By J. Levi Burnfin
Courier Sports 

District Domination

Clean Sweep For Track At Districts


J. Levi Burnfin / The Courier

Amy Breigenzer, left, Abbi Helland, center, and Debra Griebel, right, clear a row of hurdles right after one another on their way to a clean sweep of the top four spots in the 100-meter hurdles alongside Julia Kolstad.

It was complete and total domination for tracksters in red at the District 2B Meet.

The Glasgow girls scored 216 points, 82 tallies in front of second-place Plentywood, followed by Malta (96), Wolf Point (49), Poplar (10) and Harlem (2). The boys were not quite as dominant, but were still solidly the best team at the meet, scoring 199 points to Malta’s 163. Plentywood was third with 99, Poplar had 20, Harlem scored 13 and Wolf Point was last with two.

The Scotties “came to play,” said Head Coach John LaBonty.

That was no more evident than in the seven events where the Scotties placed four athletes. The boys had three such events and the girls had four.

The same four girls completed the feat in two events, the 800-meter run and the 1,600. Rachael Zeiger led the way with a gold in the 800, followed by Amanda Wolff in second, Josie Braaten in third and Emma Fewer in fifth. In the 1,600, Braaten led way with a gold. Zeiger came in second, Wolff in third and Fewer again came in fifth.

Braaten (first), Wolff (second) and Fewer (fourth) also put on a show in the 3,200. Kerry Hoffman joined them with a finish in fifth.

Then in the 100 hurdles, Debra Griebel, Abbi Helland, Amy Breigenzer and Julia Kolstad swept the top four spots. And Keirsten Wethern nearly snuck in, just missing out on sixth place.

In the 200 for the boys, Chase Fossum took second, followed by Bryan Larson, Ryan Grandchamp and Bridger Sanders in order. Four Scotties finished in a row again in the high jump – Jason Thibault was third, Jake Kolstad fourth, Zach Miller fifth and Chase Fossum sixth.

Yet again finishing in a row, Walker Allen led the way in the 1,600 with a third, followed by Austin Green, Matt Phillips and Ethan Etchart. The 1,600 was shortly after Green took gold in the 800, aggravating his “tweaked” quadricep that he hurt in the 3,200, where he placed in first, earlier in the day.

“I was a little sore going into Saturday but during the two-mile, I tweaked my quad and then got worse during the 800,” Green said. “It completely tightened up in the second lap.”

Green limped through the finish in the 800, still beating his competitors handily.

When distance coach Tim Phillips suggested the possibility of scratching from the 1,600, Green, a senior, wasn’t listening.

All he wanted, he said, was to make it to the divisional during his last year in Scottie red.

Green started the mile very slowly, clearly setting a pace that wouldn’t aggravate his quad any more. His teammates and Phillips yelled at him as he passed by to take it easy. They needed him in top shape for his other events at divisionals. Still, he pushed on.

There were seven competitors in the event and the top six moved on. Green knew he had to push himself just a bit to get into the top six. With one lap to go, he made his move, passing three in the process to finish in fourth.

“He manned his way through the 800, just hurting the whole way. Then came back and did the mile . . . I’m really proud of his effort,” said Phillips. “He’s worked hard for so many years.”

Altogether, Green scored 24 points for the Scotties.

Debra Griebel was the high scorer for the girls, accumulating 38 points on the day with three first-places finishes and one second. She took home gold in the 200 and both hurdles and grabbed silver in the 100, finishing just .2 seconds behind Plentywood’s Ashley Olson. Griebel exacted her revenge in the 200, out-pacing Olson by .3 seconds.

Amy Breigenzer and Julie Kolstad followed Griebel in the 100, finishing in fifth and sixth respectively. Helland took fifth in the 200. Helland pushed Griebel again in the 300 hurdles, taking second. Kolstad followed in fourth.

Zeiger was the lone representative for the Scottie girls in the 400, finishing in third to round out the individual track events.

In the field, Megan Dailey was the high-point scorer, taking second in both the high jump and long jump. Laurel Wageman scored a gold in the pole vault and took sixth in the long jump. Amy Breigenzer was first in the triple jump.

In the throws, Dana Hughes finished in fifth in both the shot put and the javelin.

Finally, in both relays, the girls finished in first, beating Malta each time.

“We knew the girls would win. We just had the numbers,” said LaBonty. “The boys depended on what Malta put out there was a big part of it, so I was very tickled with the boys.”

The boys got a good start to their day by placing three in the 3,200. Led by Green in first, Walker Allen in third and Matt Phillips in fourth, the Scotties jumped out with 20 points from the very first event.

Then, when the dashes started scoring points for the Scotties, LaBonty knew they were in good shape.

“As we went along, our sprinters were doing so well, we knew our distance kids were going to do well and they did,” said LaBonty when asked when he knew the boys were running away with the district title.

Certain breaks worked towards the Scotties’ advantage, as well. Malta’s Tucker Schye came in with an injury and was unable to run in the shorts sprints.

“He came up hurt and he’s one of the good sprinters. So, he couldn’t run. That just opened the door, that’s how sports work, it opened the door for our sprinters,” said LaBonty. “We’ve been nursing Ryan Grandchamp along and this gave him a great chance to do well and he did.”

Grandchamp was second in the 100 and fourth in the 200. Larson joined him in both sprints, taking third in both.

In the 400, Sanders took silver, Ethan Etchart was fifth and Fossum was sixth. Sanders again took silver in the 800, followed by Zach Miller, who was sixth.

The two-mile, headlined by Green’s gold, also featured Allen’s third and Phillips’ fourth. Lachlan Vaira led the way in the hurdles, taking second in the 110 hurdles and fourth in the 300 hurdles. Etchart joined him in the long hurdles, finishing in sixth.

The boys’ 4X100 relay was second behind Malta and the 4X400 relay was third.

Grandchamp added on to his sprint totals with a first-place in the long jump. Bryan Larson followed in fourth and Jason Thibault was fifth. Lachlan Vaira and Chase Fossum were second and third respectively in the triple jump.

Dillon Pankratz was the lone Scottie representative in the pole vault, clearing 10 feet, 6 inches for second place.

The throwers also had a good day for the Scotties, qualifying six for divisionals. Tanner Roness was sixth in both the discus and the javelin. Tyler Wesen was fourth in the shot put. Trevor Toavs was fourth in the discus. Robbie Henville took fifth in the shot and Thibault rounded out the throws with a fifth in the javelin.

“Our boys really stepped up,” said throwing coach Wade Nelson.

Combined with Dana Hughes for the girls, “all seven of them have a realistic chance of moving on,” he said.

They’ll get that chance on Saturday as the Scotties host the Northern B Divisional, where District 1B will provide the next challenge for Glasgow.

“Our times and distances, we’re comparing them with the 1B, and we’re right with them or better,” said LaBonty.

The Fairfield boys took first by a slim margin over Shelby, 140-137. Cut Bank, Choteau and Conrad followed.

On the girls’ side, Choteau was first with 153 points and Cut Bank was second with 130. Fairfield, Conrad, Shelby and Rocky Boy rounded out the field.

The divisional meet begins Saturday morning at Scottie stadium.

J. Levi Burnfin / The Courier

Rachael Zeiger and Amanda Wolff show off their untied shoes that they ran and completed the 1,600-meter run in second and third place, respectively. The shoes came untied in the second lap, prompting laughter mid run as they tried not to trip each other running side-by-side.


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