Saturday, April 10, 2021

Lady Bulldogs finish on top at Bigfork Invitational

Whitefish Pilot | April 7, 2021 1:00 AM

The Whitefish girls had a dominating outing at the first track and field meet of the season in Bigfork on Saturday.

Led by several first-place performances, the girls scored 165 points to secure the top spot in the team scores while Bigfork came in second with 92.

“Overall it was the perfect day, the weather was nice and every one of our girls showed up and competed,” girls head track and field coach Kelliann Blackburn said.

Mikenna Ells, the defending Class A 400 meter state champion, ran to the fastest time in the 400 at 59.43 seconds which was enough to barely edge out Seeley Swan’s Sariah Maughan.

More top finishers in the track events included freshman Brooke Zetooney who clocked in at 13.02 in the 100 meter dash and freshman Isabelle Cooke took the 1600 meter title in 5:52.90 while also placing second in the 800. Olivia Genovese and Morgan Grube took the second and third spots, respectively, in the 1,600 just behind Isabelle Cooke; and junior Paetra Cooke finished first in the 3200 with a time of 13:47.85.

“Distance team, wow they showed up,” Blackburn said. “They went one, two and three in the mile with freshman Isabelle Cooke winning that. And Paetra Cooke also won the 3200, all of them with very exciting times to start the season.”

In the 100 meter hurdles, Whitefish freshman Hailey Ells dominated with a time of 17.02. Fellow freshman Bailey Smith was just behind her with a third-place finish in the event. Smith also placed first in the triple jump with 32 feet and 10-and-a-half inches — she set a new meet record for the Bigfork Invite with that showing, according to Blackburn.

Lady Bulldog junior Erin Wilde nabbed first in both the high jump, clearing 5 feet, 4 inches, and long jump, recording 15 feet and 5 inches.

“Erin’s high jump was a half inch off the school record, so it’s exciting that she’s jumping that high this early,” Blackburn said.

The Whitefish girls, with a team consisting of Brooklyn Roberts, Brooke Zetooney, Erin Wilde and Mikenna Ells, won the short relay. In the 1,600-meter relay, the Whitefish girls including Hailey Ells, Tommye Kelly, Bailey Smith and Mikenna Ells came in second.

“It was exciting to have all those girls show up and run,” Blackburn said. “Literally it’s only been two weeks of practices, and they just came out strong. I’m very proud of them, all of them.”

FOR THE BOYS, as a team the Bulldogs secured fourth place behind Bigfork, Ronan and Seeley-Swan.

According to boys head coach Willie Roche, the team is dealing with quite a few injuries and hoping to shore those up as quickly as possible to get to full strength. Without knowing what to expect from a boys team made up of mostly new track and field athletes with only a few returners from the 2019 season, Roche was quite impressed with how the team competed.

“I had no expectations going in, so I was pleasantly surprised with the way the kids competed,” he said. “On April 3 and with almost all newcomers except for maybe two kids, I was super happy with their competitive spirit.”

The boys 1600-meter relay team ran it in 3:46.06 to nab a second place finish — Bodie Smith, Marvin Kimera, Ryder Barinowski and Colter Gaertne make up that team.

Whitefish freshman Landon Brown ran the 3200-meter race in 11:45.81 to take the top spot, the only first-place finisher of the day for the Bulldog boys.

“Our distance kids, we’re a pretty young team as far as distance goes, and we had a freshman win the 3200,” Roche said. “And we had a freshman almost win the 400. We have all these really young kids in distance that really shined.”

Junior Colter Gaertner placed fifth in the 400 meter event. Roche was impressed with his performance as Gaertner was in a serious mountain biking accident a couple years ago during which he cracked his skull. Roche said the young athlete has been working hard to rehab his brain since and this year is new to competing in track.

“It limited him pretty significantly in what he could compete in, but he competed in the 400 on Saturday and man, that was a really fast 400 for where we’re at right now in the season,” Roche said. “It put him seventh in the state… To see him willingly do it and be so excited afterwards, it was just one of those cool coaching moments where you’re like this was more special than what the results truly show.”

The Bulldogs also did well in the long jump with Bodie Smith coming in second, 19 feet and 3-and-a-half inches and Marvin Kimera in fourth at 18 feet and 6-and-a-half inches. Whitefish junior Barrett Garcia took fourth in the triple jump recording 37-4.

“Bodie did really well in the long jump,” Roche said. “Marvin jumped well too, we know Marvin has much bigger jumps in him, same with Bodie Smith, but as it sits right now Bodie is tenth in the state and that’s about a foot short of what he can jump.”

Bulldog freshman Morgan Kyle also finished fourth in the 110-meter hurdles race with a time of 19.83.

Whitefish was set to compete again at the Flathead Triangular at Legends Stadium on Tuesday after press time. The Bulldogs next travel to Libby on Friday for a triangular with Libby and Eureka.

Bigfork Invitational



Team scores: Whitefish 165, Bigfork 92, Seeley-Swan 70, Thompson Falls 43, Libby 28, Ronan 26, Eureka 26, Arlee 23, Florence 14, Lincoln 13, Plains 8, Valley Christian 2, Deer Lodge 2.


100: 1. Zetooney, Brooke, Wfh, 13.02; 9. Roberts, Brooklyn, Wfh, 14.33.

200: 6. Wilde, Erin, Wfh, 29.36.

400: 1. Ells, Mikenna, Wfh,59.43; 4. Kelly, Tommye, Wfh, 1:06.49; 6. Lacey, Maya, Wfh, 1:09.21.

800: 2. Cooke, Isabelle, Wfh, 2:33.01; 3. Genovese, Olivia, Wfh, 2:39.28; 4. Cooke, Paetra, Wfh, 2:41.79; 5. Grube, Morgan, Wfh, 2:43.85.

1600: 1. Cooke, Isabelle, Wfh, 5:52.90; 2. Genovese, Olivia, Wfh, 5:56.42; 3. Grube, Morgan, Wfh, 6:05.96.

3200: 1. Cooke, Paetra, Wfh, 13:47.85.

100 hurdles: 1. Ells, Hailey, Wfh, 17.02; 3. Smith, Bailey, Wfh, 18.34; 6. Shestak, Kristina, Wfh, 19.87.

400 relay: 1. Whitefish ‘A’ (Roberts, Brooklyn , Zetooney, Brooke , Wilde, Erin , Ells, Mikenna ), 52.64; 2. Bigfork 53.36; 3. Seeley-Swan 53.55; 4. Arlee 56.05; 5. Seeley- Swan 56.75; 6. Eureka 58.87.

1600 relay: 1. Seeley-Swan 4:13.03; 2. Whitefish (Hailey Ells, Tommye Kelly, Bailey Smith, Mikenna Ells) 4:19.33; 3. Bigfork 4:22.28; 4. Arlee 4:48.42; 5. Thompson Falls 4:54.92; 6. Eureka 5:09.27.

Discus: 6. Smith, Brooklyn, Wfh, 79-8; 7. Patten, Jennifer, Wfh, 78-11.

Javelin: 4. Patten, Jennifer, Wfh, 85-06; 6. Smith, Brooklyn, Wfh, 83-10.

Shot put: 6. Patten, Jennifer, Wfh, 27-7.

High Jump: 1. Wilde, Erin, Wfh, 5-4; 2. Ells, Hailey, Wfh, 5-2.

Long jump: 1. Wilde, Erin, Wfh, 15-05.

Triple Jump: 1. Smith, Bailey, Wfh, 32-10.5.

Pole vault: 3. Gentry, Taylor, Wfh, 6-3.


Team scores: Bigfork 124.5, Ronan 80, Seeley-Swan 65, Whitefish 48, Eureka 48, Libby 44, Thompson Falls 41.45, Florence 29.5, Alree 12, Deer Lodge 12, Valley Christian 9, Plains 6, Troy 4, Hot Springs 1.5.


100: 5. Kimera, Marvin, Wfh, 11.80.

400: 5. Gaertner, Colter, Wfh, 54.86; 9. Sears, Jack, Wfh, 1:00.21.

800: 8. Linton, Deneb, Wfh, 2:21.79; 9. Brown, Landon, Wfh, 2:23.95.

1600: 6. Linton, Deneb, Wfh, 4:57.64; 7. Genovese, Mason, Wfh, 5:01.98.

3200: 1. Brown, Landon, Wfh, 11:45.81; 5. Hyatt, William, Wfh, 12:12.90; 6. McDaniel, Jack, Wfh, 12:14.24.

110 hurdles: 4. Kyle, Morgan, Wfh, 19.83.

400 relay: 5. Whitefish, 48.64.

1600 relay: 1. Seeley-Swan, 3:41.42; 2. Whitefish 3:46.06 (Bodie Smith, Marvin Kimera, Ryder Barinowski, Colter Gaertner); 3. Arlee 3:52.05; 4. Bigfork 3:53.71; 5. Thompson Falls 3:55.24; 6. Florence 3:57.02.

High jump: 8. Sears, Jack, Wfh, 5-4.

Long jump: 2. Smith, Bodie, Wfh, 19-3.5; 4. Kimera, Marvin, Wfh, 18-6.5.

Triple jump: 4. Garcia, Barrett, Wfh, 37-4.

Pole vault: 8. Berry, Cody, Wfh, 8-6.


Whitefish’s Isabelle Cooke runs during the Bigfork Invite Saturday. (Matt Weller photo)


Whitefish’s Deneb Linton, left, and Mason Genovese run during the Bigfork Invite Saturday. (Matt Weller photo)


Whitefish freshman Kristina Shestak runs hurdles during the Bigfork Invite Saturday. (Matt Weller photo)


Whitefish junior Colter Gaertner runs during the Bigfork Invite Saturday. (Matt Weller photo)


Whitefish's Deneb Linton and Mason Genovese run in the 1600 meter race at the Bigfork Invite track meet in Bigfork on Saturday. (Scott Shindledecker/Daily Inter Lake)


Bulldog Jenny Patton competes in shot put at the Bigfork Invite track meet in Bigfork on Saturday. (Jeremy Weber/Daily Inter Lake)


Bulldog Marvin Kimera flies to a fourth-place finish in the long jump at the Bigfork Invite track meet in Bigfork on Saturday. (Jeremy Weber/Daily Inter Lake)


Bulldog Jack Sears clears the bar in the high jump event at the Bigfork Invite in Bigfork on Saturday. (Jeremy Weber/Daily Inter Lake)


Whitefish's Kitar Olsen competes in shot put at the Bigfork Invite on Saturday. (Scott Shindledecker/Daily Inter Lake)


Whitefish junior Dennis Shestak throws the javelin during the Bigfork Invite Saturday. (Matt Weller photo)