You can’t get ignore it.
No matter how hard you try to avoid it this weekend, one of the biggest factors at the state track and field meets will be the weather. And the forecast doesn’t look too promising. Both Butte (the site for the AA-C meet) and Bozeman (the site for the A-B meet) are expecting rain and snow and high temperatures in the 40s.
No matter what the weather does, it’s highly unlikely the meets get canceled or postponed. It snowed the first day at the AA-B meet in Butte last year and poured rain at the AA-C meet in Great Fall two years ago. The athletes are troopers, and some of them actually prefer running in the rain compared to warmer temperatures.
Besides the weather, there are intriguing storylines for each classification.
Here’s what I’ll be watching at the two state meets (Note: I’ll be in Butte with Mike Zimmer for the AA-C meet, while Greg Rachac will be in Bozeman for the A-B meet.):
- Taylor Martinson of Billings Central is the two-time defending state champion in the 100-meter dash. This year, though, his fastest time doesn’t even place him in the top five in Class A. But you can’t count out the senior sprinter just yet. After all, he didn’t have the fastest seed going into the state meet last year, and he has been trimming his time as this season has progressed. I know other sprinters are thinking about how Martinson is marking. Will he get back on top of the podium?
- According to montanatrack.com’s state projections, it’s a three-team race (and I use that term lightly) for the state team title. Corvallis, Columbia Falls, and Billings Central are vying for the top spot. The Blue Devils are favored despite being projected to win only one event. Can Derrick Williams and the Wildcats make up enough ground on the track to counter Corvallis’ points in the field events?
- The Sidney girls have the potential to score a lot of points in the field events. Whitney Leuenberger is going for titles in both the shot put and discus, while three girls could place in the pole vault. Jalyssa Gorder and Mikayla Minow have the top two pole vault marks in Class A, while Lexi Prevost and Erin Harris could find their way into the top six.
- The Corvallis girls are loaded on the track. Sadi Henderson, Lakyn Connors, Isabella Pape, and Ayden Eickhoff are all projected to place in multiple events. The relay teams have the best Class A times in the state and could flirt with the class records. Paige Squire – a 2011 Corvallis graduate – set the class records in both hurdles last year, and, while it’s doubtful Connors can break those marks, she could take first in each event.