State B track and field: Big Timber, Jefferson repeat

Posted at 7:58 AM, May 30, 2022

GREAT FALLS — Big Timber and Jefferson are going to need some more space in the trophy case.

The Sheepherder girls and Panther guys claimed 2022 State B track and field titles on Saturday at Memorial Stadium in Great Falls, as both squads won their second consecutive state title.

Big Timber scored 99.5 points, well ahead of second-place Colstrip's 66.5 and third-place Bigfork's 49.

The Herders entered Friday with a slim lead, but it quickly grew. Future Montana State Bobcat Alyssa Boshart showed off her wheels in the sprints, winning the 100-meter dash in 12.53 seconds in a photo finish with Anaconda's Cora Pesanti, who also clocked in at 12.53.

Boshart would finish second to Isabelle Berry in the 200 by just one-hundredth of a second and added a victory in the 300-meter hurdles, on top of Friday's win in the 400-meter dash.

"I kind of feel like I'm on cloud nine right now, it's amazing," Boshart said. "I honestly thought (Pesanti) got me (in the 100). It was very nerve wracking at the end."

Boshart wasn't Big Timber's only star on Saturday, though, as Emily Cooley shined just as bright.

After winning Friday's long jump, Cooley picked up right where she left off with a win in the triple jump with a leap of 35 feet, 7 inches. Cooley couldn't complete a sweep of the jumps, however, as Colstrip's Canzas HisBadHorse defeated Cooley on jumps as both cleared 5-02.

"I wouldn't have believed this (in March), because I didn't even start triple jumping until Districts," Cooley said. "We couldn't do it in basketball, but the fact that we (repeated) in track, it's amazing."

Cooley and Boshart also ran on Big Timber's third-place 400-meter relay team.

PHOTOS: Day 2 2022 State B track and field

The Jefferson guys took a little different route to a dominant state title, as the Panthers posted 72 points on Saturday alone, racking up 92 total. Missoula Loyola finished second with 69 and Bigfork third with 66.

Braden Morris made it a sweep in the hurdles, winning his second consecutive 110-meter hurdles title in 14.85 and winning the 300 hurdles in 40.07. Morris also ran on Jefferson's winning 400-meter relay team, which edged Missoula Loyola in 43.65.

Morris was a star in the field, too. He opened the meet with a win in the javelin on Friday and placed second in the triple jump.

"It's a huge accomplishment. We've had our minds set on (a repeat) since we won it last year," Morris said. "I wasn't projected any points going into jav, so coming out with a win was huge for us. It set the ton for everybody this weekend."

He wasn't the only multiple-event winner for the Panthers, though. Wade Rykal won both the shot put and discus to tack on 20 more Jefferson points.

"We have a really dedicated class that wanted to win," Rykal said.

Jefferson also finished second in the 1,600-meter relay, and Dylan Root placed second in the 110 hurdles and fifth in the 300 hurdles.

Missoula Loyola's Palma sweeps sprints, sets State B record again

Missoula Loyola senior Ridger Palma put on quite the show this weekend.

Palma won the 400-meter dash on Friday evening in 49.15 seconds, but that was just the first of several gold medals coming his way. The future Grand Canyon University sprinter won the 100 in 11.15 then the 200 in 22.06, which set a new State B record in the event, topping his time of 22.07 from Friday's prelims.

Palma's best, however, came last.

He received the baton to anchor the Rams in the 1,600-meter relay about 15 meters back of Red Lodge and Jefferson. By the time he hit the middle of the backstretch, Palma had surged in front, as he led Loyola to a win in 3 minutes, 27.84 seconds to seal the second-place trophy.

"I just trust in the Lord with it and kind of gave it to him. If he wants me to go and win the race then I'll go do it for Him," Palma said. "I've been really happy. It's always the goal to try to win, obviously, that's why we're here. But doing it makes me really happy and excited for my team. If I can help them enjoy their experience, then I'm going to do it."

Emineth sweeps distance races

Red Lodge senior Brandon Emineth fancied himself a golfer until about December of 2021.

It's not that he's given up golf for track, as he competed in both this spring, but he seems to have found his strong suit.

The cross country state champion cleaned up this weekend in Great Falls, winning the 800, 1,600 and 3,200 in his first and only season of high school track.

"I started training in December and from December until now I just improved a significant amount," Emineth told MTN Sports.

Emineth had multiple tightly-contested races with Bigfork's Jack Jensen throughout the weekend, but it was Emineth's closing burst that ultimately led him to the top of the podium.

"From cross country I've learned that I have a fabulous kick," Emineth said. "That last 100, I just pass whoever is in front of me and take the win."

Colstrip's Whitedirt repeats in throws, leads Fillies to runner-up finish

Colstrip's Jamie Whitedirt ends her high school career as a four-time champion.

Whitedirt won her second consecutive title in both the shot put and discus over the weekend, adding 20 points to the Fillies' team total en route to a second-place finish.

"I know I could have done better, but I still won so I can't be too mad about that," Whitedirt said. "There's not too many of us from Colstrip that came, but we still got our points."

Whitedirt didn't approach her season-best throw in the shot put of 44-10, winning with a toss of 41-09.5, as she was attempting to reach the State B record of 46-02.25 set in 1993 by Larry Jo Christensen of Plains.

"I was going for it, but sometimes it doesn't come," Whitedirt said.

Full results of the 2022 State B track and field meet can be found here.