So, the high school track season has come and gone; and, already it seems like so long ago since last weekend and the State Meets in Bozeman and Helena. Please permit me one last look back at the season and give you my picks for the performers of the year on the boys and girls sides.
Let me start with the girls; and, the athlete who I think may have been the overall trackster of the year. She didn't have an undefeated season, and didn't win all entered events at State. And, I'm slightly biased since I watched this young lady since she was a wee infant and I've known her family for over 15 years. But, I am hard pressed to identify anyone else in the state who combined her range of events and level of performances.
Alexa Aragon, a mere sophomore, was among the top 8 performers in all of the state and placed in the AA state meet at 400, 800, 1,600 and 3,200 meters and the pole vault. Her performances included 400 @ 58.70 (8th on yearly list), 2:15.6 @ 800 (2nd), 5:02.0 @ 1,600 (1st), 11:20.6 @ 3,200 (3rd) and 10' 6" @ PV (tie for 3rd). She won state titles at 800 and 1,600 meters, and placed 2nd in the 3,200, 3rd in the pole vault and 5th in the 400. Other than the 400, her marks at the state meet were seasonal bests.. I'm not sure that I can ever recall anyone who placed at state in all the flat track events above 200 meters. Then, what an unusual combination of adding the pole vault. A distance running pole vaulter? What the heck?!?!?!?!?
Honorable Mentions - Kourtney Danreuther, Big Sandy. Top 10 on the seasonal lists @ 200, 400, 800 (1st on list @ 2:12.0) and 300 Hurdles (1st on list @ 45.1). State titles @ 300H, Long Jump, 200 and 800; and, a 2nd place at 400.
Heather Haug, Livingston - state championships at 800, 1,600 and 3,200.
Whitney Henderson, Corvallis - state championships at 100, 200, and 400.
Performances of the year - Caitlan Stone's 5:04.7 and 10:53.4 races at the Western B Divisionals in Missoula. All alone, solo efforts (she lapped the entire field in the 3,200) on days when the track temperatures were in the '90's.
On the Boys side, I have to go with the distances again. And, again, it's a competitor from the East side of the divide. This runner has shown remarkable racing awareness in such a young athlete. At the State meet he won the 800, 1,600 and 3,200 meter titles to add to the XC championship that he won this fall.
Not only did Patrick Casey, a graduating senior, win 3 events, he led the seasonal lists at 800 and 1,600 and was 2nd on the 3,200 list. And, he ran in the low 50 second range in the 400 at the Eastern A Divisional meet. And, to my knowledge, at 800 meters and above, he was undefeated this year, including cross-country. Having had the chance to watch the Western A runners this season, I was surprised by the margin of victories that Patrick had over runners such as Whitefish's Drew Coco and Logan Torgison of Polson.
Honorable Mentions - Alex Brekke of Bozeman. 2nd on the 1,600 seasonal list and 1st @ 3,200, he won both at the state track meet to add to his spectacular AA XC crown. If he had added the 800 to his list, he would have been a dead heat with Patrick.
Josh Pelczar, Billings West. On the seasonal lists for the 100, 200, 400, he won the 400 and the 200 at State and was 2nd in a very strong AA 100 meters.
Performances of the Year: Brian Schenavar, Thompson Falls, 14-9 1/2 inch pole vault at state. Indoors, likely for the first time ever, he set what I believe was the only class record in the state this year.
Darby's Paul Abrahamsen's 58 second last lap to win the 3,200 meters at State B. Very few HS athletes from Montana can show those kinds of wheels on the last lap of a 3,200 meters, even if it was coming off a relative slow pace.
Well, that's my take on the season. Let me know if you agree or if you think others are worthy of mention.
See you on the roads, tracks and trails.