MISSOULA — Time and time again, Charlo's Tyrah Hammond and Carlee Fryberger consecutively cross the finish line.
Sometimes Hammond tops Fryberger and sometimes it's the other way around.
Hammond just beat out Fryberger on Friday and Saturday in both the 100- and 200-meter dashes Saturday at the District 14-C track meet at Missoula County Stadium. Hammond crossed the finish line 0.10 seconds faster than Fryberger in the 100-meter dash and 0.60 seconds faster in the 200-meter dash.
But the friendly competition only helps their cause.
"We definitely make each other better in practice and at track meets," Hammond said, smiling.
That's evident for Hammond.
Hammond, a junior, has lowered her time in the 100-meter dash by 0.64 seconds from last year's season best. She's dropped her time in the 200-meter dash by 1.20 seconds. And her 400-meter dash time is 4.54 seconds faster than last year's time.
Fryberger, a freshman, has been a big addition for Charlo's team.
She's already automatically qualified for state in four events — the 100- and 200-meter dashes, the 100-meter hurdles and the triple jump.
"It's been a lot of fun, especially with Tyrah pushing me," Fryberger said.
In their individual events on Friday and Saturday, the two scored 72 points combined for Charlo — more than a third of the Vikings' overall points on the girls' side — helping the girls' team win District 14-C for the first time in four years, last winning in 2014.
The Charlo boys also won the team title, extending the Vikings' streak to 16-straight seasons. They've also won 19 District 14-C titles in the past 20 years, placing second to Arlee in 2001.
"It says a lot for our kids," Charlo head coach Bret Thompson said of sweeping both sides. "Not that we work any harder than anyone else, but I do think there's an expectation.
"They like the idea of having the expectation and the pressure. The next couple weeks, we'll see if we can keep things rolling here."
Charlo junior Landers Smith knows how to win.
He took home district titles in the 100- and 200-meter dashes, as well as in the pole vault. Smith's wins in those events repeat his first-place ribbon haul from last year.
"I'm going to take it and use it as motivation," Smith said of his performances at this year's District 14-C meet. "The other districts have a lot of fast kids. They're faster than I am. I need to take that and use it for myself and try to improve next week at divisionals. Everybody's going to get better from here on out. Working hard is the main thing right now."
Smith's win in the 100-meter dash came by the narrowest of margins. He beat out Plains' Brandon Managhan by one-hundredth of a second.
"I could hear him coming up on me from behind," Smith said. "I was like, 'I have to stay smooth.' My dad's always told me, 'Smooth is fast and fast is smooth.' I was just trying to keep what I had going. I heard him coming up on me, but I squeaked him out."
Track and field is a team sport for Smith too. He anchors both Charlo's 400- and 1,600-meter relays.
Both teams took home first place on Friday and Saturday too, just like last year.
"We have to be there for each other and push each other," Smith said. "That's the only way we're going to get better is if we're pushing each other."
Charlo had three other athletes who won multiple events: Destiny Manuel, Wills Degrandpre and Toby Odom.
Manuel, a sophomore, won both the 800- and 1,600-meter runs. Degrandpre, a junior, took home both the 1,600- and 3,200-meter titles.
And Odom, Charlo's lone senior regardless of gender, won both the 110- and 300-meter hurdles.
Charlo had multiple single event winners as well, including Kira McPhail (high jump), Kaitlin Cox (long jump) and Bridger Foust (800-meter run).
Noxon's Rylan Weltz and Levi Brubaker and Arlee's Shawntaya Nelson were the only other multiple-event winners in 14-C competition.
Weltz won both the boys' discus and javelin, while Brubaker lept the farthest in the long and triple jumps. Nelson cleared 8-feet, 9 inches in the pole vault and won the 3,200-meter run.
Other champions: Noxon's Cody Cable (400-meter dash) and Aaron Raynor (javelin); Arlee's Peyton Lammerding (shot put); Plains' Brandon Managhan (high jump), Cree Lulak (300-meter hurdles) and Lindsay Laws (javelin).
There were nine performances on Friday and Saturday that automatically qualified District 14-C athletes for the state meet.
- Charlo's Carlee Fryberger — 16.24
- Charlo girls — 52.27
- Plains' Brandon Managhan — 6-foot
- Plains' Lindsay Laws — 115-foot-5
- Charlo's Kaitlin Cox — 16-foot-1½
- Charlo's Landers Smith — 12-foot
- Arlee's Shawntaya Nelson — 8-foot-9
- Noxon's Levi Brubaker — 42-foot-9½
- Charlo's Carlee Fryberger — 35-foot-1¾