2003 State “A” Champions

Note: Three Days of News articles and results are included on this web page. Articles were taken from the Missoulian (Rial Cummings), Billings Gazette (Fritz Neighbor) and the Lake County Leader (Jim Blow).

This year’s Lady Pirate track team won the first State Girls Track championship in the history of PHS.

The following are headlines and the accompanying stories from the 3 newspapers:

Class of their own (Missoulian)

Miles City’s Schmidt upset in four-peat bid (Billings Gazette)

Track: Records falling, Polson’s Harwood, Owen set new marks (Missoulian)

Friday’s Results (Trials and Finals)

Havre sprinter adds own heat to already hot Missoula track (Billings Gazette)

Whitefish, Polson on top (Missoulian)

Lady Pirates earn first state track championship (Lake County Leader)

Class of their own

Thursday: May 22, 2003 (Pre-meet Hype)

By RIAL CUMMINGS of the Missoulian

Six girls set to leave marks on state’s track and field history

Carlee, Loni, Zoe, Kasey, Kalindra and Kelsey.There’s not a plain Jane in the bunch and that’s appropriate, considering the sizzle these six girls will bring to the state track and field meets this weekend. If you wanted to start a friendly argument, you’d go ahead and call them the most exciting group of female track athletes Montana has produced in a generation – which is exactly what we’ll do.The only trouble is they won’t all be competing in the same place on Friday and Saturday. Senior Carlee Clark of Bozeman and sophomore Zoe Nelson of Kalispell are headed for the Class AA meet at Helena’s Vigilante Stadium, where they’ll be joined by senior Loni Perkins of Conrad in the Class B meet. Two hours away, at Missoula County Stadium, juniors Kasey Harwood of Polson and Kalindra McFadden of Belgrade will duel for Class A honors, while Kelsey Kirkpatrick, a senior from Ryegate, competes in the Class C meet. Together, they figure to harvest two dozen gold medals, and, if the weather cooperates, rewrite the record books. (State records in Montana can be set only at state meets, where wind gauges are used.) Separately, they’ll command the attention of an entire stadium every time they toe the starting line or peer down a runway.

Here’s the rundown:

Clark, competing in Montana’s highest enrollment classification, may well be the finest female sprinter in state history. She’s going for an unprecedented sweep of the 100, 200, 400 and 800 meters; she’s the defending champ in the latter three races. On Friday, at 12:20 p.m., Clark is a decent bet to break the oldest standing all-class record, the 30-year-old 800 mark of 2 minutes, 11.0 seconds set by Julie Brown of Billings Senior. Only the boys’ pole vault record, which stood for 32 years (1930-62), has lasted longer. Clark missed catching Brown by a whisker last year, clocking 2:11.18. Sound big time? You better believe it. Clark has accepted a scholarship from Texas, one of the top five women’s track programs in the nation.

Perkins won five individual events and ran on two winning relays last year as a junior, a feat matched only by Gary Minor of Great Falls High at the 1972 state Class AA boys’ meet. Perkins is on pace to strike five more individual golds this weekend, and could break her own all-class 400 record of 55.99 on Saturday – only to lose it a few minutes later to Clark. Perkins, who competes in the sprints, high jump and long jump, is headed for the University of Montana.

The precocious Nelson, a 5-foot bundle of dynamite, ranks fifth in the nation in the 3,200 meters. She won the national high school cross country championship last fall, and has a shot this weekend at state all-class records in both the 3,200 (on Friday) and the 1,600 (on Saturday). Nelson has clocked 10:29.9, almost 15 seconds lower than the two-mile record set last year by Heidi Lane of Great Falls Russell. Her best of 4:56.6 in the mile is within two seconds of Lane’s mark.

The 5-foot-10, broad-shouldered McFadden is a future college heptathlete who proved her wheels by beating Clark head-to-head in the 100 and 200 earlier this season, and won four individual golds at state as a sophomore. She’s leaped 37 feet, 8 inches in the triple jump, 2fi inches beyond the all-class record, and could erase the Class A mark in the 100 hurdles.

The 6-foot Harwood is taller and lankier than McFadden, but no less impressive with her own hopes of five individual golds. Harwood leads the state with a best of 14.76 in the 100 hurdles, just ahead of McFadden, and will be heavily favored to capture her third straight state crown in the 300 hurdles, where the all-class record of 43.34 is within reach. Harwood can also collect the 400, 800 and, yes, the triple jump, where she’s surpassed 37 feet. Last year, McFadden edged Harwood for the state title by less than one inch. Lest we forget, Harwood also won the state cross-country title as a sophomore while suffering from bronchitis.

Kirkpatrick, one of nine graduating seniors in a school of 36 students, should win the Class C triple jump for the third straight year, and could cap her career with the all-class record. She jumped 37-10 at divisionals last week, the longest effort in the state in a decade. The all-class record is 37-5fi, set by Butte’s Holly Maloney in 1984. Kirkpatrick is also the defending long jump champ, and could sweep both hurdles races.

The quality harkens back to the golden era of girls’ track, 25 years ago, when athletes such as Lexie Miller, Laurie Holm, Sharrie Shelton, Vicky Sturn, Mary Osborne, Denise Pidcock and Judith Wildey were piling up records, some of which are still standing.

Joe McKay, the retired Hall of Fame coach from Kalispell, has been watching girls’ track since it became a sanctioned sport in 1969. He’s too smart to rank eras, but he does see parallels.

“Clark reminds me a lot of Lexie Miller, and so does the Harwood girl,” said McKay, referring to a star pupil whose state long jump record stood for 22 years. “The talent is there, obviously, but there’s more to it than that. They set a work ethic that shows the way for everyone else.”

McKay was especially impressed a couple of weeks ago when Clark, a sprinter, moved up to the 1,600 and clocked a school-record 5:09.2. Only Nelson has run a faster mile this season.

As for Nelson, McKay recognized her promise in the second grade, when he was her P.E. teacher at Hedges Elementary School.

“We’d have the kids jog around the block, and Zoe was back in the gym before some kids had reached the first corner,” McKay said with a laugh. “Zoe definitely has a goal every time she steps on the track. And you can’t forget the most basic thing of all: she loves to run.”

The basics could make for a memorable weekend.

Friday: May 23, 2003 (Let the games begin)

Miles City’s Schmidt upset in four-peat bid

Of The Billings Gazette Staff

MISSOULA — Brianne Schmidt smashed a state record Friday and still finished second, and Billings Central scored a sweep of sorts during the first day of the State A track and field meet. On a balmy day at Missoula County High School Stadium, Columbia Falls’ girls and the Whitefish boys took the early leads. After four boys events Whitefish had 24 points — more than expected — and three-time state champion Colstrip had 20. Matt Winter’s thrilling win over Hardin’s Nolan Real Bird in the 1,600 helped Billings Central into third place with 13 points. After six girls events Columbia Falls had 30 points to 23 for State A favorite Polson. Dillon was third with 20 points and Miles City, which saw Schmidt’s quest for four state 800 titles ended by Polson’s Kasey Harwood, had 16.

(Photo by Jim Blow/Leader) Kasey Harwood used her long strides to pull away and win the 800-meter run at state Friday. Harwood, who seems to be in a special class all by herself, led Polson to its first ever girls State Class A championship with three firsts and two seconds.

Harwood, a 6-footer with long strides, outdueled Schmidt down the stretch to win the race in a State A-record 12 minutes, 13 seconds. Schmidt was second at 2:13.67. Add in the fact that Harwood had won her heat in the 300-meter hurdles just minutes before — she coasted some, but it is still the 300 hurdles — and you have an idea of what she accomplished. Part of the credit belongs to Schmidt, who had the lead much of the race, and like Harwood ran under the existing Class A record of 2:15.12, set by Havre’s Karin Clark in 2:15.12. “I knew she’d be out fast,” Harwood said of Schmidt. “She’s the defending champ, I knew she’d be going after it.” The win was bittersweet for Harwood, who’d never run the 800 before this year. Polson’s short relay team, which Harwood would’ve subbed in for today’s finals, dropped the baton and was disqualified in the trials. Those would’ve been big points in the effort to dethrone Kalinda McFadden’s Belgrade Panthers. “I wanted to make something up there,” she said of the 800. “I had to get through that because there’s nothing I could do about, and just do everything I could to get back some points.” She did that, staying close when Schmidt attempted to pull away on the back stretch. “I was just thinking I had to stay with her, and not let her get out of arm’s reach,” she said. Schmidt, who was going for a rare four-peat, was philosophic. She ran her best, and realized with 40 meters it wasn’t going to happen. “My legs just started to give out,” she said. “I was really happy with my race. I PR’d by 4 seconds and I broke the state record, but she’s just very good.”

Polson also got a win from Melinda Owen in the javelin. Owen threw 143-9 on her last attempt, after Dillon’s Jenny Castro marked 142-0 on her final throw. Castro bounced back to win the shot put, while Miles City’s Jennifer Grasby took second. McFadden managed a second — Columbia Falls’ Sarah Hislop won — in the high jump, and cruised through her trials in the 100 hurdles, 100 and 200. Harwood was just as smooth in both hurdles and the 400.

Clearly Klee

Glendive’s Jayme Lehman won the long jump with a leap of 17-7, and Billings Central’s Emily Klee won the 3,200 with surprising ease. “I guess it is kind of a surprise,” admitted Klee, a senior who cut 16 seconds off her personal best to win in 11:39.98. “I’ve never made all-state.” The process of going from non-placer to state champion took four years. “Last year was a really bad year, and the two years before that I just choked,” Klee said. “After last year, I had such a bad season I just never stopped running — I trained all year around. And I got it together mentally. I have a lot more confidence now.” Browning’s Wasewi Shawl had the best time coming out of divisionals, but faded to fourth. Corvallis’ Athlen Allred faded to third, and Bigfork’s Brooke Andrus ended up second. Klee was steady all the way through. “I was just going to try and stay with Wasewi and Athleen,” she said. “Then I realized I wasn’t tired after about four laps, and I just tried to push it the rest of the way. And I really tried to kick it in the last lap.”


State A Track: Records falling, Polson’s Harwood, Owen set new marks

By RIAL CUMMINGS of the Missoulian

The Polson girls have never claimed a state Class A track and field championship. But then, they’ve never had Kasey Harwood and Melinda Owen working this kind of magic.Harwood, a junior, and Owen, a senior, set Class A records Friday in the 800 meters and javelin, respectively, on the first day of action at Missoula County Stadium.”It was a good day, in some ways a great day,” said Polson coach Bruce Thomas at the conclusion of a hot, draining afternoon that saw temperatures climb near 80 degrees.

Columbia Falls took the lead through six of 17 girls’ events with 30 points, while Polson was a solid second with 23, followed by Dillon (20) and Miles City (16). Defending champ Belgrade scored just 14 points, but with junior sprinter-jumper Kalindra McFadden leading the way, the Panthers are expected to give Polson its toughest challenge on Saturday.

“Now, it’s up to the rest of us to cash in what they started.” The girls’ meet heated up early, thanks to a remarkable effort by Harwood. The 6-foot blade of a runner coasted to a swift 46.84-second clocking to win her heat of the 300-meter hurdles, where she’s the two-time defending state champ. Then, with only 15 minutes to rest, Harwood went out and beat three-time defending champ Brianne Schmidt of Miles City in the 800. Harwood’s time of 2 minutes, 13 seconds for the two-lapper was two seconds better than the old mark, set by Havre’s Karin Clark in 1991, and only two seconds slower than the all-class record of 2:11.0, set 30 years ago by Julie Brown of Billings Senior. “Before she went out there, we told her she’d have to set the (Class A) record to win,” said Mindy Harwood, Kasey’s mother and Polson’s cross country coach. Harwood, who only began running the 800 regularly this season, stayed on Schmidt’s heels through a fast 65-second first lap. Schmidt tried to pull away on the backstretch of the second lap, but the alert Harwood stayed close, then kicked into the lead with roughly 110 meters remaining and held on for the victory. Schmidt also bettered the old Class A record, clocking 2:13.67. “When she (Schmidt) made her move, it felt like I was in my all-out kick, but I knew I to keep her within arm’s reach,” Harwood said. “If you get separation, it’s so much harder to make it up.” Meet official Jay Christopher, who coached girls’ track for more than two decades at Missoula Big Sky, could only shake his head. “That’s one of the all-time great performances I’ve ever seen,” Christopher said. “You’re talking about two of the most grueling races you can run, with almost no rest in between.”

Owen captured the javelin in equally dramatic fashion, setting an all-class record for the new, curtailed flight spear of 143 feet, 9 inches. Owen’s effort, a personal best by 12 feet, came on the final throw of the competition and moved her past Dillon’s Jenny Castro, who had taken the lead at 142-0 – her lifetime best by 31 feet – on her last throw. “I just asked God to help me throw it through the point of the sky,” said Owen, who broke her foot last year, but still placed third at state. “When you throw it right, it feels like it isn’t going that far. The last one was like that – it felt smooth.” Owen injured her leg in practice on Tuesday, but felt better by Thursday. Now, she’s primed to claim Saturday’s pole vault, where she’s the only athlete in the state to clear 12 feet this season.

Harwood, meanwhile, will go head-to-head against McFadden in the finals of the 100 hurdles and triple jump, two events that could go a long way in determining the team champ. Polson will have to do it without any points from its 400 relay, which muffed a baton exchange in the trials and didn’t make the finals. Sarah Hislop won the high jump and teammate Kim Pearce placed third to pace the Columbia Falls girls, who also received a third place from long jumper Cassie Stoneman. Friday’s other winners were Castro in the shot put, Jayme Lehman of Glendive in the long jump and Emily Klee of Billings Central in the 3,200.

At Missoula County Stadium (after first day)

Team scores (through 6 finals): Columbia Falls 30, Polson 23, Dillon 20, Miles City 16, Belgrade 14, Bigfork 12, Billings Central 10, Browning 10, Glendive 10, Butte Central 9, Havre 8, Corvallis 6, Sidney 5, Lewistown 4, Libby 3, Hamilton 2, Hardin 2, Anaconda 1, Whitefish 1.
800 – 1, Kasey Harwood, Pol, 2:13.0 (Class A record; old record 2:15.12, Karin Clark, Havre, 1991); 2, Brianne Schmidt, MCty, 2:13.67; 3, Alicia Overcast, Hav, 2:19.58; 4, Lesley Dalton, Bfk, 2:20.68; 5, Tana Stewart, Har, 2:20.83; 6, Christina Laslovich, Ana, 2:21.46.
3,200 – 1, Emily Klee, BilC, 11:39.98; 2, Brooke Andrus, Bfk, 11:45.62; 3, Athlene Allred, Corv, 12:00.50; 4, Wasewi Shawl, Brw, 12:05.58; 5, Jordan Gurgiolo, Ham, 12:09.01; 6, Alexis DiGiovine, ButC, 12:15.57.
Javelin – 1, Melinda Owen, Pol, 143-9 (All-class record; old record 140-3, Kim Berg, Kremlin-Gildford, 2002); 2, Jenny Castro, Dil, 142-0; 3, Becky Suhr, Blgrd, 128-9; 4, Steph Fisher, CFalls, 122-8; 5, Virginia Thom, Lib, 118-7; 6, Megan Jacobson, Pol, 117-11.
Shot put – 1, Jenny Castro, Dil, 39-11; 2, Jennifer Grasby, MCty, 37-8fi; 3, Tamara Guardipee, Brw, 36-9; 4, Bekah Stoltz, CFalls, 36-3fi; 5, Cassie Dellwo, Pol, 36-3; 6, Danielle Jordan, Lib, 36-0.
High jump – 1, Sarah Hislop, CFalls, 5-4; 2, Kalindra McFadden, Blgrd, 5-2; 3, Kim Pearce, CFalls, 5-2; 4, Lauren Tognetti, Lew, 5-2; 5, Casea Pollington, Hav, 5-0; 6, Heidy Bouchard, Sid, 5-0.
Long jump – 1, Jayme Lehman, Glen, 17-7; 2, Kim McGree, ButC, 16-8; 3, Cassie Stoneman, CFalls, 16-7; 4, Shannon Bell, Sid, 16-1; 5, Brittney Jones, Dil, 16-0; 6, Johanna Closson, Wfsh, 15-11.
100 – Heat one: Kalindra McFadden, Blgrd, 12.76; Alissa Bilden, MCty, 13.00; Alicia Mannin, Lew, 13.09; Stacie Johnson, Liv, 13.12; Brittany Brendsel, Bfrk, 13.14. Heat two: Autumn Domitrovich, Ana, 12.98; Rylee, O’Connell, Hav, 13.29; Kat Tarr, Wfsh, 13.35; Kelsey Smtih, Hav, 13.35; Katri Vilkman, Corv, 13.39.
200 – Heat one: Kalindra McFadden, Blgrd, 26.19; Alissa Bilden, MCty, 26.42; Megan Keister, Wfsh, 26.73; Stacie Johnson, Liv, 26.91; Elizabeth Coughlin, Blgrd, 27.39. Heat two: Autumn Domitrovich, Ana, 25,98; Kat Tarr, Wfsh, 26.28; Laura Anderson, Lew, 26.83; Rylee O’Connell, Hav, 27.23; Ashley Taylor, Sid, 27.44.
400 – Heat one: Alissa Bilden, MCity, 59.99; Ashley Colbrese, Lau, 60.43; Alicia Overcast, Hav, 61.42; Casi Jenkins, Pol, 62.00; Christina Laslovich, Ana, 62.23. Heat two: Autumn Domitrovich, Ana, 59.93; Kasey Harwood, Pol, 60.43; Elizabeth Coughlin, Blgrd, 60.82; Sara Farr, Sid, 61.02; Megan Keister, Wfsh, 61.91.
100 hurdles – Heat one: Kalindra McFadden, Blgrd, 15.28; Johanna Closson, Wfsh, 15.71; Sara Farr, Sid, 16.35; Victoria Creamer, Bfrk, 16.90; Brooke Schwan, Hav, 16.98. Heat two: Kasey Harwood, Pol, 15.19; Brianne Schipman, Glen, 16.80; Sarah Brown, Blgrd, 16.90; Kristen Mantooth, Lew, 16.90; Jessica Shotzberger, Lib, 16.95.
300 hurdles – Heat one: Victoria Creamer, Bfrk, 45.90; Sara Farr, Sid, 46.73; Alicia Overcast, hav, 47.24; Brianne Schipman, Glen, 49.10; Amy Fullmer, Sid, 49.61. Heat two: Kasey Harwood, Pol, 46.84; Kari Mowbray, Pol 48.65; Ashley Bakich, Cstrp, 48.71; Bridget Farr, Sid, 48.87; Nikki Eissinger, Glen, 49.
400 relay – Heat one: Havre, 49.9; Glendive, 50.4; Belgrade, 50.5; Libby, 51.5; Livingston 52.3. Heat two: Whitefish, 50.2; Lewistown, 50.6; Anaconda, 51.1; Sidney, 52.4; Columbia Falls 52.4.
1,600 relay – Heat one: Anaconda, 4:05.1; Sidney, 4:12.7; Glendive, 4:13.3; Bigfork, 4:14.2; Lewistown, 4:16.2. Heat two: Polson, 4:09.36; Havre, 4:09.75; Belgrade, 4:09.86; Miles City, 4:13.92; Hamilton, 4:16.71.

Saturday, May 24, 2003 (At last the day is here)


Of The Billings Gazette Staff

MISSOULA – On a blazing hot day at the State A track meet, Belgrade and Havre had the biggest stars and Polson and Whitefish got the biggest hardware. Havre’s Steve Heberly and Belgrade’s Kalindra McFadden took turns setting all-class records – Heberly tore through the 100 meters in 10.74 seconds Saturday, while McFadden briefly set the triple jump mark – but their teams ended up second in the team races.

Kasey Harwood led Polson to its first title with wins in the 400 and 300-meter hurdles, as well as anchoring the Pirates’ victorious long relay. She was also second to McFadden in the triple jump and high hurdles. The Lady Pirates earned 81 points to earn only its second state trophy (they were third in 1998). Belgrade, the defending champ, had 60 points. Miles City mustered 54 for third.

Whitefish got wins from Matt Helgath in the 800, a hurdles sweep from Josh Schmidt and won the short relay at Missoula County High School Stadium. Add in plenty of depth points – Cody Henning was second to Heberly in the 100 and 400 and third in the 200, for example – and the Bulldogs literally ran away to 117 points. Havre had 72.5, and Glendive ended up third with 42, while 3-time champion Colstrip slipped to fourth with 37.

Kalindra and Kasey

Harwood, who beat Miles City’s Brianne Schmidt in an 800 race where both had state-record times, had the tables turned Saturday in the 100 hurdles: She and McFadden both broke the Class A mark of 15.00, but McFadden won in 14.64. Harwood ran 14.77. Lewistown’s Jennifer McMillan had that record, and also the State A 300-hurdles mark of 44.39. Harwood broke that with a time of 44.25, and the Polson junior also edged Miles City’s Alisa Bilden in a fast 400. McFadden had trouble hitting the board in the triple jump, yet still marked 37 feet, 6 1/4 inches. That set the Class A mark, and bettered the 1984 all-class mark of 37-5 1/2, set by Holley Maloney of Butte. It held for about three hours, before Ryegate’s Kelsey Kirkpatrick went 37-10 3/4 for her third State C title. “That was so frustrating – I knew I could’ve gone farther,” McFadden said of her marks. “I had a 38-foot jump, and scratched by like this far.” The 100-meter hurdles provided a nice back-up highlight, though. “Oh my gosh, yeah,” she said. “I was really nervous. I was excited, but I knew I had to run the best race of my life to beat (Harwood). And I had just a really, really awesome start.” Bilden exemplified Miles City’s effort, running a strong second to McFadden in the 200 and 100. Brianne Schmidt was also second in the 1,600 to Browning’s Wasewi Shawl. Still, those big points helped the Cowgirls take home the third-place trophy.

Polson also got a win from Melinda Owen, in the pole vault. Dillon’s Jenny Castro picked up the discus crown to go with her shot put title from Friday.

Whitefish, Polson on top

By RIAL CUMMINGS of the Missoulian

The Polson girls, led by Kasey Harwood and Melinda Owen, captured the first girls’ state championship in school history. The Pirates collected 81 points to outlast Belgrade star Kalindra McFadden, who had four firsts and a second in leading the defending champs to 60 points. Miles City (54) was third, followed by Columbia Falls (42) and Dillon (39). McFadden and Harwood, a pair of talented juniors, finished the meet with two Class A records apiece.

Bruce Thomas, who’s been coaching the Polson girls for 15 years, choked up with emotion as he praised his Pirates. And it wasn’t just because he foolishly promised the Pirates they could shave his head bald if they won the title. “This is an unbelievable group of girls,” Thomas said. “They missed third place by one point last year, and they vowed they’d come back, and work, and win it all this time. I’ve never had a more enjoyable experience as a coach.” McFadden came out ahead of Harwood in their two head-to-head matchups. They both shattered the Class A record in the 100 hurdles, McFadden using her superior speed to defend her title in 14.64 seconds, while Harwood clocked 14.77. The old mark of 15.0 was set by Lewistown’s Jennifer McMillan in 1994. “She’s an awesome athlete,” said Harwood, who finished the weekend with four gold medals and two Class A records. “She got me at the start, and I was trying to catch up the rest of the way. It was a skill event, not a gut event. She was just faster than I was.” McFadden also won the 100 and 200 dashes, and set a Class A record of 37 feet, 6/ inches in the triple jump after placing second in the high jump on Friday. McFadden scratched on her first two attemps in the triple jump prelims, and was just trying to get a legal jump to make the finals when she popped her big one. It stood as the new all-class record for roughly four hours before being surpassed by Ryegate’s Kelsey Kirkpatrick in the Class C meet. Harwood, who set the Class A 800 record on Friday, bagged another mark with a time of 44.25 in the 300 hurdles, winning the race for the third straight year. Harwood also won the 400 and anchored Polson’s winning 1,600 relay, and was second to McFadden in the triple jump. Owen, who set an all-class record in the javelin on Friday, ran a leg on the winning mile relay and capped her meet by winning the pole vault at 12-0. Polson was also buoyed by points from Kari Mowbray in the 300 hurdles, Cassie Dellwo in the shot put and Megan Jacobson in the javelin, as well as sisters Casi and Brittany Jenkins, who contributed legs to the winning relay. “We talked about getting a point here, and a point there,” Thomas said. “In a big meet, we needed more than Kasey and Melinda, and the other kids came through too.”


MISSOULA (AP)- Final team scores and results of final events held Saturday at the state Class A track and field championships:

Team scores – Polson 81, Belgrade 60, Miles City 54, Columbia Falls 42, Dillon 39, Bigfork 35, Havre 32, Anaconda 28, Sidney 27, B rowning 26, Lewistown 20, Whitefish 20, Glendive 19, Corvallis 13, Billings Central 11, Butte Central 9, Laurel 4, Libby 3, Hamilton 2, Hardin 2.

Class of their own

Saturday’s Finals

100 – 1, Kalindra McFadden, Belgrade, 12.68. 2, Alissa Bilden, Miles City, 12.77. 3, Autumn Domitrovich, Anaconda, 12.81. 4, Rylee O’Connell, Havre, 12.95. 5, Brittany Brendsel, Bigfork, 12.97. 6, Katri Vilkman, Corvallis, 13.12.
200 – 1, Kalindra McFadden, Belgrade, 26.15. 2, Alissa Bilden, Miles City, 26.22. 3, Autumn Domitrovich, Anaconda, 26.44. 4, Megan Keister, Whitefish, 26.85. 5, Laura Anderson, Lewistown, 26.94. 6, Rylee O’Connell, Havre, 27.03.
400 – 1, Kasey Harwood, Polson, 58.19. 2, Alissa Bilden, Miles City, 58.78. 3, Autumn Domitrovich, 58.95. 4, Ashley Colbrese, Laurel, 59.62. 5, Alicia Overcast, Havre, 59.99. 6, Sara Farr, Sidney, 60.05.
1,600 – 1, Wasewi Shawl, Browning, 5:14.22. 2, Brianne Schmidt, Miles City, 5:15.97. 3, Athlene Allred, Corvallis, 5:19.05. 4, Lauren Dalton, Bigfork, 5:22.04. 5, Brooke Andrus, Bigfork, 5:23.71. 6, Emily Klee, Billings Central, 5:25.43.
100 hurdles – 1, Kalindra McFadden, Belgrade, 14.64 (Class A record. old record 15.0, Jennifer McMillan, Lewistown, 1994). 2, Kasey Harwood, Polson, 14.77. 3, Johanna Closson, Whitefish, 15.52. 4, Sara Farr, Sidney, 15.53. 5, Brooke Schwan, Havre, 16.46. 6, Brianne Schipman, Glendive, 16.55.
300 hurdles – 1, Kasey Harwood, Polson, 44.25 (Class A record. old record 44.39, Jennifer McMillan, Lewistown, 1994). 2, Victoria Creamer, Bigfork, 45.44. 3, Sara Farr, Sidney, 45.68. 4, Alic ia Overcast, Havre, 46.73. 5, Kari Mowbray, Polson, 47.43. 6, Amy Fullmer, Sidney, 47.81.
400 relay – 1, Havre (Rylee O’Connell, Alicia Overcast, Brooke Schwan, Kelsey Smith) 49.94. 2, Whitefish 50.19. 3, Lewistown 50.63. 4, Belgrade 50.86. 5, Glendive 50.89. 6, Anaconda 51.46.
1,600 relay – 1, Polson (Brittany Jenkins, Casi Jenkins, Melinda Owen, Kasey Harwood) 4:01.05. 2, Anaconda 4:02.17. 3, Bigfork 4:07.02. 4, Sidney 4:07.89. 5, Belgrade 4:08.62. 6, Havre 4:12.24.
Discus – 1, Jenny Castro, Dillon, 127-6. 2, Darcy Hahnkamp, Dillon, 120-111/2. 3, Tamara Guardipee, Browning, 119-5. 4, Jennifer Grasby, Miles City, 117-6. 5, Steph Fisher, Columbia Falls, 114-11. 6, Elizabeth Baker, Dillon, 113-5.
Triple jump – 1, Kalindra McFadden, Belgrade, 37-61/4 (Class A record. old record 37-3/4, Tanya Tesar, Columbia Falls, 1990). 2, Kasey Harwood, Polson, 36-3. 3, Cassie Stoneman, Columbia Falls, 35-51/4. 4, Sunni Downing, Columbia Falls, 34-111/2. 5, Jayme Lehman, Glendive, 34-91/4. 6, Johanna Closson, Whitefish, 34-6.
Pole vault – 1, Melinda Owen, Polson, 12-0. 2, Lauren Tognetti, Lewistown, 10-0. 3, Ashley Taylor, Sidney, 10-0. 4, Tasia Appel, Glendive, 9-6. 5, Lindsey Faber, Miles City, 9-6. 6, Whitne Gordon, Bigfork.

Lady Pirates earn first state track championship

By Jim Blow
of the Leader

Kasey Harwood used her long strides to pull away and win the 800-meter run at state Friday. Harwood, who seems to be in a special class all by herself, led Polson to its first ever girls State Class A championship with three firsts and two seconds. MISSOULA – Polson speedster Kasey Harwood captured three firsts, two seconds and field event specialist Melinda Owen won two events to lead the Polson Lady Pirates to their first ever state championship Saturday.Polson’s 81 points was 20 better than second-place Belgrade at the Class A state track meet in Missoula.

Harwood won three events and set two Class A records.She won the 800-meter run in 2:13 flat for a new record. Harwood’s long stride helped her edge out Miles City’s Brianne Schmidt by a second and a half. She also set a record in the 300-meter hurdles with a 44.24.Harwood showed her durability on Friday. After running the grueling 300 hurdle trials, she had just 15 minutes of rest before setting the record in the 800.A half-hour later, she ran in the 400 trials and later in the 100-hurdles trials. “She had a full day,” coach Bruce Thomas said. “But, she has a remarkable recovery rate … just unbelievable.”Harwood’s third title was in the 400 meters with a 58.19. The junior also took second in the triple jump with a leap of 36-3. She was edged out of the 100-meter hurdle championship in the much-anticipated match-up against Belgrade’s Kalindra McFadden. Both runners beat the old Class A mark of 15.0 – McFadden, also a junior, ran a 14.64 to just clip Harwood at 14.77.

Owen concluded her high school career at Polson by contributing major points for the Lady Pirates. The senior earned a state championship in pole vault after clearing 12 feet and she set the all-class record for the javelin with a throw of 143-9. Owen’s throw surpassed the 2002 all-class record of 140-3, set by Kim Berg of Kremlin-Gilford in 2002, and beat Dillon’s Jenny Castro, who threw a 142-0.

Both Harwood and Owen contributed to another first place finish, along with Brittany and Casi Jenkins with a 4:01.05 in the 1,600-meter relay.

Unfortunately, the short relay team dropped the baton and was eliminated during preliminary heats on Friday, but the long relay squad qualified and went on to set a school record. Their time also come close to a state record. The team of Harwood, Owen and the Jenkins sisters finished the year undefeated as a 1,600 relay team, but they also had some help from a fifth runner. Teammate Samantha Pitts ran in Harwood’s place during the preliminary heat. “Samanatha was so unselfish. She ran on the long relay for the trials to save Kasey a little on Friday,” coach Thomas said.

Thomas also pointed to the points contributed by the rest of the team. Cassie Dellwo finished fifth in shot put with a throw of 36-3, a personal best by 23 inches. She almost earned fourth, but was out-thrown by Columbia Falls’ Bekah Stotlz by a half inch. Kari Mowbray also finished fifth in the 300 hurdles with a time of 47.43. That time was a personal best by more that two and a half seconds. “Kari really stepped it up for us,” coach Thomas noted. Megan Jacobson also earned sixth in the javelin at 117-11 and Whitney Brown made the finals in both shot and discus. “She got a personal best in shot. She didn’t make the finals, but just because they didn’t place doesn’t mean they’re losers. They performed under a lot of stress and competitions,” Thomas noted. He noted that the Jenkins girls both ran good times in the 800, both of which would have set new school records if not for Harwood’s faster time. He also noted that Hilary Mowbray set a new school record in the high jump this year.”She didn’t have a good week jumping at state, but she was a big part of our success this year,”

Thomas said. Polson’s only other trophy in girls track was for third place in 1998. After finishing fourth last year, the girls set a goal of winning state, a prize that will include the reward of shaving coach Thomas’ head. “I don’t know for sure when it will happen. I just know it’s coming,” Thomas chuckled. “But, I’d shave my head every year for a state championship.” Thomas gushed at the athletes that pulled together as a team to win state.”I’m so very proud of them. They are very hard workers,” the coach said. “It just shows what goal setting and determination and hard work can accomplish.”

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