Sunday, March 24, 2013

St Pat's Weekend - Big Races, Fast Times

Okay - I know, I know, I know.  I'm a bit behind in commenting on the big races last weekend.

The biggest of the bunch was clearly the Run To The Pub in Bozeman.  The 10K had over 1500 people; and, the Half Marathon had nearly 700 finishers.  Great turnout Bozo!!!!

In the 10K, the win went to Bobcat alum Carl Nystrum in 33:56.  He was followed by John Breneman of Billings in 34:50 and Dewey Peacock in 35:30.  The men's master's race was close, with Ian Blair of Billings scoring a 1-second win over Ty Mongs of Bozeman (37:05 to 37:06).

On the women's side in the 10K, Taryn Schultz of Helena took the win in 36:21 over MSU mid-distance specialist Heather Haug (36:50).  Dallas Ott of Bozeman of Bozeman was 3rd overall and took the master's crown in 39:25.

Breneman, Schults and Ott are all new names to me.  Does anyone have any insight about these runners????

The real competition of the day came in the Half Marathon.  Here's the finishers list:

Dan Jackson - Bozeman   69:07
Adam Wollant (18) - Bozeman   72:43
Ethan Wilhelm - Bozeman   74:00
Dillon Zitzer - Red Lodge   74:48
Christian Heck - Bozeman   75:06
Zach Miller - Bozeman   75:33
Zach Hunter - Billings   77:27

That's a pretty tight crowd, especially for mid March.

The master's were led by Scott Sneddon (50) of Billings in 78:05 and Tim Mosbacher (47) of Missoula in 82:36.

On the women's side, Sarah Graves of Ballantine (Billings area) makes a return back to the top of the women's racing scene as she took a solid win in 79:12.  She was followed by out of staters Laura Portis (MI) in 81:39 and Margaret Landberg (WY) in 84:20.  4th overall and 1st master woman was Dani Shahan of Bozeman in 85:07.

Western Montana saw the 4th Annual Run For The Luck Of It in Missoula.

In the women's 7-Mile, Trisha Drobek scored a victory and a new course record with her 41:49 (which was also good for 5th overall).  Looks like Trish is getting ready to defend her title as the Muddy Buzzard Runner Of The Year.  She was followed by Ashley Shroeder (44:27) and Mary Kettering (46:18).  Danelle Gjetmundson took the Masters win in 50:08.

On the men's side, Jeremy Wolfe of Missoula got the win over 18-year old high school senior Hunter Guthrie, 39:24 to 40:14.  Elliot Bassett was another 25 seconds back in 40:39.  Brian Fruit of Missoula (51 years old) took the win in a new masters course record of 44:09.

The 5K saw some tight racing.  For the women, Jenny Newton got the overall and masters women's win with a solid 19:05.  Right behind her was training partner Rye Palen in 19:11, with Darr Tucknott 3rd @ 20:11.

On the men's side, Mark Handleman defended his 2012 title with a 17:06.  He was followed by 15-year old Marcus Bearmedicine in 17:21.  Just 7 seconds later (17:28) in 3rd came perhaps the performance of the day.  2012 #2 (tie) Runner Of The Year Jimmy Grant (course record holder in both the 5K and 7-Mile) turned in that time while pushing his two children in a double baby jogger.  Pretty impressive run, especially considering some of the nuances of this particular course.

And, to finish off the weekend, the Eastern side of the state had the Yellowstone Rim Runner's Shamrock Run in Billings (the only one of the races actually held on St. Patrick's Day).

Alan King continiued his string of wins in local races with his 17:14 5K.  He was followed by Joel Harris (who was coached by Alan at Rocky Mtn. College) in 17:54.  The masters win went to Billings native Lance Fred in 19:45.

Jen Reiter led the women in 20:21, with Niki Marancik taking the master's crown in 23:11.

King's performance on Sunday was especially impressive given how Alan spent his Saturday.  Rocky hosted the annual Battlin' Bear 1/2 Marathon in Billings.  They use it as a way to help Montana college athletes from Rocky, Great Falls and Carroll qualify for the NAIA national marathon championships.  Alan won the event in 1:10:28 (splitting a 31:18 PR for the opening 10K of the run).  He was followed by Sancho Ridesthedoor of Carroll (and a Missoula Hellgate alum) in 1:12:57 (this made the "A" qualifying standard for the NAIA event).  Cesar Mireles (assistant @ Rocky and 2012 Montana Cup champion) was 3rd in 1:13:36.  4th, and scoring an NAIA "B" qualifier, was Ryan Utsey of Carroll in 1:14:25.

For the women, Megan Breeding of Rocky scored an "A" qualifier in 1:30:27; and, Christina Bruce of UGF got a "B" qualifier with her 2nd place 1:31:29.

See you on the roads, tracks and trails.

The Muddy Buzzard

For the women

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Big Weekend Number 2

This is the 2nd big weekend in a row for the Big Sky road racing scene.

Saturday sees a couple of large and fast events.

Out west, Run Wild Missoula will host the Run For The Luck Of It 5K and 7-Mile on Saturday.  This has a been a fast, competetive race the last few years; and, I'm expecting more of the same this year.  Your very own Muddy Buzzard will be at this event, providing announcing services.  Looking forward to an exciting day.

In South Central MT, Bozeman will play host to the Run To The Pub - also on Saturday.  This will include 10K and Half-Marathon events.

Rounding out the weekend and progressing east - there will be the annual Shamrock Run 5K on Sunday in Billings.  This has always been the membership sign up run of the Yellowstone Rim Runners; and, was the first race I ran when I moved back to Montana in 1991.  Good memories indeed.

Erin Go Bragh to all

The Muddy Buzzard

Sunday, March 10, 2013

AOH St. Patrick's Day

The AOH (Ancient Order Of The Hibernians) St. Patrick's Day run in Anaconda.  This race has been going on for over 30 years - I remember first doing this race in the mid-80's.  It's definitely the grand-daddy of the MT St Paddy's day running scene.

It's a traditionally fast course (net downhill and most years there's at least some measure of a tailwind); and, with cabin fever having set in after a long winter - folks are ready to finally cut loose and pull out the racing shoes again.

The 3-Mile was the big race of the day, with some 539 finishers.  Of the 348 women,  Nicole Hunt of Deer Lodge shows that time is not her enemy as she pulled off a decisive win (and the #2 performance on the race's all time list) with her 16:32.  Great performance in and of itself; but, especially impressive when considering that she is a 40+ Master's runner and the mother of 3.  2nd was Lisa Minnehan of Billings (and an MSU-Billings alum) in 16:53 (which was the #3 performance).  Third was Anaconda High School senior Olivia Wood with her 17:55.

For the men, Clint Choquette (Butte native, current MSU-Billings athlete and significant other of Lisa Minnehan) came back home and put up stellar 14:22 - the #4 performance of all time - for the win.  Josh Panasuk (also a Butte native and also an MSU-Billings athlete) was 2nd in 14:46 - the #9 all-time performance.

The next two in were the old-men of the group.  In 4th was Ray Hunt - with a new master's record and a sub-15:00 time (14:57) at age 47.  (Taking a page from his wife, he's showing that aging doesn't necessarily mean a reduction in performace level.)  He was followed by 50+ athlete Marvin Speece (Butte) in 16:39.

In the 6-miler - it was Choquette sweep of the men's races.  Older brother Matt Choquette was a clear winner, his 31:39 over two minutes ahead of Helena's Bryan Johnson's 33:46.  In 3rd was Ozzie Rosenleaf at 36:54.  4th overall and 1st master was Lance Oswald of Butte in 37:56.

For the women, the race results suggest that the race was won by Tracy Tiner of Butte in 36:19 (which would have made her 3rd overall as a 40+ runner).  So, not sure at this point if the result is legit.  If it is, we have a new master's force on the women's side in MT.

2nd was Allison Moon (Butte) in 41:23; and, 3rd went to Charissa Bisch of Butte in 41:32.

A great way to kick off the spring racing season - and, sets the bar pretty high for the rest of the St. Pat's races next weekend.

See you on the roads, tracks and trails.

The Muddy Buzzard

NCAA Division I Indoor Championships

We had some Montana representation at the NCAA Division I Indoor Championships this past weekend; and, out of that, a few All-Americans.

In the women's Distance Medley Relay (1200, 400, 800, Mile) - Billings Senior alums Alexa (Junior) and Dani (Freshman) Aragon competed as part of the Notre Dame.  With a 7th place finish of 11:01.49 (which was just shy of the school record that this same team set 2 just last weekend) - that gives both All-American status.

As I've written before, Georganne Moline is a Montana native who is in her final season at the University of Arizona.  (Her father still lives in Plains; but, she has lived for years with her mother in Arizona.).  An Olympian in the 400 Meter Hurdles (where she placed 5th in London), Georganne worked on her flat 400 speed this indoor season - gaining her All-American status with a 5th place finishin in 52.09.

Also competing in the Heptathlon were Jeff Mohl (Red Lodge native) of Montana State (11th @ 5559) and Austin Emry of Montana (12th in 5486).

Good weekend for the Montana connections at the big show.

The Muddy Buzzard

Newell Is A Jewel

Many of you may not know the name of Dennis Newell.  He's a native of Billings and a Billings Skyview graduate.  Dennis didn't really tear it up in his high school days - he had what could be called a solid but not stellar career.

After HS he spent some time in the armed services maturing both physically and mentally.  He then moved onto Black Hills State University in Spearfish, South Dakota - where he exploded athletically.  During his time at BHSU, he was a 10-time All-American, including runner-up national championships finishes in cross country and outdoor track.

After completing his undergraduate work at BHSU, he obtained his mater's in Kinesiology from the University of North Dakota.  His athletic experience and academic knowledge set him up well as he chose to pursue a carerr in coaching.

For the last 7 years Dennis has acted as the Associate Head Coach for Cross Country and Assistant Track Coach - Distances at the University of Mary in Bismark, North Dakota.  And, he's been just as successful in guiding a whole new generation of distance athletes.

To this point, Dennis has coached 107 All-Conference Athletes, 17 NCAA Division II All-Americans and 34 NCAA Division II All-Academic team members.  He further extended his resume' at this past weekend's NCAA DII Indoor National Championships.

Here's his tally from the weekend:  3 individuals qualifying in 4 individual events plus a distance medley relay team.  Individual Mile Champion (Melissa Agnew), Distance Medley Relay National Champion, and All-American in the women's 5,000 (Jennifer Agnew).  Pretty impressive weekend indeed.

So, why take the time to mention Dennis' accomplishments?   Well, in today's Missoulian there was a 3-page article on Wayne Tinkle - UM basketball coach.  Now, by all accounts Tinkle is a heck of a good guy and a very good coach.  But, so is Dennis Newell - and, I'm sure that he doesn't get nearly that kind of love from the media.  So, when one of our Montana distance boys makes good, somebody needs to be sure to sing his praises.

Great job Dennis; and, keep up the great work of imparting your distance wisdom to the next generation.

The Muddy Buzzard

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Take Your Marks

The road racing season kicks into full gear over the next two weekends.  The window of time around St. Patrick's Day has really turned into a smorgasbord of races around the state of Montana.  And, due to a quirky calendar, this year that gives us 2 weekends of fun.

We have races in Missoula, Polson, Billings, Bozeman, Anaconda and Great Falls.

March 9th has the Match Meltdown in Polson.  And, it also includes what is perhaps the grandaddy of MT St. Pat's Day races - the AOH races in Anaconda (AOH being the Ancient Order Of The Hibernians by the way)

March 16th includes the St. Paddy's Dary Race in Great Falls, Run For the Luck of It in Missoula and the Run To The Pub in Bozeman.

The Shamrock Run in Billings is the only run that actually occurs on St. Pat's Day................Way to go Rim Runners!!!!!!!

If you don't kick off your season in the next two weekends - you really aren't trying.

Good luck to all and enjoy getting back out on the roads, tracks and trails.

The Muddy Buzzard

Sunday, March 03, 2013

More Indoor Action

A few indoor meets this past weekend in the final build-up before the NCAA Championships.

At the Univrsity of Washington Last Chance Meet, Heather Haug of Montana State had one more big mile race.  She finished 7th in 4:43.13. 

Montana native (Gardiner) and current Seattle resident John Ricardi competed in the men's mile and finished with a solid 4:08.71.

At the University of Notre Dame Alex Wilson Invitational, Billings Senior alums Alexa and Danielle Aragon (junior and freshman at ND) were part of the Distance Medley Relay Team that set a new school record with a performance of 10:59.08.

The Muddy Buzzard

Saturday, March 02, 2013

NAIA Nationals Day 2

Big day today for Carroll and Rocky athletes at the NAIA Indoor Track & Field National Championships in Geneva, OH.  The big "winner" for the day clearly had to be Carroll College with 9 All-American performances, an individual champion and a total of three top-3 finishes..  But, Rocky also brought home an All-American plaque.

The biggest news of the day was the National Championship by Easton Padden of Carroll College.  A graduate of Laurel HS, Padden was the long jumper over 17' with his vault of 17' 0 3/4" (5.20 meters).  Padden had the best performance coming into the meet; and, he kept cool under the pressure.  Congratulations to Easton!!!

The morning started out with Kathleen Mulligan of Carroll placing 3rd in the women's Triple Jump at 38' 7".  That was only 1/2" out of 2nd place and just 2" behind the winning jump.  That was the kick off to the All-American (A-A) smorgasbord.

Next up were A-A performances in the women's Mile with Bailey Hughes of Carroll finishing 5th @ 5:02.37.  (Bailey is a Kalispell Flathead alum).  In 8th was Ana Richter of Rocky (Billings Skyview) in 5:06.18.  Also in the final, and just missing A-A status with her 9th place finish was Rachel Hart of Rocky (Kalispell Glacier) in 5:10.87.  I believe that these 3 Montana natives all had personal bests in this event.

In the men's mile - Derrick Williams of Carroll (Columbia Falls) was oh-so-close to a championship.  He took the lead at 1200 meters and held on until the last 100 metes.  He finished with a stellar time of 4:12.55 (after a 4:12.34 PR in the prelims yesterday) to secure 3rd place and and All-American plaque.  Lyle Pocha of Carroll (Helmville - Missoula Loyola) also made the finals and placed 9th in 4:18.81.

Carroll also had All-Americans in the men's 400 & 800 meter events with Stephan Delaney (Charlo) finishing 4th in the 400 at 49.56; and, Troy Solly had a solid 6th place in the 8000 with his 1:54.14.

In the women's 3000 meters, Carroll's Jordan Mathes ran 10:20.13 to secure A-A status with her 7th place finish.  Teammate Shelby Sweeney finished 10th in 10:28.50.

Ashley Medeiros of Carroll (Missoula Loyola) threw 39' 0 1/2" for 22nd in the preliminaries of the women's Shot Put.

In the women's 5000 meters, Hannah Hafner of Carroll finished 12th in the finals running a fine 18:20.60.

Also competing in the men's Pole Vault finals was Josh Seeberger of Carroll, finishing 14th @ 15' 1".

In the women's Distance Medley Relay (1200 meters, 400, 800, 1600), Carroll College finished 8th in a time fo 12:14.9.

The men's Distance Medley Relay team from Carroll wrapped up a great weekend with a 2nd place finish.  Comprised of Lyle Pocha, Troy Solly, Taylor Peliska and Derrick William, they just outleaned College of Idaho at the line with a time of 9:58.08.  It should be noted that Pocha, Solly and Williams all competed in individual event finals earlier in the day.

Congrats to all the MT collegiate athletes - well done.

The Muddy Buzzard.

Friday, March 01, 2013

NAIA Indoor Nationals - Day 1

The NAIA (smallest of the collegiate divisions) is holding their indoor track and field national championships this weekend @ The Spire Institute facilities in Geneva, OH.  And, we have quite a representation of athletes from Montana schools including Carroll College, Rocky Mountain College and University of Great Falls.

Here's a quick summary report of Day 1 (which was mostly preliminaries - the big day of finals is tomorrow)

400 M Men - Stephan Delaney, Freshman, Carroll (Charlo HS).  48.94, qualifies for finals with the 6th fastest time.

800 M Men -
   Troy Solly, Junior, Carroll.  1:54.11, qualifies for finals with 4th fastest time.
   Austen Stuchell, Junior, Carroll.  1:56:12 - 12th in preliminaries
   Andrew Hornung, Senior, Great Falls.  1:56:42 - 13th in preliminaries
   Shawn Peden, Freshman, Rocky.  1:57.37 - 16th in preliminaries

Mile Men-
   Derrick Williams, Fresman, Carroll (Columbia Falls HS).  4:12.34, qualifies for finals with #1 time
   Lyle Pocha, Sophomore, Carroll (Missoula Loyola).  4:14.42, qualifies for finals with #10 time

3000 M Men - Noah Kiprono, Senior, Rocky.  8:50.10.  20th in preliminaries

Distance Medley Relay (which includes 400, 800, 1200 and Mile) - Men
   Carroll - 10:05.38 - qualify for finals with 5th fastest time.  (This team includes Solly, Williams and Pocha - all of who also have individual event finals on Saturday)

HJ Men - Daniel East, Freshman, Carroll.  6' 6", 16th in preliminaries

3000 M Women -
   Jordan Mathes, Freshman, Carroll.  10:23.24, qualifies for finals with 5th fastest time
   Shelby Sweeney, Senior, Carroll.  10:29.95, qualifies for finals with 10th fastest time

5000 M Women - Hannah Hafner, Sophomore, Carroll (Wolf Point).  18:01.21, qualifies for finals with 10th fastest time.

Distance Medley Relay - Women
   Carroll, 12:12.94.  Qualifies for finals with 2nd fastest time.
   Rocky, 12:35.51.  15th in preliminaries.

Pole Vault - Women
   Marissa Arneson, Junior, Carroll (Missoula Sentinel).  11' 11 3/4".  5th Place in Final - All-American.

So, not a bad day for the MT colleges.   1 All American finish (by a MT native).  9 individual or relays qualify for finals (and, 4 of those individuals are MT natives).

Tomorrow should be an exciting day.

A results link can be found at:

You can also find live results at

See you on the roads, tracks and trails

The Muddy Buzzard