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Vikes and Vals take third at state track meet

by JEREMY WEBER
For the Eagle | June 1, 2022 12:00 AM

With one chance remaining to clear six feet, seven inches, Bigfork’s George Bucklin came through with a new personal record to best Shelby’s Rhett Reynolds and earn the Class B state high jump title Saturday. The victory helped lead the Vikings to a third place team finish at the B/C State Track Meet in Great Falls.

In a David versus Goliath battle, the 5 foot, 10 inch Bucklin came into the meet with a personal best of six feet, five inches this season while the 6 foot, 9 inch Reynolds had cleared six feet, six inches six times this season, including topping six feet, nine inches May 6.

After both athletes cleared six feet, six inches on their third attempts, Bucklin came through with the meet-winning lead while Reynolds made contact with the bar on the way up on all three of his attempts. Bucklin was also second in the long jump with a leap of 21 feet, 1.5 inches.

The Valkyries dominated the relay events on their way to a third place team finish as well as Coralyn Shillam, Chloe Raats, Danika Bucklin, Afton Lambrecht and Lily Tanko to win both the 4X100 and 4X400 races.

Raats, Danika Bucklin, Lambrecht and Tanko edged out Anaconda by 18 hundreths of a second to earn the 4X100 relay title while Raats, Danika Bucklin, Lambrecht and Shillam left second-place Sweet Grass County behind by almost five seconds to win the mile relay with a time of 4:08.67.

The Valkyries finished with 49 points to finish behind Sweet Grass County (99.5) and Colstrip (66.5) while the Vikings compiled 66 points to finish behind Jefferson (92) and Loyola (69).

In other action for the Vikings, Jack Jensen came up just short in two incredibly close battles with Red Lodge’s Brandon Emineth in the 800 and 1,600 meter races. Jenson’s time of 1:57.65 in the 800 was a new personal record, but was six tenths of a second behind Emineth’s 1:57.04. The finish was even close in the mile, where Emineth’s time of 4:32.41 was less than two-tenths of a second faster than Jensen’s 4:32.59.

Jensen also took third in the two mile, with Emineth once again taking the title.

Levi Taylor’s throw of 52 feet, 5 inches earned him third in the shot put in a battle that saw the top four competitors all set new PRs.

The same was true for Braeden Guse in the discus. His toss of 141 feet, one inch earned him third among the new PRs for the top four throwers.

The Vikings reached the podium in five other events as Isak Epperly was fourth in the 110 hurdles while Wyatt Johnson took fifth. The 4X100 relay team of Jackson Abney, Levi Peterson, Trevor Hill and Joseph Farrier was fourth, Farrier took fifth in the 100 meter dash, Guse was sixth in the shot put and Peterson was sixth in the triple jump.

For the Valkyries, Zoey Albert’s PR of 119 feet, 5 inches earned her second in the javelin while Inga Turner set a new PR of 15.89 seconds to earn third in the 100 meter hurdles.

Scout Nadeau had the other top-3 finish for the Valkyries, taking third in the shot put with a toss of 36 feet, 10 inches.

The Valkyries reached the podium in four other events as Turner took fourth in the high jump, Emma Pouwers was fourth in the long jump, Tanko was sixth in the 300 hurdles and Raats was sixth in the 400 meter dash.

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Chloe Raats accelerates after taking the baton from teammate Lily Tanko in the 4X100 relay at the B/C State Track Meet in Great Falls Saturday. (Jeremy Weber/Bigfork Eagle)

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Inga Turner runs to a third-place finish in the 100 meter hurdles at the B/C State Track Meet in Great Falls Saturday. (Jeremy Weber/Bigfork Eagle)

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Jack Jensen battles it out with Red Lodge's Brandon Emineth in the final stretch of the 1,600-meter run at the B/C State Track Meet in Great Falls Saturday. (Jeremy Weber/Bigfork Eagle)

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Scout Nadeau battles to a third-place finish in the shot put at the B/C State Track Meet in Great Falls Saturday. (Jeremy Weber/Bigfork Eagle)

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Zoey Albert used a toss of 119 feet, 5 inches to capture third in the javelin at at the B/C State Track Meet in Great Falls Saturday. (Jeremy Weber/Bigfork Eagle)