MISSOULA — Natalie Yocum trained pretty much by herself last track season when she was a sophomore at Arlee.
She did all right for herself, placing second in the 1,600-meter run, third in the 3,200-meter run and fourth in the 800-meter dash, racking up 18 of Arlee's 25 points at the Class C state meet.
Since then, Yocum turned in her red and white uniform for an orange, gray and black one, as she transferred to Frenchtown in the offseason.
"The team is a lot bigger, so the team aspect is better," Yocum said, comparing her new team to her old one. "You have teammates that push you and encourage you. I like that a lot more because I was the only distance runner at Arlee."
On Friday at a track meet at Missoula County Stadium, Yocum won both of her events: the 1,600- and the 3,200-meter runs. Her outing in the 2-mile was her first time racing the event so far this season. She's also only run the mile three times this season.
She didn't compete in the 800-meter run on Friday, but she has already qualified for the Class A state meet in that event.
Yocum wasn't the only one winning multiple events at the sunny and hot Missoula Big Sky-hosted meet on Friday afternoon.
Her teammate on the boys' side, freshman Jace Klucewich, won both the 100-meter dash and the long jump.
Also on the girls' side, Big Sky's Whitney Morrison won three events: the 200-meter dash, the triple jump and the javelin.
"We were doing some different things with her today," Big Sky coach Dan Nile said of Morrison, who's already qualified for state in the 400-meter dash, the javelin, the long jump and the triple jump. "... She's had a fantastic year."
Frenchtown senior Emilie Hinrichs set a personal best by nearly two feet in the shot put on Friday to catapult her into second place statewide and first among Class A competitors. Her throw of 40 feet, 7 inches won the meet by three feet.
Big Sky senior pole vaulter Rylan Wilcox cleared a personal best less than a week after setting one at the Top 10 meet. Wilcox cleared 14 feet, 3 inches and moved himself up into fourth statewide regardless of class, and second among Class AA athletes.
Three different freshmen were victorious on Friday, including Frenchtown's Klucewich. Big Sky freshman Grace Denman took home first place in the 100-meter dash and Charlo freshman Carlee Fryberger stole the show in the 100-meter hurdles.
There were 18 state-qualifying performances on Friday afternoon at Missoula County Stadium.
- Charlo's Carlee Fryberger — 16.51
- Charlo girls, 4:14.40
- Big Sky's Gianna Miglaccio — 47.52
- Charlo girls, 52.13
- Frenchtown's Adam Botkin — 6 feet, 3 inches
- Drummond's Morgan Radtke — 5 feet, 3 inches
- Big Sky's Whitney Morrison — 35 feet, 9¾ inches
- Big Sky's Rylan Wilcox — 14 feet, 3 inches
- Charlo's Landers Smith — 12 feet
- Big Sky's Isabella Reed — 10 feet
- Deer Lodge's Kamryn Scully — 9 feet, 6 inches
- Frenchtown's Jesse Mecham — 50 feet, 1½ inches
- Frenchtown's Emilie Hinrichs — 40 feet, 7 inches
- Deer Lodge's Ariel Clark — 37 feet, 7 inches
- Deer Lodge's Amy Fjell — 37 feet, 2 inches
- Big Sky's Brooke Kearns — 37 feet, 1 inch
- Deer Lodge's Austin Forson — 168 feet, 10 inches
- Big Sky's Brooke Kearns — 115 feet, 11 inches