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Kalispell shows killer instinct
Kalispell sophomore Catie Holliday leaps over the bar to place fourth in the girls' high jump Saturday during the Western AA divisional track and field meet at Missoula County Stadium. Kalispell's boys and girls each scored more than 200 points to run away with the team championships.
TIM THOMPSON/Missoulian

Braves score points in 15 of 17 events en route to 207 points while Bravettes rack up 218

Dan Hodge turned his head, startled by the commotion of some wrestling hi-jinks on the infield of Missoula County Stadium.

"I just had to make sure it wasn't our kids," said the Kalispell boys' track coach. "We don't want them doing that. If they got hurt that way, wrestling at a track meet, how would I explain it to their parents?"

Kalispell, however, had no compunction about applying a sleeper hold on everyone else. The Braves and Bravettes each finished with more than 200 points - an unprecedented feat - to dominate the Western AA divisional meet, which wrapped up two days of competition on Saturday.

Hodge's defending state champions cruised to their second straight divisional crown with 207 points, followed by Butte (87) and Helena Capital (79).

Coach Joe McKay's girls were even more impressive with 218, collecting 41 percent of the meet's available points. Capital was next with 90, followed by Butte with 84.

Missoula rivals Big Sky, Hellgate and Sentinel settled for the final three spots in both meets.

The top five individual placers, along with the top six in the 300-meter hurdles and 400 meters, advanced to next week's state Class AA meet at Great Falls.

If there was any disappointment in the Kalispell camp, it was caused by afternoon winds that gusted close to 40 mph. They effectively scuttled senior David Vidal's bid to break the meet record in the boys' 1,600, although he gave it a valiant effort by clocking 4 minutes, 16.38 seconds - close to the 4:14.2 mark set by Mike Houlihan of Butte in 1977.

Vidal, who bettered 4:10 at sea level in California earlier this spring, didn't alter his aggressive game plan despite the wind. Vidal averaged 63 seconds on each of the first three laps to build a wide lead over teammate Seth Watkins, and looked strong through the first half of the final lap.

"I ran the first three (laps) just about right. I really felt I had a shot at the record," said Vidal, who will compete collegiately for Stanford. "But I kind of hit the wall that last 200 (meters). The wind was a little too much to overcome."

"David ran an awesome race," said Watkins, whose runner-up time of 4:21.6 would've won the divisional most years. "I tried to stay close to him, but he took it out fast and just kept going."

Kurt Michels was third, giving Kalispell a 1-2-3 finish.

Vidal, who holds the Western AA record in the 800, will shoot for a sweep of that race and the 1,600 next week at state, a feat he accomplished as a junior.

Vidal and Watkins weren't done after their wind-buffeted mile, contributing legs to Kalispell's winning 1,600 relay in the final running event of the day. Vidal, running on less than an hour's rest, burned a 50.6-second split on the anchor leg to hold off Helena Capital and Big Sky.

The Kalispell boys, who locked up the title with a 127-point effort on Friday, had two other individual victors Saturday as Steven Hodge took the pole vault and Zach Lindsay claimed the discus. Kalispell wound up scoring in 15 of the 17 events, missing out in only the 100 and 200 dashes.

Jake Larson of Butte had a big day, winning the 100 and 400, plus the 110 hurdles. He also won the 300 hurdles on Friday.

The Kalispell girls competed in eight individual events Saturday, winning five, and placing two or more athletes in six.

Sophomore Halladay Quist won the triple jump, 100 hurdles and 100 dash to go with her long jump victory on Friday. Quist, Freddie Harmon and Alexia Klang went 1-2-3 in the triple jump; Amanda McCready, Becky O'Neil and Jessica Falcon went 1-2-3 in the discus; Quist and Molly Burt went 1-2 in the 100 hurdles; and Krista Jimenez, a freshman, won the 400 with Erin Palmiter taking third.

The triple jump typified Kalispell's dominance. Quist had four jumps longer than 35 feet, and Harmon and Klang moved up in the rankings on their final attempts.

"It was just an awesome performance," said McKay after Kalispell won its 20th divisional title in the 33 years that girls' track has been sanctioned by the MHSA. "I don't know if it was because Helena Capital, Butte and Helena High were a little weaker than we anticipated, or whether it was because our kids competed so hard. Probably, it was a combination of both.

"I know this: I couldn't be prouder of our kids. I told them at our team meeting they had a chance to score in every event, and they went out and did it."

Missoula produced two individual winners. Sentinel junior Chris Mosbacher claimed the boys' triple jump at 43-2. and Big Sky sophomore Melissa Paske captured the girls' 200 at 26.40. Paske also placed fourth in the 100, despite running outside in lane 10.

Hellgate's Kelsey Cooley (girls' high jump), Gail Gresham (girls' 200) and Matt Hall (boys' pole vault) collected third-place medals.

At Missoula County Stadium

BOYS

Team scores: Kalispell 207, Butte 87, Helena Capital 79, Helena High 63, Missoula Hellgate 32, Missoula Sentinel 30, Missoula Big Sky 28.

100 - 1, Jake Larson, But, 10.97; 2, Tyler Peterson, HH, 11.07; 3, Tom Havron, Cap, 11.10; 4, Ross Richardson, But, 11.21; 5, Zach Ueland, But, 11.22; 6, Robb Hollenbeck, Hgt, 11.35.

200 - 1, Zach Ueland, But, 21.94; 2, Tom Havron, Cap, 22.09; 3, Jake Larson, But, 22.22; 4, Tyler Peterson, HH, 22.29; 5, Jacob Carr, BSky, 22.77; 6, Joe Thompson, Hgt, 22.85.

400 - 1, Jake Larson, But, 49.71; 2, Zach Ueland, But, 49.81; 3, Tyler Emmert, Cap, 51.09; 4, Craig Talarico, Hgt, 51.18; 5, Brian Styck, Kal, 51.42; 6, Mike Doggett, Cap, 51.59.

1,600 - 1, David Vidal, Kal, 4:16.38; 2, Seth Watkins, Kal, 4:21.60; 3, Kurt Michels, Kal, 4:29.93; 4, David Roberts, HH, 4:31.69; 5, Stephen Flink, Sent, 4:33.16; 6, Vance Twitchell, Cap, 4:33.47.

110 hurdles - 1, Jake Larson, But, 14.42; 2, Matt Larson, Cap, 14.82; 3, Logan Funk, Kal, 14.94; 4, Levi Nickel, Kal, 14.99; 5, Josh Schaefer, BSky, 15.21; 6, Milo Funk, Kal, 15.31.

1,600 relay - 1, Kalispell (Logan Funk, Seth Watkins, Brian Styck, David Vidal) 3:26.65; 2, Capital 3:27.35; 3, Big Sky 3:27.43; 4, Butte 3:27.48; 5, Sentinel 3:28.87; 6, Helena 3:29.78.

Discus - 1, Zach Lindsay, Kal, 165-6; 2, Scott Wunderlich, Cap, 154-5; 3, Kurt Sparing, Cap, 146-10; 4, Troy Ford, HH, 146-6; 5, Kevin Brensinger, Kal, 140-7; 6, Tanner Rauk, Kal, 137-10.

Triple jump - 1, Chris Mosbacher, Sent, 43-2.; 2, Josh Hughes, HH, 42-11þ; 3, Steven Hodge, Kal, 42-6.; 4, James Hatton, Kal, 41-9; 5, Travis Monroe, Hgt, 41-8; 6, Dane Murphy, Cap, 41-7Þ.

Pole vault - 1, Steven Hodge, Kal, 14-0; 2, John Forba, HH, 14-0; 3, Matt Hall, Hgt, 14-0; 4, Josh Schaefer, BSky, 13-6; 5, Cooper Mitchell, Cap, 13-0; 6, Jacob Wegley, Sent, 13-0.

GIRLS

Team scores: Kalispell 218, Helena Capital 90, Butte 84, Helena High 54, Missoula Hellgate 40, Missoula Big Sky 24, Missoula Sentinel 17.

100 - 1, Halladay Quist, Kal, 12.96; 2, Ashley Wolstein, But, 13.04; 3, Rachael Simons, Cap, 13.14; 4, Melissa Paske, BSky, 13.16; 5, Kristin Vinecke, But, 13.18; 6, Bridgid Crowley, HH, 13.21.

200 - 1, Melissa Paske, BSky, 26.40; 2, Ashley Wolstein, But, 26.42; 3, Gail Gresham, Hgt, 26.52; 4, Molly Burt, Kal, 26.55; 5, Brianne Petritz, But, 26.61; 6, Autumn Waltee, HH, 26.63.

400 - 1, Krista Jimenez, Kal, 59.98; 2, Colleen Ferriter, HH, 60.19; 3, Erin Palmiter, Kal, 60.61; 4, Molly Burt, Kal, 61.20; 5, Ashley Wolstein, But, 61.88; 6, Marti Peters, Cap, 61.95.

1,600 - 1, Staci Anderson, Cap, 5:26.72; 2, Erin Windauer, Kal, 5:30.69; 3, Allison Squires, Cap, 5:32.16; 4, Tracy Martin, Cap, 5:34.84; 5, Chelsea Brist, Kal, 5:36.67; 6, Annie Grayson, Kal, 5:39.74.

100 hurdles - 1, Halladay Quist, Kal, 15.90; 2, Molly Burt, Kal, 16.49; 3, Janie Mockel, Cap, 16.55; 4, Jamie Jones, Cap, 16.87; 5, Clare Benish, HH, 17.28; 6, Larissa Harwood, Kal, 17.38.

1,600 relay - 1, Helena (Autumn Waltee, Bridgid Crowley, Ashley Lehman, Colleen Ferriter) 4:12.73; 2, Capital 4:16.69; 3, Butte 4:19.60; 4, Kalispell 4:20.15; 5, Big Sky 4:21.01; 6, Sentinel 4:21.69.

Discus - Amanda McCready, Kal, 120-4; 2, Becky O'Neil, Kal, 116-5; 3, Jessica Falcon, Kal, 115-5; 4, Lea Feasline, Sent, 112-5; 5, Heidi Kahler, BSky, 106-1; 6, Joanna Kaio, But, 105-11.

High jump - 1, Darci Ruth, But, 4-10; 2, Addy Hines, Kal, 4-10; 3, Kelsey Cooley, Hgt, 4-10; 4, Catie Holliday, Kal, 4-10; 5, (tie) Brenn Stacey, BSky, and Jamie Knieper, BSky, 4-8.

Triple jump - 1, Halladay Quist, Kal, 35-8; 2, Freddie Harmon, Kal, 34-Þ; 3, Alexia Klang, Kal, 33-9; 4, Darci Ruth, But, 33-9; 5, Kari Eliason, But, 33-4þ; 6, Jamie Knieper, BSky, 32-10Þ.

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