HELENA — This week Sidelines recaps recent highlights ranging from the local bowling concourse, to a week-long run in Arizona, to Great Falls' pro rodeo circuit finals.
Over the final two months of 2018, Grady Stinchfield and Tony Woodward added their names to the growing list of 300 games shot at Sleeping Giant Lanes this season. This is Stinchfield’s first 300, while Woodward, who is carrying a 223 average in the Wednesday Night League, now owns 10 lifetime perfectos.
Previous 300s this season were performed by Howard Reed, Brady Kirkeby and Troy Gustovich. Perry Turpin just missed turning the trick with a 297, while firing a 788 series. George Cotton rolled a 290.
Other top series include Kirkeby’s 782, a 766 by Woodward, Gustovich at 764, and a 761 by Tom Srozyck.
The high women's games over the last two months at SGL were achieved by Kimberly Bolan, who fired a 268, followed by Jenny Chambers with a 252, and Terry Beal’s 247. Next came Erin Murphy and Misty Nettleton at 246 and 244, respectively.
Nancy Collick cracked the 700 series plateau, shooting a 709. Rounding out the top series were Kim Bolan’s 677, a 663 by Chambers, Danielle Bolan at 660, and Lacey Keech’s 641.
In the senior me's division, John Worster, Ron Briggeman and Bernie Briggeman each rolled 258s, while Ron and Bernie posted series scores of 698 and 690. Bill Hrouda shot a 257 and 672.
Marlene Dupree had the high senior women's game of 210 with Sylvia Bailey rolling a 536 series.
Martin Miller recently completed the Across the Years (ATY) 6 Day Race, held near Glendale, Arizona, from December 29 to January 3.
The venue was the Camelback Ranch, a spring training facility for the Chicago White Sox and L.A. Dodgers. The course is a flat, 1-mile loop path on packed dirt with a short stretch of pavement, winding around some of the baseball fields and through some of the landscaping.
“I heard coyotes howling in the distance one night, and a hoot owl early one evening,” Miller, 66, related.
There were about 200 runners at the start with 88 (54 men and 33 women) completing the entire six days. Miller finished 16th overall in the men's race, and third among men 65 or older, while logging 304.5 miles.
Miller explained that six-day racing first began in the U.S. and England in the 1870s and ‘80s, and were referred to as “pedestrianism,” many decades before ultramarathons became vogue.
“I arrived at the venue the night before the start and pitched my tent on the grass not far from the start … (and) I was surprised how cold it got that night … down to 28 degrees,” Miller recounted. “The week of the race was the coldest it had been in the Phoenix area for four years.”
He said it rained off and on much of the third day, and his "pace stayed pretty steady" until the sleep deprivation started.
There was also a little celebration – sparkling grape juice, fireworks, noisemakers – at midnight on New Year’s Eve.
"On about Day 5, another runner asked how I was doing," Miller said. "I told her that I was too close to the 300 mile pace “bubble” ... (which) meant staying with it and keeping those breaks short."
As it turned out, he made 300 miles in plenty of time, and added 4 more for good measure.
“(It was) quite the experience for me, the other runners are great people and really make the event memorable,” Miller concluded. “And Don Winkley, age 80 and an acquaintance of mine from long ago, set an age group world record at 326.72 miles."
At the Montana Pro Rodeo Circuit Finals in the Electric City, Helena's Ty Erickson tied for first place in the steer wrestling during the first go-round on Friday, with a throw of 4.6 seconds. Erickson collected $2,008 for his efforts.
Capital City barrel racer Rene' Cloninger placed third during Round 3, earning $861 for navigating the cans in 13.55.
Pascal Isabelle of Boulder, tied for second in the average of the bareback bronc riding with 234.5 points on three horses, while collecting $2,152. Isabelle — who relocated to Montana from Quebec, Canada, in 2017 — won the third round (86 points) for $2,295, and finished second in Round 2 (83) for $1,721.
Deer Lodge's Chase Brooks placed third in the saddle bronc average, pocketing $1,721 with 168.5 points on two covers. Brooks, a former Helena Rodeo Club member, captured Round 1 with an 86 point ride ($2,295) and finished second in round 2 at 82.5 ($1,721).
Brooks placed runner-up in the year-end with earnings of $20,485, while qualifying for the RAM National Circuit Finals in Florida, in March.
In team roping, Wolf Creek's Sam Levine and partner Jack Grahame took runner-up during Round 2, with a time of 5.1, good enough for $1,721.
Helena's Sam Petersen, 14, won the high school bareback competition with an 81-point ride.
Miss Last Chance Stampede Kayla Seaman was crowned Miss Rodeo Montana 2019, after garnering first place in four categories; Horsemanship test, Horsemanship and railwork, Rocky Heckman Top Hand Award and Personality, Projection and Appearance.