 feet, 11Þ inches. 2, Adam Jones, Harlowton, 52-10Ž. 3, Dave Rossiter, Sheridan, 49-7Ž. 4, Justin Helvik, Wibaux, 48-9Þ. 5, Jeremy Laisnez, Dutton, 48-7. 6, Jeff Shirley, Centerville, 48-6Ž.

Triple jump-1, Shayne Wittkopp, Circle, 44-10Ž. 2, Levi Weickum, West Yellowstone, 44-8. 3, Blake Barnes, Park City, 43-3þ. 4, Roger Larson, Kremlin-Gildford, 43-þ. 5, Kurtis Kokkeler, Belt, 42-8Þ. 6, Joey Stuart, Kremlin-Gildford, 42-6Ž.

High jump -1, Casey Crites, Kremlin-Gildford, 6-4. 2, Nic Mitch, Power, 6-2. 3, Cory Cromwell, Victor, 6-2. 4, Dereck Logan, Dutton, 6-2. 5, Chris Evenson, Lam, 6-2. 6 (tie) Rafe Espinoza, Arlee; Derek Roberts, Fromberg, 6-0.

GIRLS

Team scores: Harlowton 109, Manhattan Christian 53, Ryegate 44, Twin Bridges 42, Fromberg 36, Victor 22, Saco 19, Bridger 18, Geraldine 18, Charlo 14, Drummond 14, Gardiner 13, Chester 12, Plevna 11, Kremlin-Gildford 10, Grass Range 9, Shields Valley 9, Arlee 8, Opheim 8, Nashua 6, Lincoln 5, Augusta 4, Sheridan 4, Terry 4, Valier 4, Wibaux 4, Bainville 2, Dodson 2, Fairview 2, Stanford 2, Sunburst 2, Belfry 1, Belt 1, Joliet 1, Lavina 1, Roberts 1.

100-1, Erin Jones, Harlowton, 12.61. 2, Marny Adamson, Twin Bridges, 12.72. 3, Anne Vehuizen, Manhattan Christian, 12.88. 4, Lindsay Vennes, Fromberg, 12.95. 5, Hillery Turner, Sunburst, 13.05. 6, Alicia Wiederrich, Saco, 13.11.

200-1, Marny Adamson, Twin Bridges, 26.19. 2, Anne Vehuizen, Manhattan Christian, 26.39. 3, Lindsay Vennes, Fromberg, 26.5. 4, Alicia Wiederrich, Saco, 26.52. 5, Cody Halsey, Harlowton, 26.55. 6, Megan Schutter, Manhattan Christian, 26.87.

400-1, Cody Halsey, Harlowton, 59.61. 2, Alicia Wiederrich, Saco, 1:00.58. 3, Becca Miller, Twin Bridges, 1:00.71. 4, Jessi O'Neill, Gardiner, 1:01.87. 5, Lindsey Burrington, Victor, 1:02.47. 6, Brooke Buerkle, Plevna, 1:02.54.

1600-1, Robin Wemple, Victor, 5:26.96. 2, Kayla Larson, Opheim, 5:36.18. 3, Stephanie Paugh, Ryegate, 5:38.46. 4, Valeri Droge, Manhattan Christian, 5:38.75. 5, Rayna Berndt, Bainville, 5:41.18. 6, Lois Ricardi, Gardiner, 5:42.75.

100 hurdles-1, Erin Jones, Harlowton, 15-21. 2, Kelsey Kirkpatrick, Ryegate, 15.9. 3, Danielle Dick, Harlowton, 16.2. 4, Amanda Dehaan, Manhattan Christian, 16.21. 5, Terri Wittmer, West Yellowstone, 16.73. 6, Ali Jenkins, Shields Valley, 16.83.

300 hurdles-1, Erin Jones, Harlowton, 44.92. 2, Kelsey Kirkpatrick, Ryegate, 45.3. 3, Christina Wiederrich, Saco, 46.75. 4, Amanda Dehaan, Manhattan Christian, 46.88. 5, Shawna Flikkean, Manhattan Christian, 47.45. 6, Brooke Buerkle, Plevna, 47.62.

400 relay-1, Harlowton (Cody Halsey, Jamee Galahan, Danielle Dick, Erin Jones) 51.07. 2, Manhattan Christian 51.09. 3, Fromberg 52.38. 4, West Yellowstone 52.77. 5, Twin Bridges 53.22. 6, Arlee 53.25,

1600 relay-1, Harlowton (Cody Halsey, Ashley Jones, Amy Jones, Erin Jones) 4:12.0. 2, Twin Bridges 4:16.64. 3, Manhattan Christian 4:16.94. 4, Fromberg 4:18.17. 5, Charlo 4:20.34. 6, Roberts 4:20.68.

Triple jump-1, Kelsey Kirkpatrick, Ryegate, 37-5Ž (Class C record. old record 36-4Ž, Erin Jones, Harlowton, 1999). 2, Erin Jones, Harlowton, 35-11. 3, Courtney Arthun, Shields Valley, 34-5þ. 4, Shawna Flikkema, Manhattan Christian, 34-1þ. 5, Glennis Cates, Charlo, 33-3. 6, Erin Spaeth, Joliet, 33-Ž.

High jump-1, Michelle Van Dyke, Chester, 5-4. 2, Amy Jones, Harlowton, 5-2. 3, Lindsay Vennes, Fromberg, 5-2. 4, Colleen Brophy, Valier, 5-2. 5, Glennis Cates, Charlo, 5-0. 6, Amy Stewart, Belfry, 5-0.

Javelin-1, Kim Berg, Kremlin-Gildford, 144-6. 2, Dani Finley, Charlo, 136-11. 3, Lynnsey Baker, Arlee, 130-9. 4, Karina Kahl, Wibaux, 127-1. 5, Carlane Jensen, Chester, 125-5. 6, Gena Meier, Plevna, 119-5.

Shot put-1, Hannah Furlong, Geraldine, 40-5. 2, Kylee Zent, Bridger, 38-7Þ. 3, Gene Meier, Plevna, 36-6Ž. 4, Lucinda Lagomasino, Lincoln, 36-3Þ. 5, Ashley Hagel, Fairview, 36-3. 6, Amanda Rohrer, Lavina, 35-3Þ.

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