HELENA — The Missoula Sentinel High boys track team built momentum off of a successful first day at the Western Divisionals Class AA Track Meet.
And on Saturday afternoon at Vigilante Stadium, it can now call itself Divisionals Champion after finishing with 142 points over Helena Capital and Kalispell Glacier.
The Spartans, who added four more wins in the 400 meters, 4x400 relay, discus and triple jump, gained momentum for next week’s State Meet in Kalispell.
“We showed some depth today, especially in the 4x400 relay,” Sentinel coach Craig Mettler said. “And what can you say about Jaden Foster, the kid is just a fluid runner.”
Foster finished the 400 with a time of 49.53 seconds, almost two seconds quicker than second place Gus Hanson from Capital.
That’s not to say that there was no competition.
Capital ended yesterday in the middle of the pack, but leapfrogged much of the competition with some key victories in the final day.
Sprinter Bret Morris won both the 100 and 200 with times of 11.24 seconds and 22.79 seconds, respectively, while Alec Ladas won the 110 hurdles.
“We had a very good day,” Capital coach Lon Carter said. “It was as good of a day you could have had in a long, long time. Probably the best since 2011.”
The pole vault was moved back to Saturday morning after being suspended due to poor weather conditions on Friday afternoon, but that didn’t phase Capital’s Dawson Ziegler.
Ziegler won the event by clearing a bar of 14 feet. Sentinel’s Logan Fischer tied the mark, but the two were a foot above the competition with Helena’s Garrett Bywater and Big Sky’s Josh Smalley clearing 13 feet.
“He just likes to complete,” Carter said of Ziegler. “He absolutely hates when he doesn’t do well. He probably could have cleared 16 feet. He is that high above the bar.”
Other notable finishes included Flathead's Ben Perrin winning the 1600 meter run in 4:29.16 while Glacier's Drew Deck finished second in the 110 hurdles.
The top six competitors in each event will now travel to Kalispell for state next Friday.
For Sentinel, Mettler knows there will even be stiffer competition.
“You add seven or eight more teams from the east and the points are going to be tougher to get,” he said. “It’s going to be a matter of what teams show up and get their kids to perform at the right times.”