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Corvallis' Garrett Brown competes in the shot put at the the Frenchtown Invitational at Missoula County Stadium on Saturday.

MISSOULA — It only took a month, but most high schools across Montana have finally had the opportunity to participate in a track & field meet now that the harsh weather has subsided a bit.

On the western side of the state, many of those schools saw their first action of the year at Saturday’s Frenchtown Invitational, while larger Class AA schools got started earlier in the week.

With official marks finally in the books, I’ll be compiling a weekly notebook that takes a look around western Montana at what marks stand out, where they rank, what’s trending and what is upcoming as the track & field season unfolds.

With only a few results to work with, this week’s notebook will be shorter, taking a look at where western Montanans rank regardless of classifications and what meets are ahead on this week’s docket.

State leaders

It’s a small sample size to begin with, and many athletes around the state have yet to compete or have their marks reported, but already some local competitors have had some eye-popping marks to begin the season. Frenchtown sophomore Jace Klucewich picked up where he left off last year as a freshman and currently holds the fastest 200 time in the state at 22.63 seconds. That qualifies him for state already and it bests his 22.90 he ran at the State A meet a year ago when he placed fourth. Saturday’s mark ties his personal best.

Seniors Kyle Calles and Ben Perrin of Kalispell Flathead both own the top marks in the 800 and 1,600 respectively. Calles finishes the 800 in 2:01.76, just missing out on qualifying for state but good enough to own the top mark with Frenchtown junior Tyler Schmautz in second at 2:03.40. Perrin, the male Gatorade cross country athlete of the year and reigning 3,200 champ, clocked a mile time of 4:30.60 last Friday to lead the state. He currently ranks second in the 3,200 (9:39.74) behind Laurel’s Levi Taylor (9:20.54). Both are signed to run at Montana State.

Lee Walburn, a senior from Whitefish, leads the 300 hurdles crew at 40.20 which he ran on Saturday at the Frenchtown Invite. Glacier junior Drew Deck is second at 40.97.

Seeley-Swan’s 1,600-relay time from Saturday also tops the state at 3:27.59. The team is made up of Logan Robinson, Dakota Wood, Caleb Maughan and Hunter Shelmerdine. Hamilton’s Michael Graves tossed a personal best 186 feet, 4 inches in the javelin on Saturday, giving him the top mark there. Glacier’s Evan Todd, who has signed to compete for UM in track & field, is second at 184-10. Drew Morgan of Columbia Falls ranks third (178-05), and Sentinel’s Rylan Ortt (173-06) and Brock Field (170-09) round out the top five.

Hamilton's Jacob Campbell ranks fourth and 10th in the shot put and discus, respectively, after winning both at the Frenchtown Invite. Garrett Brown of Corvallis is fifth overall in the shot put. 

Sentinel’s Elias Dewaters tops the triple jump at 43-05.50 while Noxon senior Levi Brubaker, the defending State C champ, is second at 43-03.50.

On the girls side, Corvallis senior and three-time defending State A champ Calla Haldorson leads the discus field with her toss of 134-03.50 from Saturday. Defending State C discus champ Klaire Kovatch of Seeley-Swan ranks fourth at 124-11.50.

Angellica Steet of Columbia Falls, who is the reigning State A javelin champion, leads the state already with her 149-04 that she achieved at the Frenchtown Invite.

Sentinel’s Lauren Heggen leads the triple jump (38-07.75) and is second in the long jump (17-11.75). She is also third overall and second in AA in the 100 hurdles. Big Sky’s Whitney Morrison sits at No. 2 in the triple jump (36-11.50) while Sentinel’s Ashley McElmurry is third in the long jump at 17-10.75.

Glacier’s Faith Brennan leads the girls 100 hurdles with a time of 15.78.

Big Sky’s Isabella Reed is tied for first in the AA at 10-6 in the pole vault which she accomplished at a triangular between Big Sky, Butte and Butte Central last Thursday. Josie Windauer of Columbia Falls is third in the 400 at 1:00.31, a personal best for her and just .11 away from the state leader in Winnett-Grass Range’s Zoe Delaney. Hamilton’s Brynnli Poulsen sits in fourth in the 1,600, Hellgate’s Ember Stratton is third in the 3,200, Glacier’s Aubry Grame is second in the 300 hurdles while teammate Mya Mcneely is third in the shot put. Defending State C pole vault champ Terra Bertsch of Seeley-Swan is tied for fifth overall with a 10-foot mark.

Locals stand out at Arcadia

At one of the most prestigious high school outdoor meets of the year, multiple Missoula athletes stood out among the competition at the Arcadia Invitational in California. All of Heggen’s aforementioned marks came at Arcadia. Her long jump mark earned an eighth-place finish. She also took ninth in the triple jump.

Stratton’s 3,200 also came at Arcadia where she finished 12th overall with a time of 10:50.12. Hellgate’s Elise Stearns finished 14th in the women’s seeded one-mile run at 5:24.56 while fellow Knight Katie Munro took 38th in the mile run in 5:16.05. Hellgate senior Ella DeGrandpre was scheduled to run in the 3,200 but did not compete.

Looking ahead

It’s a busy week for track & field in the area. The three AA Missoula schools host Butte on Tuesday for a quad meet. The Florence-Darby Invitational and Kalispell Invitational are also Tuesday.

The Dave Tripp Memorial is scheduled for Friday at 10 a.m. in Polson. Then on Saturday, the Missoula County Public Schools Invitational and Ronan Invitational are also set for competition.

Kyle Hansen covers Griz men's basketball and more for the Missoulian and 406mtsports.com. Email him at kyle.hansen@406mtsports.com or follow him on Twitter at @khansen406

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