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Trotters finish second at Dave Tripp Memorial

by CHUCK BANDEL
Valley Press | April 17, 2024 12:00 AM

There’s a new player in the local track and field game, new contender that is, as evident by the results of this past weekend’s Dave Tripp Memorial Track meet in Polson.

The Plains women, led by junior reigning state champion discus thrower Alexis Demming, who won the discus event Saturday and added the meet shot put title to her medal haul, helped the Trotters place second in a field of 15 local B-C track and field teams.

And as the Trotters rose to near the top of the pile, Superior’s boys and girls continued their strong Spring with a pair of third place team finishes at the meet, held under sunny skies at Polson High School’s sprawling outdoor athletic facility.

Drummond won the girls team title with 90 points, while Plains racked up 74 for second and Superior’s Lady Bobcats had 66 points, one better than fourth place Fairfield.

In the boys competition, Valley Christian topped the field with 86.5 points, followed by runner up Fairfield, which accumulated 77 points.

Superior’s boys, boosted by the school record pole vault performance turned in by senior Lucas Kovalsky, had 73 points, good for third. Hot Springs boys took ninth place, one point ahead of Plains.

Demming, the defending state B champion in the discus event, uncorked a throw of 117 feet to easily outdistance second place Lilian Boyd, a sophomore from Seeley Swan. Local thrower Georgia Uski (Hot Springs) finished fifth with a personal best toss of 94-4, while Superior throwers Eddy Betts (91-06) and Juliette Evans were eighth and ninth respectively.

Hot Springs sophomore Kara Christensen placed tenth and Alberton’s Georgia Fredette was 13th in the large field of women discus throwers.

Demming also dominated the shot put event, heaving the iron ball 35-10, five feet better than Charlo’s Sonlea Matt’s put of 30-10. Charlo teammate Olivia Carnell was third with a throw of 29-10-5 feet, while Betts was seventh (28-06) and Evans finished eighth.

Uski was ninth in the shot put and Fredette came in 15th.

Local women continued their second in the throwing events as sophomore Maryisa Swope placed second with a throw of 108-4.25, and Christensen took fourth with a personal best throw of 96 feet. Superior’s Makenzie Reum also finished in the top 10 in the javelin with an eighth place throw of 90 feet.

Meanwhile, in the men’s pole vault, Superior’s Kovalsky broke the school record for the second time in the week with a personal best vault of 13-6, easily beating the rest of the vaulting field. Earlier last week at Corvallis, Kovalsky cleared 13 feet. The senior also ran legs on the Bobcats second place 4X400 relay team, and on the third place 4X100 relay squad. Superior teammate Gannon Quinlan, a freshman, finished fourth in the vault with a personal record leap of 10 feet, while fellow Bobcat Micah Acker was part of a three-way tie for seventh (9 feet).

Mineral County throwers also had solid results in the weight throwing events, with St. Regis senior John Pruitt finishing second in the javelin with a personal record toss of 148-7. Charlo’s Jacob Tomlin won the javelin with a throw of 149-03.

Alberton junior Colton Baughman was sixth in the javelin with a throw of 134-4, while Plains’ Joseph Martin took ninth (124-11). Plains freshman Greg Tatum unleashed a throw of 122-10, good for 14th place, while St. Regis junior Hunter Stolla had a personal best throw of 111-9. Stolla’s teammate, Leevy Bush, was 18th at 117-4.

Tomlin was a double winner at the meet, also winning the shot put with a personal best heave of 47-2. Superior senior Jaxson Green was second (46-3.5), also a personal best.

Hot Springs’ junior David Chapman placed sixth with a throw of 41-6, and Superior senior Jason Merrill came in seventh (40-1).

Green also collected team points in the discus with a fifth place throw of 112-10, a personal best. Merrill was ninth (104-1) and Pruitt took tenth (101-9) for St. Regis.

In the sprints, Valley Christian senior Nathan Tuinstra was first with a time of 11.27. Kovalsky placed third (11:69), and Plains’ Nicholas Hill was ninth (11:94) in the highly competitive event. Chapman crossed the line at 12:02, as did Greg Tatum, both of whom took twelfth place. Quinlan was 16th at 12:25, while St. Regis’ sprinter Ayden Rael placed 23rd with a time of 12:63.

Superior junior Trizten Avila won the men’s triple jump with a hop, skip and jump of 39-8. Alberton sophomore Shea Fredette was eighth (35-4). Trizten added a second place finish in the 200 meters run, just behind Tuinstra, who won the event with a time of 23:72.

Hill was sixth for Plains (25:02), Acker (Superior) was eighth (25:23) and Pruitt placed tenth (25:69. Quinlan finished 14th with a time of 25:98, a personal record.

Plains had two runners in the top 10 in the 400 meter run as Darren Standeford placed fourth with a time of 54:61. Horsemen teammate Zander Czifro was sixth at 56:39 and teammate Aiden Silva finished 14th with a time of 1:00.80.

In the men’s 800 meter run, Acker was fourth and Fredette fifth. Plains’ runner Joseph Martin placed seventh, while Superior’s Conrad Talbot came in 13th. Charlo’s Hayden Hollow won the 800 meter event with a time of 2:05.92.

Martin added a fourth place finish (5:14.33)in the 1600 meter event (won by Drummond’s Scott Parke, 4:44.21), while teammate Mike Resitroffer was sixth at 5:16.14. Hot Springs runner Wesley Adams placed seventh and Savage Heat teammate Elijah Campbell came in 13th in the event.

Reistroffer was fourth in the grueling 3200 meter run (11:45.32), while teammate Kalem Ercanbrack took sixth (12:25.17). Campbell placed sixth.

Hot Spring’s Chapman added to his daily haul in the hurdle events, winning the 300 meter hurdles and finishing second in the 110 meter hurdles. Teammate Ben Aldridge, a freshman, was fifth in the 110 meter hurdles and seventh in the 300.

Chapman also finished sixth in the men’s long jump with a leap of 19-8. The event was won by Victor’s Eli Jones, who jumped 20-11. Plains senior Brenden Vanderwall was ninth with a mark of 18-7, while Aldridge took 13th (17-8.5)

Valley Christian won both the boys and girls 4X100 and 4X400 relay races, while Superior was second in the 4:400 and third in the 4X100. Plains finished fourth in the 4X100 relay and sixth in the 4X400.

Superior freshman Landon Richards was second in the high jump with a leap of 5-10, while teammate Logan Merrill and Plains’ Cooper Meredith tied for ninth with two other jumpers at 5 feet even.

Plains' strong showing in the women’s events, including Demming’s feats, were also fueled by a second dual meet winner.

For Superior, Junior Braelynn Mangold won the women’s 400 meter event with a time of 1:04.18, while teammate Kali Tuma took fourth (1:08.41). St. Regis runner Kyla Bush was sixth and Plains’ Katelyn Subatch came in eleventh in the event.

Mangold also added the triple jump title to her day’s work, winning the event with a mark of 31-7, three inches better than second place Delany Wagner of Drummond. Subatch was seventh for the Trotters (27-2). Mangold was also fifth in the 200 meters sprint.

The Trotters also got two first place finishes from freshman standout distance runner Marina Tulloch, who led a 1-2 Plains finish in the 1600 meters. Tulloch won the race with a time of 5:40.29, while teammate Peyton Wasson was second (6:18.98). St. Regis sophomore Jamie Kearbey, who has been hobbled in recent months by a leg injury, placed seventh with a time of 7:08.54. Superior’s Krina Pearce was eighth at 7:34.66.

Tulloch, who was an all-state cross country runner this Fall, also won the 3200 meter run with a time of 12:33.60, well ahead of runner up Natalie Graveley of Drummond, who crossed the line at 15:05.40. Pearce was fourth.

Wasson was also second in the 800 meter run with a time of 2:43.84. The race was won by Charlo’s Aida Cote, who broke the tape at the 2:37.22 mark. Kearby was seventh and St. Regis teammate Lilly Sansom finished eighth.

Superior’s Alysha Ryan placed third in the 100 meter hurdles, just ahead of Christensen (Hot Springs). Abby Wheeler (Superior) came in fifth and Amy Hill of Plains was sixth. Christensen was also eighth in the 100 meter sprint and eighth in the 100 meter run.

Christensen took third in the women’s 300 meter hurdles, a race won by Fairfield’s Guerna Becker. Ryan took fourth and Plains Ashley Ferlan placed sixth.

Drummond swept both of the relay events, while Superior’s girls were second in the 4X100 event and fourth in the 4X400. Plains placed third in the 4X400.

Subatch (Plains) placed fifth in the women’s high jump with a leap of 4-8, while Hot Springs’ Kandra Crane was sixth at 4-2. The event was won by Drummond’s Lexi Nelson, who cleared 4-8.

In the long jump event, Superior’s Abby Wheeler was third with a leap of 15-2.5, barely ahead of Subatch who jumped 15-2. Swope finished sixth. Superior’s Reum was tied for third in the pole vault, clearing the bar at 7 feet.

Most of the local track and field teams will be competing in the Thompson Falls Invitational today (Tuesday, April 16), then again this weekend at the Seeley Falls Invitational in Missoula’s Public Stadium.

    Hot Springs sophomore Kara Christensen clears the first hurdle in the women's 110 meter hurdles event at this past Saturday's Dave Tripp Invitational track meet in Polson. (Photo by Bob Gunderson)
 
 
    Superior teammates watch as senior Lucas Kovalsky clears 13-6, a new school record and a first place finish in this past weekend's Dave Tripp Invitational in Polson. (Photo by Byron Quinlan)