By Georgie Kulczyk
The Courier 

Scottie Tracksters End Season at State Meet

Phillips Wins Javelin With One Throw

 

Georgie Kulczyk/The Courier

Coach Tim Phillips huddles with a group of senior tracksters at the conclusion of the Class B State Track Meet held in Butte May 26 and 27.

The Scottie track and field squad were in Butte for the Class AA and B meet on May 25, 26 and 27. The Scotties left town at 6 a.m. Thursday morning and reached their destination just before 3 p.m. "That's a lot of time on the bus," said head coach Tim Phillips. "It's always a little tough for the athletes to adjust to the long trip."

The pole vault competition for class B boys was held Thursday afternoon. Matt Reyling and Kyle Ross represented the Scotties in the event to start off the three-day meet for the Scotties. While Reyling was unable to achieve the minimum vault of 11-00, which coach Phillips noted is above his personal best, Ross eventually finished in a three-way tie for fourteenth with his 11-00 vault. "I don't think either Matt or Kyle vaulted poorly," said Phillips. "It's tough though, when you go to state and the starting heights are so high."

Phillips explained that over the years, coaches have tried to get the Montana High School Association to start a little bit lower so kids have a chance to jump the lower heights, but no changes have been made. "There have been some years in the high jump that they haven't even given out all six medals," he said. This year, however, there was an astonishing nine-person tie for sixth in the event, with all nine athletes clearing the 5-10 mark.


"I think overall, they (Ross and Reyling) both had a great season," concluded Phillips. "I know coach Capdeville is looking for them both to be placers next year."

Katie Kaiser competed in the vault on Friday. She finished twelfth overall and cleared the bar at the eight-foot mark.

Friday was a full day of events with preliminary and final races along with jumping and throwing events.

The boys' javelin was the first field event of the day for Glasgow. A small crowd formed to watch the much-anticipated competition, with Benji Phillips at the center of attention. Phillips has had an outstanding career in the javelin with record-breaking throws and unequaled performances.

Although a healthier Phillips set his personal best 207-00 throw earlier this season, he has recently been fighting some pain in his elbow, which limited his performance. According to head coach Tim Phillips, who is also Benji's father, there was some concern about whether or not he should throw at the meet. After consulting with his next-level coach at NDSU, it was decided that he would compete. "We are still unsure of the exact severity of the elbow injury," Phillips explained. "We'll probably get an MRI this week."


Of the track and field community, Phillips said, "We had offers of help from several competing teams and coaches. Coach Moore from Poplar offered up some tape that had a little bit of give to it, but which would add some good support. It was just one more nice offer of help that we saw this weekend." He added that Thursday night was a pretty dark time for his family. "I didn't know whether we should throw him at all, or what would happen," he said. "We did a lot of praying and tried not to let this become a huge weight, but it was tough."

To make matters worse, each throwing implement must pass standard measurements and weights to be approved for the competition, and the new javelin Phillips bought for the meet failed to make the cut. He had to fall back on his "old" javelin for the event.

"We convinced Benji just to do one throw if it was a good one. He was last in his flight, so [he] got to watch everyone else throw. He hammered out a great one: 197' 8. I was standing behind the runway, but could hear the crowd roar on the far side, even though there weren't any Glasgow people there. It took a while for them to turn the indicator around, but it was a huge relief when we saw the 197' 8 come up. That throw hurt quite a bit, so we just scratched the rest of his two preliminary throws and reserved his three finals throws just in case someone passed him. The officials worked very well with us on that, and fortunately we didn't need to throw again."


Cade Myrick finished in twelfth place overall as he threw just under his personal best with his 157.00 mark. "It was just a foot or two short of getting him into finals," explained Phillips. "He has really been battling some tight muscles in his back and hamstrings the past few weeks."

The rest of the weekend was a mix of events for the Scotties. The boys and girls both ran in the preliminary short relays, and both qualified for finals to be held on Saturday. Following a huge personal best in their qualifying race, the boys (Phillips, Tyler Fitzsimmons, Trent Herbert, Luke Breigenzer) fell just short of placing when they finished seventh in the finals. "All the exchanges were good," said coach Phillips, "but we just didn't have enough speed to place. I was very proud of the way Benji, Tyler, Trent and Luke did. And kudos to Grant (Morken) for helping to get there. It ended up being a personal best for the season."

The girls (Brinlie Nielsen, Jordan Kulczyk, Anika Peters, Emily Kolstad) improved their time to reach the podium in fifth place. "I didn't have much hope for this team, but Coach Gamas did really well getting them ready," said Phillips, "and they finished fifth. Considering we didn't have a single girl in the 100m at state, I thought that was great."

After qualifying for finals in both of his 100m and 200m races, Phillips fell short of placing, finishing in seventh for both events. Coach Phillips said his son was pretty tired by the time he ran the 400m. "He never sat down between all the events until the break between the 200m (preliminaries) and 400m," he explained. "I think fresh, he could have won the 400m." He did make it to the podium, however, with a sixth-place finish.

"Brett tied his p.r. in the 200m and just missed in the 400m," said Phillips, "but it wasn't quite enough to place. Tyler Fitzsimmons ran his personal best in the 200m, so despite his quad issues this year, he had a great finish."

In the short races for the girls, Kolstad and Nielsen were right in the mix. While Kolstad didn't make the podium in the 200m dash, she did set a new p.r. and earned a fourth-place medal in the 400m run. "I think if she trusts her training a little more next year and gets out a little quicker," said Phillips, "we'll see some pretty amazing things." Nielsen finished eleventh overall in the 400m with her time of 1:03.13.

Breigenzer qualified for finals in the 110m hurdles on Friday, and reached the podium with his fifth-place run of 15.55 in finals on Saturday. Unfortunately he fell short of the podium in the 300m hurdles with his seventh place time of 41.09. "Luke was disappointed with his hurdle races," said Phillips, but he was right at one personal best, and set a new one in the 300's." He added that Breigenzer's work ethic has always been fantastic. "I can't say enough about what he's meant for Scottie athletics these past four years."

Representing the girls in the 300m hurdles was sophomore Alaina Sallee, who ran the event near her personal best time. She also did well in the triple jump for the Scotties. "Alaina jumped a new p.r. in the triple, at 32' 9," said Phillips of the performance. "That was good enough for tenth-best in the state, so she was very happy with that."

The distance races were full of talented Scottie runners. "I'm so proud of that distance crew," said coach Phillips. "To take distance runners to Butte and run well is always a tricky thing. I figure the altitude will add roughly ten to fifteen seconds or so to your personal best, and we're running against some tremendous programs like Manhattan, Broadwater and Ronan. Those programs all get to train at that altitude. We come in from the flatlands with a serious disadvantage." He added that the entire distance crew has worked at a level he's never been able to get to before in the program.

Although most performed as expected, there were some disappointments and some inspiring finishes. With a strong, solid regular season behind them, the twin-team of Ellis and Merlin McKean were definite favorites in their events for the Scotties. The brothers, along with freshman Wilson Overby, took on the 3200m run on Friday afternoon. "Ellis managed to stay in the second group, and you could tell he was struggling," commented Phillips, "but he fought through it and got fifth, so I was very pleased with that effort." While E. McKean achieved fifth place with his run, M. McKean was unable to finish. "Merlin had a tough day, explained Phillips. "He picked up some kind of hip issue on Monday, and again, we thought we had that figured out. But, you could see it grab about lap three, and it just kept getting worse. He dropped out at about the mile mark, which was very tough to do, but also the smart thing to do."

Overby, in his first state competition, finished ninth in the event. "Wilson lost the pack a little bit, but finished it out tough," said Phillips.

Brooke Westby, Faith Sallee and Ali Cunningham ran the 3200m for the Scottie girls on Saturday. They each had solid performances and finished strong, but were unable to place in the event. "The girls 3200m was tough, but they all tried to get out and compete," explained Phillips. "Brooke, Ali and Faith have all battled different things, but managed to get there and to compete for awhile in the race." Westby had also run in the 1600m the previous day. "I thought Brooke competed pretty well in the 1600m," said Phillips. "She's had a hip issue this spring that has really hampered her, but competed very well for most of the race."

The 1600m run was much better for the Scottie boys. Gabe Hallock achieved a new p.r. and made it to the podium. E. McKean earned his second medal of the weekend with his sixth-place finish, and M. McKean showed resolve when he battled his pain to complete the race in a respectable fifteenth place. "The boys 1600m was a pretty inspirational race," said Phillips. "Gabe Hallock had what I think was the most inspirational individual performance of the meet for us. This is a kid that was ready to be done with track just a month ago, but stuck it out and just blew things up. In the mile, he stuck with the big dogs through two laps, and lost a little ground on the third, but he just kept holding his lead on the second pack of kids, and finished fourth in 4:44. I believe that's the fastest mile anyone from Glasgow has run at state since back in the nineties. He's shaved off 13 seconds from his personal best in the last two weeks."

The boys 800m runners, Myrick, Hallock and Alec Boland, seemed to gas out during the race and failed to reach the podium. "The boys 800m was a bit disappointing," said Phillips. "Cade's hamstrings really bothered him, and kept him from getting out quickly with the pack. Gabe lost the pack just a bit coming into lap two. He gave a valiant push with 250m left, but he hit the wall with about 150 to go. Alec didn't run poorly, but it wasn't his best run of the year. For a freshman, he got some fantastic experience."

For the girls in the same event, however, results were much better. Although neither Emily Kolstad or Brinlie Nielsen earned medals for their performances, they definitely battled it out on the track and finished eighth and ninth, respectively. "I thought maybe Brinlie and Emily could up their games a little bit and get into the 2:20's," Phillips said of their 800m run. "Emily ran her fastest ever, and Brinlie was right at her p.r. but 2:31 just wasn't quite quick enough."

Meanwhile, in the field events, the Scottie girls were at the discus field. Regan Zerbe, in her first year competing in track and field, placed ninth in the event with an impressive personal best throw of 98-02. Senior Leinie Hughes finished fifteenth with her 91-01 throw. "Leinie threw well in the discus, and Regan Zerbe had a nearly five-foot p.r. to make finals," said Phillips. "She ended up in ninth overall at 98' 2. With the exception of a couple meets in a one week stretch, she's set personal bests every single week. She's a sophomore but only in her first year. If she gets a little stronger and stays confident, she'll make a lot of noise next year."

As a top competitor in the shot put for the Scotties, Hughes threw a personal best for her fifth-place medal in the event. Her 35' 7.5 shot put ranks her fifth in GHS history.

Jordan Kulczyk had a disappointing performance in the javelin, as she placed thirteenth overall with her 101-09 toss, and missed qualifying for finals. "Jordan didn't have her best day in the javelin," said Phillips, "but she still managed to get over 100 feet, which is pretty good."

The Scotties had one high-jumper at the meet. Kaylee King, who has been struggling with some back issues, finished in a three-way tie for eighth place at the meet. She ultimately completed a jump of 4-10. "Kaylee had a very good day in the high jump," said Phillips of the junior Scottie. "Again, opening height was pretty high, but she nailed that. She just brushed the bar on two of her attempts at five feet. If she would have gone over then, she would have placed."

In other jumps, Kulczyk and Glaser each earned bronze with their performances. In the girls' long jump, Kulczyk dug deep on her final attempt and earned herself a spot on the podium. "Jordan had the leap of the day in the long jump," said coach Phillips. "She went 16' 3.75 to finish third. It is her season best and is her farthest true jump without a big tail wind."

Glaser, who is a relative rookie in the triple jump, also found his way to the podium with his personal best mark of 42-10.25 in the event. "Keep in mind his first triple jump was on April 17 at the Qualifiers Meet," said Phillips. "We have that meet to see what kids can do in other events, and boy did that pay off. He had a one-foot p.r. and went 42' 10 at state to finish third." Glaser also competed for the Scotties in the long jump, but was unable to finish in the running for a medal. Phillips looks for him to explode in the long jump next year.

Even with a solid mark of 38-09.50 in the triple jump, Herbert fell short of his best and missed placing for the Scotties. "Trent just scratched on a jump that would have gotten him into finals," said Phillips of the Scottie senior. "I thought he closed the season very well both on the track and in the triple."

The final event of the weekend was the 1600m relay. Both the boys and girls of Glasgow finished with inspiring and exciting performances and earned silver medals for their efforts.

The boys finished with the third fastest time in Glasgow history (3:27.03), and it beat their previous best this season by six and a half seconds.

The drama behind the race, according to Phillips, was that Myrick still wasn't 100 percent. The coaches were actually leaning towards having Dexter Monson run in his place as an alternate and decided to have both boys warm up for the event.

With some help from Malta's Del Stiles, however, Myrick was able to compete. "Del was watching Sophia high jump," explained Phillips, "but heard about Cade. Del has done deep tissue massage for years, and offered to help Cade out. So, as his daughter is jumping for another state title, he's working Cade over. He somehow got Cade loosened up enough to go."

Summarizing the race, Phillips said, "Benji has been waiting for a long time to get all this running over, so he blew out on the first leg and got us a big early lead. I think his 400m was a 49. Then it was Cade's turn. Cade has never run faster than a 55 or 56, but he sailed through his leg with an amazing 52. This from a guy who could barely run earlier in the day. Luke fought off Shelby on the far corner and kept us in the lead with a 52 of his own. Brett had the misfortune of running against Luly of Shelby who is pretty powerful, but he turned in another 52 to keep us in second."

Just 30 minutes after the boys 1600m race, the girls had an amazing race of their own. "Brinlie (Nielsen) led off, and got us an early lead with a 63, said Phillips. "We've been trying to figure out who should be the second leg all season, and Alaina (Sallee) has really stepped it up. She's somehow made it through all the tough workouts, but we hadn't seen the speed develop until Saturday. She ran her best ever 400 in about 67 seconds. Jordan (Kulczyk) has struggled a bit in the long relay since Baker, but she got back down to where she was, and turned in a 63 to hold us in sixth.

Then, Emily (Kolstad) stepped in and ran the race of her career so far. She caught the fifth-place girl with about 250m to go. We were standing along the track past the finish line so couldn't see much. Bigfork was way ahead, and then came the three and four teams. Back a bit was Emily, as they came around the corner to the 100m. Then, you could see a red jersey pop out in lane two as she blew by the others and brought it home for second in 4:12. She ran a 58 second leg, three seconds faster than her open 400, and two seconds faster than her p.r. That was a great way to end the meet."

Regarding his coaching staff, Phillips practically gushed: "This is the deepest Coach Nelson's throw squads have been. He's become one of the premiere javelin coaches around. Coach Flint provided excellent insight and lots of hard work. Unfortunately, she won't be here to help us next spring, and both Coach Nelson and I take that as a great loss to the program.

Coach Gustafson and Coach Menge have been volunteer tag-teaming coaching the jumps. I appreciated their help so much and I thought this was one of the best jumping years we've had in awhile.

Coach Capdeville has knowledge of all the events, but what he brings to the pole vault is top notch. His multi-athlete experience is something I've come to depend on.

Coach Larson always brings energy and fresh ideas to the program. She not only helped with our high jumpers, but she also brought in some great mobility drills. But what I love most about her is her enthusiasm and encouragement for the kids.

Coach McKean is another positive thinker, and keeps me from getting bogged down. To have him able to come help out takes a ton of worry away from me with the distance crew.

Coach Gamas brought a new level of fire to the sprints and relays this year. He's got the presence and poise to get the kids through the tough stuff, so they can enjoy the rewards like the past few weekends. I hope he'll be back with us next spring.

We missed Coach Johnson this spring, but the good news is that his health has improved tremendously since surgery and I'm hopeful he'll be there next year to help."

Phillips also briefly thanked as many people as he could: "I want to send out a thank you to Mr. Flaten and all the volunteers who help our meets run as smoothly as they do: the Girards to the Kaisers, Gary Wageman, Lori Dailey, Mike Hagfeldt, Bryon Gustafson, Seth Runner, Terri Johnson, Greg Liebelt, Ryen Falkenstern, Mark Kloker, John Jones, Dave Kloker and everyone else."

"I was super proud of all our kids this past weekend," Phillips said in conclusion. "I don't think there was anyone for us who didn't compete well. For the boys, as loaded as class B was this year, I'm amazed they ended up only three points out of third. I really thought that if everything went right, we had a shot at a trophy, but we needed some things to happen with the other teams too. We saw some amazing performances, but even more importantly, a tremendous work ethic. The girls performed just about everywhere I expected, and we had quite a few pleasant surprises."

Team Scores:

Boys

1. Fairfield, 60.11; 2. Baker, 47; 3. Broadwater, 37; 4. Forsyth, 35; 5. (tie) Glasgow, 34; 5. (tie) Huntley Project, 34; 7. Manhattan, 30; 8. Thompson Falls, 28; 9. Powell County, 26.22; 10. Shelby, 24; 11. Harlem, 20.11; 12. Loyola-Sacred Heart, 19.11; 13. Lincoln County, 19; 14. Cut Bank, 16; 15. Sweet Grass County, 15; 16. Ronan, 13; 17. Bigfork, 12; 18. (tie) Jefferson, 10.11; 18. (tie) Joliet, 10.11; 18. (tie) Wolf Point, 10.11; 21. Three Forks, 10; 22. (tie) Shepherd, 6; 22. (tie) Florence-Carlton, 6; 24. (tie) Choteau, 2; 24. (tie) Roundup, 2; 26. Colstrip, 1; 27. Libby, .11.

Girls

1. Bigfork, 109; 2. Baker, 53; 3. Malta, 44; 4. Huntley Project, 40; 5. Manhattan, 39; 6. Choteau, 30; 7. Powell County, 29; 8. Colstrip, 23; 9. Glasgow, 22; 10. Loyola-Sacred Heart, 16; 11. Florence-Carlton, 14; 12. (tie) Columbus, 13; 12. (tie) Three Forks, 13; 14. Harlem, 12; 15. Ronan, 11; 16. Libby, 10; 17. (tie) Broadwater, 8; 17. (tie) Thompson Falls, 8; 19. (tie) Roundup, 7; 19. (tie) Joliet, 7; 21. (tie) Shepherd, 4; 21. (tie) Fairfield, 4; 23. (tie) Cut Bank, 3; 23. (tie) Red Lodge, 3; 25. Whitehall, 2; 26. (tie) St Ignatius, 1; 26. (tie) Lincoln County, 1; 26. (tie) Rocky Boy, 1.

Individual Results:

Boys

100 Meters

7. Benji Phillips, 11.45

200 Meters

7. Benji Phillips, 23.08

400 Meters

6. Benji Phillips, 51.65

12. Brett Glaser, 52.92

800 Meters

16. Cade Myrick, 2:08.16

18. Gabe Hallock, 2:12.83 19. Alec Boland, 2:12.93

1600 Meters

4. Gabe Hallock, 4:44.11

6. Ellis McKean, 4:46.04

15. Merlin McKean, 4:56.01

3200 Meters

5. Ellis McKean, 10:40.95

9. Wilson Overby, 11:00.91

110m Hurdles

5. Luke Breigenzer, 15.55

300m Hurdles

7. Luke Breigenzer, 41.09

4x100 Relay

7. Benji Phillips, Tyler Fitzsimmons, Trent Herbert, Luke Breigenzer, 44.37

4x400 Relay

2. Benji Phillips, Luke Breigenzer, Cade Myrick, Brett Glaser, 3:27.03

Javelin

1. Benji Phillips, 197-08

12. Cade Myrick, 157-00

Pole Vault

14. Kyle Ross, 11-00.00

Long Jump

10. Benji Phillips, 20-06.50

20. Brett Glaser, 19-00.25

Triple Jump

3. Brett Glaser, 42-10.25

22. Trent Herbert, 38-09.50

Girls

200 Meters

10. Emily Kolstad, 27.65

400 Meters

4. Emily Kolstad, 1:01.03

11. Brinlie Nielsen, 1:03.13

800 Meters

8. Emily Kolstad, 2:31.15

9. Brinlie Nielsen, 2:31.29

1600 Meters

19. Brooke Westby, 6:13.92

3200 Meters

16. Brooke Westby, 13:43.64

19. Faith Sallee, 14:41.34

20. Ali Cunningham, 14:46.85

300m Hurdles

20. Alaina Sallee, 52.14

4x100 Relay

5. Brinlie Nielsen, Jordan Kulczyk, Anika Peters, Emily Kolstad, 51.73

4x400 Relay

2. Brinlie Nielsen, Jordan Kulczyk, Alaina Sallee, Emily Kolstad, 4:12.61

Shot Put

5. Leinie Hughes, 35-07.50

Discus

9. Regan Zerbe, 98-02

15. Leinie Hughes, 91-01

Javelin

13. Jordan Kulczyk, 101-09

High Jump

8. Kaylee King, 4-10.00

Pole Vault

12. Katie Kaiser, 8-00.00

Long Jump

3. Jordan Kulczyk, 16-03.75

Triple Jump

10. Alaina Sallee, 32-09.00

 

Reader Comments
(0)

 
 

Powered by ROAR Online Publication Software from Lions Light Corporation
© Copyright 2018

Rendered 09/19/2018 15:27