Well, the state track meets have come and gone; and, as always there were some expected performances and some suprises.
Let me start with my vote for the Outstanding Performer.
It would have to go to Chris Wilson of CMR in Great Falls. He continued his hot sprinting and set all-class records in both the 100 and the 200 meters. His 10.67 took down the 10.74 of Steve Heberly of Havre. The race was run into a headwind; so, with a calm day or even a minor tailwind, he possibly could have been in the 10.5's.
But, I still have to say that his 21:06 All-State record in the 200 rates higher in my book. With that run, he won by almost 1 full second and took down a 28 year old record (Dan Hanley of Butte High ran 21:51 in 1981). 21:06 is smoking fast - especially for a sprinter from Montana who has a challenge with limited outdoor training and racing with the winter and spring weather taht sprinters in places like Texas, California and Florida don't have to content with.
Now then - what about the Outstanding Competiton?
As I had predicted - it was the Alexa, Keli and Dani show. The Aragon sisters (Junior Alexa and Freshman Dani) from Billings Senior and Junior Keli Dennehy of Butte High went head to head to head in the 800, 1600 and 3200 meter runs.
Alexa took the 800 in 2:12.41 - followed by Keli in 2:13.04 and Dani in 2:16.25
Alexa took the 1600 in 5:04.84 - again followed by Keli (5:05.39) and Dani (5:05.88). 4th was Heidi Turner of Bozeman in 5:08.97.
The 3,200 saw a reversal of fortunes as Keli took the win in a near sub-11:00 time with a 11:06.68. Alexa was second in 11:22.55 and Turner took third in 11:31.5 (Dani skipped the 3200)
Outstanding races, fast time, great head to head competition. After a vote by the Muddy Buzzard panel of judges - the Buzzard Beak goes to Alexa. 2 out of 3 over Keli with the 2 fastest times in the events this year.
Not to be overlooked would be the solid performances of Aurlea Fain - a junior at Billings Senior was 6th in the 800 (2:23.01), 5th in the 1600 (5:20.73) and 4th in the 3200 (11:33.28). What a tough group to have to compete against. She had a great set of performances across the board; but, still could do no better than 4th.
After all of that indivdual racing, the Butte and Senior Girls went at it one more time in the final event of the meet - the 4 X 400 meter relay. And, the team title was on the line. Dennehy was on the Butte team and the Aragons and Fain were on the Senior team. In the end, Butte pulled out a 3rd place finish with Senior in 4th. That was enough for the Bulldogs to end up with a 2 point win and the State Championship trophy.
Now then, on to some other notable performances.
The Billings West boys 4 X 100 relay - setting a new all-class record of 41.48 (breaking the old record of 42.27 by over 3/4's of a second).
Drew Coco winning the Class A 800, 1600 and 3200 meters to add to his XC title from the fall and a great wrap to his senior season.
Mike Asay of Manhattan with the fastest 1600 and 3200 meter times of the year with a 4:21.01 and 9:45.36 (winning both races by about 7 seconds)
Dillon Fryxell from the small school of Plains with the highest HJ of the weekend at 6-8.
Alexa Aragon adding a 3rd in the PV to go along with the other 4 medal that she won over the weekend. 5 All-State Medals in one weekend. With the hauls that she has made in XC and track over the last 3 years, she is building quite a legacy of HS performances.
The Muddy Buzzard