The Cut Bank tracksters opened their season last Saturday hosting the Booster Invitational. Both the girls and boys teams turned in impressive performances in their opening weekend.
Mother Nature caused Cut Bank to cancel both of their home meets last year and the girls team took full advantage of being on their home soil as they finished second in the team standings. Senior standout Kamdyn Molenda picked up where she left off a season ago with two wins and four individual placements.
“I am so proud of every single one of my athletes,” said new head coach Shayle Ehlers. “Everyone had at least one event that was awesome, and many had multiple. We started the season in a great place.”
Molenda set a personal record in the triple jump with a leap of 32-03 on her way to victory while also winning the 100 with a time of 13.41. The local trackster also placed second in the 200 (28.66) and fourth in the long jump (13-11).
Junior Dakota Manecke also picked up a win in the pole vault, clearing 9-0. Manecke also placed third in the high jump, clearing 4-04 and competed in the 100 (15.15), 200 (31.24) but did not place.
Senior Brynne Finstad placed third in both the shot put (26-09) and discus (80-05.5) and had a toss of 77-0 in the javelin that did not place.
Freshman Jackie Waller placed second in the 300 hurdles with a time of 55.4 in her first attempt at the event and also placed fifth in the 100 hurdles with a time of 19.39. Waller also competed in the 100 (15.68) and 200 (31.43) but did not place.
Katrina Ostler placed fourth in the 400 with a time of 1:11.40 and sixth in the 800 with a time of 2:56.91.
London Raemaeker rounded out the Cut Bank placers with a sixth place finish in the 400 with a time of 1:14.76. Raemaeker also competed in the 100 (15.96) and 800 (3:10.38) but did not place.
Portia Taylor also competed last weekend in the 100 (15.46) and the 200 (32.21).
The boys were led by individual efforts from a trio of freshmen on Saturday. Bauer Seewald placed second in the high jump, clearing 5-08. Brant Seewald placed third in the pole vault as he cleared 9-06.
Hayden Hedges placed fifth in the long jump with a leap of 18-02.75 and sixth in both the 100 (12.31) and 200 (25.94).
Jonathan Growing Thunder placed fourth in the 100 with a time of 12.13 and the senior teamed up with junior Stephon McGillis and freshmen Josiah Fultz and Hedges to place fourth in the 4x100 with a time of 48.05.
Non-placing marks for the boys were: McGillis 100-12.92, javelin-92-0; Fultz 100-13.51, high jump 5-02, long jump 16-09.75; Dalton Estey 400-1:09.82, 800-3:00.2, long jump-10-07; Nathaniel Anderson 800-2:31.33, 1600-5:48.23; Baily Harbison 800-2:52.13, 1600-5:58.12; Jeremy Gallagher shot put-34-01, discus-89-09, javelin 96-0; Bauer Seewald long jump-16-10.5, triple jump-36-04, Hedges triple jump-36-02.
Cut Bank was able to use their new Fully Automatic Timing (FAT) System for the first time. Ehlers expressed appreciation to the Cut Bank Booster Club, which purchased the system last year at a cost of $7,495.
“We are very fortunate to have the Cut Bank Booster Club as an avid supporter of all athletic programs in our school system,” she stated.
Ehlers was quick to point out everyone who had a hand in getting the new equipment set up and running as well as everyone who volunteered to help with the meet.
“We could not have put on a good meet without the help of many awesome people,” she said. “Mr. Paulson, along with the coaches, managers and high school and middle school athletes helped to get our field events and our facility ready for meet day. Aaron Brown helped supply power to the infield so we could use the FAT system. Amber Cartwright and Kelsey Brown devoted hours to the track team on both Friday and Saturday to make sure our computers and FAT system would work. On meet day our guest teams all took on a job helping with an event and that was a huge help.”
She continued, “Harvest Foods donated many items to feed all of our hard workers. Other Cut Bank staff that were pivotal on meet day included Shayne Manecke, Brian Suttle, Corrie Johnson, Suzy Michael, Angela Anderson, Gail Hofstad and Quinn Kelly. Thank you can not be said enough to these people.”
The Cut Bank athletes are in Havre today (Wednesday) for the Cal Wearley Memorial and will travel to Choteau for the Acantha Invitational on Saturday.