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Demming wins state discus title

by CHUCK BANDEL
Valley Press | May 29, 2024 12:00 AM

The efforts of one junior was for the most part enough to carry the Plains women to fourth place in the team title pursuit at the Montana State Class B track and field championship this past weekend in Laurel.

Junior weight thrower Alexis Demming secured her second straight Class B discus title with a throw of 124 feet, 11 inches, nearly five feet beyond second place Taylor Harrison of St. Labre-Catholic during rain/snow delayed action at the State meet this past Friday.

The discus victory, together with Demming’s second place showing in the Class B shot put competition helped Plains women’s team collect 26 team points, good enough for the fourth place team award.

Huntley Project, high school host of the event at the Laurel High sports complex, won the women’s team championship with 104 points, well ahead of runner up Loyoal Sacred Heart (Missoula), which garnered 87 team points. Broadwater High of Townsend was third with 70.33 points.

Demming finished second in the shot put event, behind a thrower from Colstrip.

The two other Class B teams from Sanders and Mineral Counties, Superior and Thompson Falls finished 26th and 28th respectively in the team title chase.

Demming’s win came after she was upset in the discus final of the Western Division championships one week earlier, when she finished third in the discus, her first set back of the year.

She won the discus title in 2023 and was among the favorites to win the shot put as well.

The Trotters, as Plains women’s teams are called, also got a fifth place showing from freshman Marina Tulloch in the women’s 1600 meter event. Tulloch circled the four laps of the 1600 in 5:22.05. The race was won by Choteau’s freshman Natalie Hodgkiss, who was clocked at 5:15.63.

Plains teammate Peyton Wasson, a senior, finished with a time of 6:23.36, good for 20th in in the field.

Superior’s girls picked up two points via the efforts of junior Braelynn Mangold, who was twelfth in the 400 meter event with a time of 1:02.09, a new personal record. The 1600 was won by Huntley Project’s Avery Gerdes who crossed the finish line with a time of 57.46.

The Lady Bobcats also got a ninth place finish from freshman Ava White in the women’s 100 meter hurldes, while Plains’ Kali Tuma, a sophomore, finished twelfth.

Superior senior Trinity Riffle was 18th in the women’s 200 meter sprint

In the Class B boys events, Jefferson High of Boulder, won the team title with 90 points, while Loyola Sacred Heart came in second with 68 team points.

Superior’s boys, who got an individual championship from senior Lucas Kovalsky in the pole vault, placed eleventh in the standings, while Thompson Falls was tied for 15th place with Lincoln County (Eureka), both of which had eight points.

T Falls’ boys got a second place finish from junior Braedon Ferris in the discus. Ferris, who had a throw of 165-09, finished less than one foot behind event winner Tavan McMaster of Jefferson, who had a throw of 166-04.

The Blue Hawks’ boys also got a 21st place finish in the javelin from junior Ian Myers, who tossed the spear 137-06. Columbus senior Mason Meier won the men’s javelin with a throw of 186-07.

The local men’s star of the day was Kovalsky, who matched his personal best in the pole vault, clearing the bar at 13-feet, six inches. Red Lodge junior Nolan Everson was second with a vault of 13-feet even.

Plains’ boys were led by the fifteenth place finish in the 400 meter run by junior Darren Standeford, who crossed the finish line with a time of 53:07. Florence-Carlton junior Isaac Bates won the event with a time of 50:50.

The Horsemen from Plains also got a 21st place finish from freshman Mathew Thurston in the 110 meter hurdles.

T Falls seniors Cael Thilmony and Braxton Dorscher also placed for the Blue Hawks, with Thilmony finishing the 1600 meter event 21st, the same placing as Dorscher in the long jump.

The event was hampered from the start by a state-wide rain and snow storm which swept through the area, soaking the event arena and causing meet officials to change times for several events.

    Thompson Falls senior Cael Thilmony competes in the 1600 meter run during the State Class A-B championships held at the Laurel Sports Complex this past weekend. (Chuck Bandel/VP-MI)
 
 
    A large crowd was on hand, despite adverse weather conditions, for this year's Class B and Class A track and field championships held at the Laurel Sports Complex and hosted by Laurel High School this past weekend. (Chuck Bandel/VP-MI)