Sunday, May 09, 2021

Bigfork track teams qualify for state

For the Eagle | April 28, 2021 2:20 AM

Bigfork’s track teams continued to see success last week as several Vikings and Valkyries posted state-qualifying performances at the Whitefish meet on Tuesday and at Seeley Swan Saturday.

Even with the success, head coach Sue Loeffler says she is still learning what her team is capable of this season.

“The kids are really coming along. It’s funny, we are still trying to find out which events everyone is best at. You don’t realize how hard that can be to do until you lose a whole season like we did last year,” she said.

Seth Osborne punched his ticket to the state meet at Whitefish Tuesday, winning the pole vault after clearing a personal best height of 12 feet, 3 inches, while Wyatt Duke cleared 6 feet, 4 inches to win the high jump and Isak Epperly won the 110 hurdles with a time of 15.95 seconds. Duke and Epperly have already qualified for state in the two events.

The Vikings had 14 top-3 finishes at the meet, including the three winners, while the Valkyries had three event winners amongst 11 top-3 finishes.

The Valkyries throwers dominated discus and javelin at the Whitefish meet, sweeping the top three spots in both events while recording three new personal bests.

Olivia Ellison’s personal best toss of 102 feet, 1 inch was enough to win the discus while Scout Nadeau turned in a personal best of 98 feet, 4 inches to finish second, just ahead of Quinlan Nissen’s new best of 95 feet, 10 inches.

Maddison Chappuis won the javelin with a throw of 97 feet, 3 inches while Ellison turned in a season-best throw of 96 feet, 3 inches to finish second. Zoey Albert was third with a toss of 91 feet, 10 inches.

Allie Reichner was the other top finisher for the Valkyries the meet as she took first place in the pole vault after clearing a height of 8 feet, 6 inches.

Second-place finishers for the Vikings included Jack Jensen in the 1,600-meter race, the 4X400 relay team of Maddox Mater, Wyatt Johnson, Shelton Woll and Cormac Benn, Levi Taylor in the shot put, Woll in the javelin, Benn in the high jump and Wyatt Herd in the pole vault.

Third-place winners included Duke in the 100 hurdles, Jordan Betts in the 300 hurdles, Braeden Guse in the discus, Eligh Thorness in the javelin and Benn in the triple jump.

The Valkyries 4X400 relay team of Audrey Buenz, Chloe Ratts, Coralyn Shillam and Afton Lambrecht finished second at the meet while Ratts was also second in the 800-meter run.

Third-place finishers for the Valkyries at the meet were Lambrecht in the 100 and Buenz in the 200.

The Valkyries 4X400 relay team became the first Class B team to reach the state meet qualifying standard Saturday as they finished second at the Seeley Swan meet with a time of 4:19.37 while Addison Reichner cleared 7 feet, 6 inches to finish second in the pole vault. The 4X100 relay team of Jessy Frey, Lambrecht, Ratts and Buenz was third as the Valkyries finished eighth at the meet overall.

The Vikings had seven top-3 finishers at Seeley Swan Saturday as the team finished fourth overall.

Bigfork was first in two events as Jensen won the 1,600 with a time of 4:46.44 while Osborne cleared 12 feet, 3 inches to win the pole vault.

Benn set a new personal best of 21 feet, 1.5 inches to finish second in the long jump while Epperly was second in the 110 hurdles.

Benn was third in the high jump, Woll was third in the pole vault and Johnson was third in the 300 hurdles.

“I thought we had another good day at Seeley Swan,” Loeffler said. “I am really happy with how our distance runners are performing, both boys and girls. The girls 4X400 relay team qualifying for state was also very exciting.”

The Vikes and Vals will be in action in Whitefish Saturday as they compete at the ARM meet.


Cormac Benn cleared 5 feet, 10 inches to finish second in the high jump at Bigfork last week. (Whitney England for the Eagle)