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Darby's Aaron Johnston was the best kept secret at a school known for its long-distance runners.

That's certainly not the case anymore.

The speedy junior swept the boys' sprints for a second consecutive year at the District 6-B track and field meet, helping the Tigers repeat as district champions on Saturday at sun-blasted Missoula County Stadium.

Johnston, who won the 400 during Friday's opening events, also chipped in a second place in the long jump and ran the last leg on Darby's winning 1,600-meter relay team to conclude the meet. Johnston's split in the relay was said to be under 51 seconds, which would be the fastest 400 time by a Class B boy this spring.

"I was pretty energized by the crowd," Johnston said. "Everybody on the team's been pushing me."

Darby's final foursome - which included Ben Robbins, Doug Raymer and Seth Garbett - turned in a time of 3 minutes, 30.16 seconds to snap a 28-year-old school record in the long relay, and nearly topple the meet record of 3:29.30 set in 2005 by Loyola Sacred Heart.

"It feels great. Coming in here that's what we wanted to do," Johnston said. "A win's a win, and everybody loves to win. But it was a lot of teamwork."

The Tigers also received runners-up finishes from Jesse Moore (200), Robbins (300 hurdles) and Garbett (1,600), who set the meet's only record on Friday in the 3,200. Darby, which finished with 147 points, looks like the area's most dominant team heading into next weekend's Western B meet, which is hosted by Missoula County Stadium.

The Florence and Loyola boys' teams tied for second place with 124 points. The Rams, who were neck-and-neck with the Tigers in the 1,600 relay, would have claimed the runner-up trophy for themselves with one final win. Loyola got a pair of wins from seniors Mike Evans (1,600) and Brandan Haggarty (javelin), but the athlete of the meet was Florence senior Alex Mitchell.

Mitchell won three events on Saturday - high jump, long jump and 300 hurdles - to go with his lone victory in the 110 hurdles on Friday. Mitchell cleared 6 feet, 4 inches to join the state best in the high jump and now sits behind only Plains senior Dillon Fryxell in that event for Class B boys.

"That got me really excited and set the mood for the rest of the day," Mitchell said. "That got my energy and momentum going to get PRs in the rest of my events."

Haggarty chucked the spear 174-11, which was shy of his 183-10 from earlier this year. Haggarty said he hopes to land one 200 feet out some time this spring.

"Javelin is one of those events, it's so precise," Haggarty said. "I haven't hit that perfect throw yet."

Deer Lodge senior Brandon Forson was the only other boys' winner on Saturday, adding the shot put title to his discus crown from the day before. Forson, who put the shot 46-7, didn't come close to either of his bests this spring.

"We want him to have his best throw at state," his coach Al Cutler said, "Just as long as you keep qualifying."

The Superior girls not only held onto their first-day lead, but cruised past the competition to earn their first district title since joining 6-B. They were keyed by freshman Nicole Stroot, who won the 300 hurdles in 48.95, to go with her win in the 100 hurdles on Friday.

Stroot also ran legs on the Bobcats' winning 400 and 1,600 relay. The latter race was capped by Ashley Blaylock, who won the open 400 on Friday. Shelby and Kinzie Cooper added seconds in the 200 and 800 and Kaitlyn Koke was runner-up in the javelin.

Deer Lodge, on the strength of its overall depth, was second with 100 points and Darby was one point behind that for third. The Wardens only had one individual champ, Shelby Johnson in the vault, and that came on Friday. Darby senior Heather Demorest won the 3,200 and the 800 a day after taking the 1,600 and classmate Rachel Wetzsteon added the long jump title to the triple jump she won Friday. Wetzsteon hit 16-3 in taking the long jump.

Loyola picked up some individual medals in the sprints and throws. Sophomore Tawnie Kerr swept the 100 and 200. The girls' 100 finals featured two false starts. Also winning for the Breakers were Kiernan Haggarty (javelin) and Ashley Medeiros (shot).

Florence's Mariah Mitman (high jump) was the only other event winner on Saturday.

District 6-B

At Missoula County Stadium

Saturday

BOYS

Team scores: Darby 147, Loyola Sacred Heart 124, Florence 124, Deer Lodge 70, Superior 56, Valley Christian 4.

100 - 1. Aaron Johnston, Dar, 11.52; 2. Kevin Berland, LSH, 11.74; 3. Nick Osellame, LSH, 11.84; 4. Jesse Moore, Dar, 11.89; 5. Jake Davenport, DL, 11.92; 6. Kevin Dougherty, LSH, 11.93.

200 - 1. Aaron Johnston, Dar, 23.57; 2. Jesse Moore, Dar, 24.16; 3. Jacob Senecal, DL, 24.18; 4. Kevin Dougherty, LSH, 24.35; 5. Austin Seagraves, VC, 24.38; 6. Kevin Berland, LSH, 24.45.

1,600 - 1. Mike Evans, LSH, 4:34.26; 2. Seth Garbett, Dar, 4:35.01; 3. Sean Abrahamsen, Dar, 4:40.23; 4. Doug Raymer, Dar, 4:47.03; 5. Lyle Pocha, LSH, 4:50.37; 6. Madison Bolton, Flo, 4:50.48.

300 hurdles - 1, Alex Mitchell, Flo, 41.54; 2, Ben Robbins, Dar, 42.81; 3, Patrick Ryan, DL, 43.27; 4, Casey Crews, Flo, 45.50; 5, Pat Jensen, Loy, 45.89; 6, Mike Kuntz, Loy, 46.12.

1,600 relay - 1, Darby (Ben Robbins, Doug Raymer, Seth Garbett, Aaron Johnston), 3:30.16; 2, Loyola, 3:32.92; 3, Superior, 3:36.68; 4, Florence, 3:42.10; 5, Deer Lodge, 3:42.75.

Shot put - 1, Brandon Forson, DL, 46-7; 2, Johnny Medeiros, Loy, 43-11; 3, Ryan Bowers, Sup, 39-5; 4, Nicholas Kormanik, Dar, 37-0; 5, Christofer Eriksson, Sup, 36-7; 6, Damon Ward, Flo, 36-7.

Javelin - 1, Brandan Haggarty, Loy, 174-11; 2, Damon Ward, Flo, 148-7; 3, Reed Jenkins, Flo, 144-0.5; 4, Eric Loran, Loy, 138-0; 5, Cougan Kidd, Dar, 127-2; 6, Hayden Gandy, Dar, 121-3.

High jump - 1, Alex Mitchell, Flo, 6-4; 2, Adam Gregor, Flo, 5-8; 3, Reid Baerlocher, Flo, 5-8; 4, Pat Jensen, Loy, 5-8; 5, Josh Sorino, DL, 5-6; 6, Patrick Ryan, DL, 5-6.

Long jump - 1, Alex Mitchell, Flo, 19-10; 2, Aaron Johnston, Dar, 19-6.75; 3, Rodd Mangun, Flo, 19-2; 4, Ben Robbins, Dar, 18-11; 5, Reid Baerlocher, Flo, 18-10; 6, Brandon Lorensen, Flo, 18-9.25.

GIRLS

Team scores: Superior 131, Deer Lodge 100, Darby 99, Loyola Sacred Heart 85, Florence 84, Valley Christian 22.

100 - 1. Tawnie Kerr, LSH, 13.67; 2. Cassy Graveley, DL, 13.76; 3. Shelby Cooper, Sup, 13.80; 4. McCall Sewell, DL, 14.10; 5. Kristen Schalk, DL, 14.28; 6. Ashley Blaylock, Sup, 14.30.

200 - 1. Tawnie Kerr, LSH, 28.23; 2. Shelby Cooper, Sup, 28.49; 3. Rachel Wetzsteon, Dar, 28.51; 4. Cassy Graveley, DL, 28.61; 5. Kadeshia Clark, DL, 28.88; 6. Ashley Blaylock, Sup, 29.35.

800 - 1. Heather Demorest, Dar, 2:26.64; 2. Kinzie Cooper, Sup, 2:36.83; 3. Kayla Bullock, VC, 2:37.79; 4. Maddie Arcielo, LSH, 2:39.31; 5. Shari Leedom, Flo, 2:40.02; 6. Alisha Gill, DL, 2:41.35.

3,200 - 1. Heather Demorest, Dar, 11:40.31; 2. Abby Mytty, Flo, 13:10.72; 3. Kinzie Cooper, Sup, 13:31.01; 4. Cheyenne Oliver, Dar, 13:41.22; 5. Theresa Lombardi, DL, 13:48.77; 6. Alexandra Bronk, Dar, 13:50.12.

300 hurdles - 1. Nicole Stroot, Sup, 48.95; 2. Odessa Conley, Flo, 49.51; 3. McCall Sewell, DL, 51.93; 4. Mariah Denman, VC, 53.21; 5. Karli Cotton, Flo, 54.08; 6. Liz Rehbein, LSH, 1:00.37.

1,600 relay - 1. Superior (Jessica Taylor, Nicole Stroot, Kaitlynn Koke, Ashley Blaylock) 4:24.31; 2. Loyola Sacred Heart 4:29.50; 3. Deer Lodge 4:34.44; 4. Darby 4:42.73; 5. Florence 4:46.32.

Shot put - 1. Ashley Medeiros, LSH, 34-8; 2. Megan Leathers, Flo, 32-9; 3. Bethany Kesler, VC, 30-11.5; 4. Stephanie Kibler, DL, 29-0; 5. Terra Ward, DL, 28-8.5; 6. Jessica Taylor, Sup, 26-4.

Javelin - 1. Kiernan Haggarty, LSH, 120-8; 2. Kaitlynn Koke, Sup, 105-0; 3. Rosie O'Brien, Flo, 99-2; 4. Megan Leathers, Flo, 97-10; 5. Callie Stucky, DL, 85-10; 6. Kristen Merritt, DL, 80-5.50.

High jump - 1. Mariah Mitman, Flo, 4-10; 2. Cheyenne Oliver, Dar, 4-6; 3. (tie) Alicia Bell, DL, and Jessica Taylor, Sup, 4-2; 5. Shelby Johnson, DL, 4-2.

Long jump - 1. Rachel Wetzsteon, Dar, 16-3; 2. Sarah Jakober, Dar, 16-1; 3. Nicole Stroot, Sup, 15-6.75; 4. Shelby Cooper, Sup, 15-5.50; 5. Kayla Bullock, VC, 14-2; 6. Jessica Taylor, Sup, 13-7.5.

 

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