2010 State “A” Champions

Check out all the stories below gathered from the regional newspapers.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Lady Pirates dominate final day of Class A state track

LAUREL – Keep the fire engines warmed up, there’s another state championship team to parade through Polson.

The Pirates more than tripled their first-day score at the Class A state track meet and came away with the girls championship trophy on Saturday, becoming the second Polson High School girls team to win a state title in as many days. On Friday, the Polson softball team won the Class A state title while the girls tennis team picked up a runner-up finish at state.

“We have a really good bunch of girl athletes in our school system. For a little school, we’ve got about 70 girl athletes or so, and look what they did this weekend,” Polson track coach Bob Gunderson said.

Polson had one state champion – Loni Havlovick – and scored in every event but one on Saturday to total 86 points and claim the fourth title in the last eight years and second since 2008.

“I told them they could do this at the beginning of the year. I told them they could do it midway through the year. And today at the state meet I told them they did it,” Gunderson said.

Hamilton was the runner-up with 55 and Corvallis was third with 54.

The Polson girls sealed the deal with two events left when Mesa Starkey beat her own school-record in the 3,200 by 14 second and placed second.

Havlovick needed her best throw of the weekend to win the discus on her final attempt. The Montana State signee heaved 130-feet for the walk-off state championship.

Nicole Davey led Polson in medals with six. On Saturday she placed second in both the 300 hurdles and pole vault and ran on both runner-up relay teams. The short relay squad of Davey, Katie Finley, Anna DiGiallonardo and Breanne Kelley broke the school record with a 50.34.

DiGiallonardo, a freshman, took second in the 100, Kelley was fourth in the 100 hurdles and Christa Red Crow placed fourth in the 300 hurdles.

The Pirates will be honored in the Memorial Day parade on Monday, riding on the town’s fire trucks, an honor reserved for state champions.

“It’s really been a fun bunch to coach. They are clutch. They don’t back down and they compete, you have to beat them,” Gunderson said. “They’re just tough. They all do multiple events and they do them well.”

Whitefish’s Amanda Foley placed sixth in both sprints, Megan Apple was third in the 300 hurdles and Jessica Sagen took fourth in the 3,200. Olivia Nagler placed sixth in the discus.

Saturday at Laurel


Team Totals

Polson 86, Hamilton 55, Corvallis 54, Billings Central 49, Glendive 47, Lewistown 43, Belgrade 36, Stevensville 29 1/2, Sidney 22, Dillon 18, Ronan-St. Ignatius 16, Whitefish 15, Frenchtown 14, Laurel 10, Hardin 8, Havre 8, Browning 6, Livingston 4, Anaconda 3, Libby 2, Butte Central 1, Columbia Falls 1/2.

Individual Results

100 – 1, Aimee Beck, Bel, 12.93; 2, Anna DiGiallonardo, Pol, 13.14; 3, Nikki Barron, Cor, 13.15; 4, Faith Kjelstrup, Gle, 13.3; 5, Tiara Show, Bro, 13.37; 6, Amanda Foley, Whi, 13.38.

200 – 1, Paige Squire, Cor, 25.82; 2, Kelsi Almond, Ham, 26.57; 3, Marissa Stanton, BilC, 26.82; 4, Ashley Skillestad, Gle, 26.93; 5, Aimee Beck, Bel, 27.16; 6, Amanda Foley, Whi, 27.24.

800 – 1, Misha Trotter, Ham, 2:18.46; 2, Nocona Frame, Gle, 2:22.28; 3, Brook Rodgers, Lew, 2:23.79; 4, Jordyn Yarborough, Liv, 2:25.17; 5, Mikaela Beausoleil, Lau, 2:26.48; 6, Dana Anderson, Ana, 2:27.7.

3200 – 1, Nocona Frame, Gle, 11:33.88; 2, Mesa Starkey, Pol, 11:38.29; 3, Brook Rodgers, Lew, 11:48.78; 4, Jessica Sagen, Whi, 12:00.21; 5, Mauree Palmersheim, Ham, 12:02.58; 6, Taylor Condon, Lau, 12:02.96.

100 hurdles – 1, Paige Squire, Cor, 15.23; 2, Lakyn Connors, Ste, 16.15; 3, Sadie Sampson, Gle, 16.36; 4, Breanne Kelley, Pol, 16.44; 5, Kiera Bulluck, Lew, 16.8; 6, Miranda Rabold, BilC, 16.87.

300 hurdles – 1, Paige Squire, Cor, 45.53; 2, Nicole Davey, Pol, 45.62; 3, Megan Apple, Whi, 47.11; 4, Christa Red Crow, Pol, 47.19; 5, Shelby Erdahl, Bel, 47.45; 6, Lakyn Connors, Ste, 47.46.

400 relay – 1, Billings Central (Shaina Healey, Jackie Elliott, Maggie Powell, Marissa Stanton) 49.95, 2, Polson 50.34, 3, Corvallis 50.42, 4, Hamilton 50.6, 5, Belgrade 50.79, 6, Sidney 51.49.

1600 relay – 1, Billings Central (Sammy Elliott, Jackie Elliott, Maggie Powell, Marissa Stanton) 4:02.01, 2, Polson 4:05.56, 3, Hamilton 4:06.72, 4, Belgrade 4:09.92, 5, Corvallis 4:12.16, 6, Laurel 4:12.92.

Triple jump – 1, Brekka Johnson, Ste, 17-1 1/2; 2, Kelsi Almond, Ham, 16-3 3/4; 3, Adessa Durglo, Ron, 16-3; 4, Marti Eagle-feathers, 15-10 1/2; 5, Kelsey Brangoccio, Ham, 15-9; 6, Mollie McIntyre, ButC, 15-6 1/2.

Discus – 1, Loni Havlovick, Pol, 130-0; 2, Josie Three Irons, Har, 122-3; 3, Jordan Sullivan, 111-0; 4, Megan Armstrong, Gle, 110-8; 5, Faith Keck, Dil, 109-8; 6, Olivia Nagler, Whi, 105-2.

Pole vault – 1, Vanessa Bawden, Sid, 10-9; 2, Nicole Davey, Pol, 10-6; 3, Alex Brammer, Dil, 10-0; 4, Jalyssa Gorder, Sid, 10-0; 5, Aspen Evans, Cor, 10-0; 6, Saide Sampson, Gle, 10-0.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Polson girls tied for third

LAUREL –  On the girls side, Lewistown leads with 28 points but there’s three teams, including Polson, within eight points. The Pirates scored 20.

Polson’s Loni Havlovick was a runner-up in the girls shot put while Natasha Lafferty was fourth. Nicole Davey finished third in the 400 and Mesa Starkey placed fifth in the 1,600.

Whitefish’s Carly Schwickert took sixth in the 1,600 and Olivia Nagler came in sixth in the javelin.

State A Track

Friday at Laurel


Teams scores – Lewistown 28, Hamilton 25, Billings Central 20, Polson 20, Belgrade 16, Ronan 12, Stevensville 10 1/2, Dillon 10, Glendive 10, Corvallis 8, Frenchtown 8, Laurel 6, Browning 4, Anaconda 2, Libby 2, Whitefish 2, Butte Central 1, Sidney 1, Columbia Falls 1/2.

400 -1, Marissa Stanton, BilC, 58.68; 2, Paige Squire, Cor, 59.09; 3, Nicole Davey, Pol, 59.58; 4, Misha Trotter, Ham, 1:00.01; 5, Jackie Elliott, BilC, 1:00.58; 6, Bry Gordon, Ham, 1:01.7.

1600 – 1, Misha Trotter, Ham, 5:18.05; 2, Nocona Frame, Gle, 5:18.51; 3, Brook Rodgers, Lew, 5:23.64; 4, Sammy Elliott, BilC, 5:26.61; 5, Mesa Starkey, Pol, 5:26.69; 6, Carly Schwickert, Whi, 5:32.16.

Javelin – 1, Greer Crabtree, Dil, 138-4; 2, McCalle Feller, Lew, 129-8; 3, Lindsey Halgren, Bel, 125-2; 4, Tayler Eubank, BilC, 120-0; 5, Malia Estes, Ana, 113-0; 6, Olivia Nagler, Whi, 111-2.

Shot Put- 1, Lindsey Halgren, Bel, 40-0; 2, Loni Havlovick, Pol, 39-9; 3, Emylee Colling, Lau, 36-11 1/2; 4, Natasha Lafferty, Pol, 36-11; 5, Larrysa Mannin, Gle, 36-1 1/2; 6, Whitney Leuenberger, Sid, 25-11 1/2.

High Jump – 1, McCalle Feller, Lew, 5-4; 2, Tasha Huset, Fre, 5-3; 3, Adessa Durglo, Ron, 5-2; 4, Kiera Bulluck, Lew, 5-0; 5, Chancey Auge, Lib, 5-0; 6, (tie) Molly Brewer, Ste, 5-0; Kelsey DeWit, CF, 5-0.

Long Jump – 1, Brekka Johnson, Ste, 17-1 1/2; 2, Kelsi Almond, Ham, 16-3 3/4; 3, Adessa Durglo, Ron, 16-3; 4, Marti Eaglefeathers, 15-10 1/2; 5, Kelsey Brangoccio, Ham, 15-9; 6, Mollie McIntyre, ButC, 15-6 1/2.

Polson track queens

The Polson Lady Pirates. (L-R, top to bottom) Breanne Kelley, Nicole Davey, Loni Havlovick, Natasha Lafferty, Sierra Pete, Mesa Starkey, Christa Red Crow, Katie Finley, Daryl Conko-Jackson, Kat Medland, Mackenzie Banner, Mariah Hamel, Macall Banner, Anna DiGiallonardo, coaches Mike Ellis, Rob Kelley, Bob Gunderson, Rob Alfiero

By Ali Bronsdon The Leader Advertiser

LAUREL – By some accounts, track and field is an “individual” sport. While athletes may compete in their own lanes or throw, vault and jump one-at-a-time, it was nothing short of a total team effort that won the Polson Lady Pirates a state track and field title Saturday in Laurel.

While senior Loni Havlovick was the team’s only individual state champion, in the discus, seven runners-up and a host of solid top-six finishes carried the Pirates more than 30 points above second place Hamilton to clinch the school’s fourth state title in eight years and their second since 2008.

The Pirates scored 86 points over two days of competition, sealing the deal when junior Mesa Starkey crossed the line second in the 3,200-meter, crushing her own school record by thirteen seconds in the process.

“It was a really great feeling when Mesa ran a great 3,200 and iced the championship for us with two events to go,” coach Bob Gunderson said. “It was nice to have the meet sewn up early, a lot more relaxing than usual at a meet like this.”

“It’s a great way to end the senior season,” senior thrower Natasha Lafferty said. “We thought about how it would be so awesome to go out with a state title.”

Lafferty and senior teammates Havlovick, Nicole Davey and Christa Red Crow knew the sweet taste of a championship season after winning two years ago, and all year long, they were hungry for another one.

“We all had the same goal in mind,” Davey, who earned five medals placing third in the 400 and second in the 300 hurdles, pole vault and both relays said. “We set a goal as a team and set goals as individuals, but once you do good for yourself, you know you’re also helping the team.”

The seniors, who Gunderson calls “some of the most competitive people I have met in my 41 years of coaching,” led their team to two state titles and one third place finish in four years. They know how to compete and how to get the job done.

“The pressure came from ourselves because we wanted to do it for each other,” Red Crow said. “We all try to push each other and help each other out.”

Havlovick, who came up one inch short of a first place medal in the shot put on Friday did not let that disappointment keep her from earning gold on Saturday in the discus.

“Natasha, my parents and my brother really helped me out,” she said. “They told me to try and keep your head up. You still have a job to do tomorrow.”

Havlovick was all business Saturday. When she needed to unleash her best throw of the weekend to win the discus, she heaved 130-feet on her final attempt to make it happen. The Montana State signee and her teammate Lafferty had similar experiences on the weekend.

“We both really feed off each other,” Havlovick said.

Lafferty was not going to make the finals in the shot put, according to Gunderson, until on her final throw in the preliminaries. She also launched a massive personal record to secure a spot in the finals and wrap up her senior year with a sixth place medal at state.

“It seems that ‘Tasha always comes through when it counts,” Gunderson said.

Davey came close to winning her own individual state titles, twice. The all-around track star lost in a tie-breaking jump-off in the pole vault and, in the 300 hurdles, crossed the line .09 seconds behind Corvallis’ Paige Squire.

“I can’t say enough about the leadership Nicole brings to our track team,” Gunderson said. “She competes at such a high level in every one of her events. She literally leaves it all out there every time.”

The big surprise of the weekend, however, came from freshman Anna DiGiallonardo, who took second in the 100 after winning her qualifying heat with a 12.8 personal record. According to Gunderson, she led the finals for the first 90 meters and lost at the wire to Belgrade’s Aimee Beck.

DiGiallonardo teamed up with Davey and juniors Katie Finley and Breanne Kelley to break the school’s 400 relay record in 50.34. The 1,600 relay, which swapped Finley for Red Crow, again smashed the school record in 4:05.56.

“It’s really been a fun bunch to coach,” Gunderson said. “They are clutch. They don’t back down. You have to beat them.”

Easier said than done.

That’s a wrap: Area teams end spring sports seasons at the top

By FRITZ NEIGHBOR of the Missoulian

You can figure on track and field state championships being a byproduct of speed, and the Polson girls had plenty of that, from Nicole Davey to Breanne Kelley, to Anna DiGiallonardo to Christa Redcrow to Mesa Starkey.

It was Redcrow who placed fourth in the 300-meter hurdles at the State A track and field meet Saturday, despite running in the first heat of the timed finals. “That’s how I do it,” said the senior with a shrug. “Every year. I was second last year running out of the first heat.”

We should mention here that Polson’s second state title in three seasons included plenty of throwing points: Natasha Lafferty was fourth in the shot put and fellow senior Loni Havlovick was second in that event and first in the discus. Those 22 points made it easier to hold off Hamilton, which had 55. The Pirates won with 86.

Still, Polson blazed. Davey scored 26 points, including her efforts on the Pirates’ two runner-up relays.

And apparently the school has speed to burn, because the Pirates were queens of the softball diamond the same weekend. “That’s amazing, isn’t it?” asked Larry Smith, Polson’s venerable softball coach. And don’t forget about the Lady Pirate tennis team. They brought home the second place trophy from state.

Left to right: Mike Ellis, Rob Alfiero, Bob Gunderson, Rob Kelley, Jenni Brown

Blasts from the Past

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