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Whitefish talent shines at state track meet, girls take second

by WHITNEY ENGLAND
Whitefish Pilot | June 2, 2021 1:55 PM

Lady Bulldog standout Mikenna Ells did just what a senior leader is expected to do at the state track and field meet over the weekend — lead by example.

On Friday after a nearly two-hour rain delay interrupted the flow of events, Ells ran the 400 meters in 57.96 seconds to defend her title from 2019. Then on Saturday she earned gold again this time in the 200 meter race and placed second in the 100 meter dash only .02 seconds behind her freshman teammate, and now state champion, Brooke Zetooney.

Zetooney ran the 100 in 12.65 seconds to take the title; she also placed fourth in the 200 meters. But Ells did more than just push Zetooney and the other younger girls on the team to run faster; she offered hugs of support after a race, pep talks when needed and showed the team how to push competitively.

“I’m really glad those kids had an opportunity to run with Mikenna and experience her leadership skills and how to compete,” Whitefish girls track head coach Kelliann Blackburn told the Pilot on Monday. “So getting state track meet experience with somebody like Mikenna is something that a coach just dreams of.”

Ells also anchored the Lady Bulldog 4X100 relay team that took first place in Class A. That was also the first running event of the day on Saturday and according to Blackburn set the tone for the rest of the races to follow which all led to the Whitefish girls securing the second place team trophy at the end of the day.

“I was really pleased with how it went,” Blackburn said. “I was excited for the girls, they showed up and competed. We did what we needed to do; we had Mikenna clean up in her events, second in the 100 meter and then the state champ in the 200, the 400 and the 4X100 so that was an exciting way to end her high school career.”

Her sister Hailey Ells and teammates Zetooney and Erin Wilde also ran on the state championship winning 4X100 relay team and together they achieved their goal of running it in under 50 seconds — they crossed the finish line at 48.95 beating Billings Central by about half a second.

“The 4X100, all season long they had watched Billings Central’s time on Athletic.net as the top time in Class A so they had been trying to break 50 seconds,” Blackburn said. “We had some disappointments on Friday so we got together that night as a team and talked about how Saturday was a new day… so those girls came out and they ran a .48, they finally broke 50 seconds.”

Hailey Ells also placed second in the 300 meter hurdles with a personal best time of 46.15 and fifth in the 100 hurdles. Freshman Isabelle Cooke took the second place honors in the 800 meter run with a PR of 2:20.89 and Erin Wilde came in fourth in the high jump.

“Isabelle Cooke, another freshman, second in the 800 meter — gutsy race from her and it was exciting to see her get on the podium,” Blackburn recalled, also recognizing Hailey Ells and Zetooney for placing in their events.

“The exciting part about the meet for me is how many young kids we had compete and place at state… So it’s exciting, the future is exciting,” she said.

On the boys side, the Bulldogs came in seventh place in the team standings scoring 32 points; Hamilton ran away with the team title with 87 points.

Bulldog Gabe Menicke’s winning triple jump of 44-3, which was a PR for the junior, gave the boys team another individual champion after Talon Holmquist crushed the competition in the shot put on the first day of the competition. Holmquist, who had been working toward throwing past the 50 foot mark finally hit that at divisionals two weeks ago and then recorded a new personal best of 52 feet and 3 ½ inches at the state meet to claim the title.

Whitefish’s Bodie Smith placed third in the 100 meter hurdles and fourth in the 300 hurdles; he also had a long jump worthy of a podium spot, sneaking in at sixth place. The Whitefish boys 4X400 relay team also grabbed a sixth-place finish.

Looking ahead, Blackburn says the future for Whitefish track is only looking up as they took a number of underclassmen to state this year which will build the program for the future.

“The future looks so bright with all these young kids coming back; I only had two seniors (girls) on the bus; the rest of them are coming back next year.”

State A/B Track & Field

Laurel Sports Complex

Class A

GIRLS

Team scores — Laurel 97, Whitefish 76.5, Columbia Falls 54.5, Corvallis 43.5, Dillon 41.5, Billings Central 41, Butte Central 40, Hamilton 30, Glendive 23, Lewistown 23, Ronan 20, Stevensville 10, Sidney 6, Havre 3, Hardin 2, Libby 2.

100 — 1, Brooke Zetooney, Whitefish, 12.65; 2, Mikenna Ells, Whitefish, 12.67; 3, Molly Molvig, Billings Central, 12.68; 4, Kellan Wahl, Billings Central, 12.74; 5, Claire Hutchison, Stevensville, 13.01; 6, Ally Sempf, Columbia Falls, 13.15.

200 — 1, Mikenna Ells, Whitefish, 26.07; 2, Molly Molvig, Billings Central, 26.13; 3, Kellan Wahl, Billings Central, 26.16. 4, Brooke Zetooney, Whitefish, 26.45; 5, Claire Hutchison, Stevensville, 26.85; 6, Alyse Aby, Laurel, 27.06.

1600 — 1, Lara Erickson, Columbia Falls, 5:14.43; 2, Siri Erickson, Columbia Falls, 5:21.99; 3, Grace Timm, Laurel, 5:22.09; 4, Andria Mourich, Laurel, 5:22.80; 5, Carly Cook, Laurel, 5:24.07. 6, Ellyse Moccasin, Hardin, 5:25.71.

100 hurdles — 1, Rileigh McGree, Butte Central, 15.74; 2, Ainsley Shipman, Dillon, 16.38. 3, Olivia Lewis, Corvallis, 16.52; 4, Armstrong, Rylee, Lewistown, 16.66; 5, Hailey Ells, Whitefish, 16.73; 6, June LePage, Lewistown, 16.87.

300 hurdles — 1, Rileigh McGree, Butte Central, 46.09; 2, Hailey Ells, Whitefish, 46.15; 3, Olivia Lewis, Corvallis, 46.62; 4, Lauryn Petersen, Dillon, 47.82; 5, Ainsley Shipman, Dillon, 48.12; 6, Sadie Filius, Havre, 48.61.

100 relay — 1, Whitefish 48.95; 2, Billings Central Catholic 49.42; 3, Columbia Falls 50.67;4, Laurel 50.75; 5, Lewistown 50.91; 6, Havre 51.15.

400 relay — 1, Laurel 4:05.12; 2, Corvallis 4:09.58; 3, Columbia Falls 4:11.09; 4, Dillon 4:15.10; 5, Billings Central Catholic 4:16.99; 6, Havre 4:17.79.

Triple jump — 1, Ainsley Shipman, Dillon, 36-08; 2, Gracey Willis, Laurel, 35-08; 3, Kolby Gibbs, Laurel, 35-04; 4, Alexis Green, Columbia Falls, 34-03; 5, Leina Ulutoa, Ronan, 34-01.75; 6, Zoey Morast,, Dillon, 33-10.50.

Discus — 1, Katelyn Dickemore, Hamilton, 138-10; 2, Kayla Botkin, Frenchtown, 129-05; 3, Ali Merritt, Sidney, 119-08; 4, Madison Lewis, Corvallis, 117-11; 5, Bailey Graves, Laurel, 117-08; 6, Crystal Hazel, Stevensville, 117-01.

BOYS

Class A

Team scores — Hamilton 87, Dillon 61, Hardin 53, Laurel 50, Billings Central 44, Frenchtown 39, Whitefish 32, Libby 23, Ronan 22, Corvallis 21, Stevensville 20, Glendive 13, Livingston 11, Lewistown 10, Columbia Falls 8, Polson 6, Browning 6.

100 —1, Brock Ping, Billings Central, 11.13; 2, Jakob Webinger, Laurel, 11.22; 3, Hunter Bear Cloud, Hardin, 11.37; 4, Jay Beagle, Libby, 11.43; 5, Treyton Anderson, Dillon, 11.44; 6, Parker Sinks, Sidney, 11.60.

200 — 1, Hunter Bear Cloud, Hardin, 22.13; 2, Jakob Webinger, Laurel, 22.51; 3, Jay Beagle, Libby, 22.59; 4, Treyton Anderson, Dillon, 22.84; 5, Brock Ping, Billings Central, 22.88; 6, Jace Duval, Columbia Falls, 23.22.

1600 — 1, Colter Kirkland, Hamilton, 4:29.05; 2, Colter Purcell, Hamilton, 4:29.92; 3, Brinson Wyche, Corvallis, 4:31.43; 4, Lane Cole, Hamilton, 4:34.23; 5, Michael Irvine, Ronan, 4:35.36. 6, Tayjon Joe, Hardin, 4:37.58.

110 hurdles — 1, Treyton Anderson, Dillon, 15.02. 2, Kellan Beller, Stevensville, 16.17; 3, Bodie Smith, Whitefish, 16.19; 4, Moasas George, East Helena, 16.20; 5, Daylen Flemmon, Laurel, 16.33; 6, Aiden Read, Corvallis, 16.51.

300 hurdles —1, Treyton Anderson, Dillon, 39.91; 2, Daxon Graham, Dillon, 41.15; 3, Cody Harrington, Glendive, 42.26; 4, Bodie Smith, Whitefish, 42.49; 5, Chase Burrows, Laurel, 42.95; 6, Caden Hansen, Dillon, 43.04.

100 relay — 1, Laurel 42.79;. 2, Hardin 43.62; 3, Frenchtown 43.65; 4, Dillon 43.82; 5, Sidney 43.96; 6, Polson 44.03.

400 relay — 1, Hardin 3:25.33; 2, Hamilton 3:28.44; 3, Laurel 3:30.76; 4, Frenchtown

3:31.47; 5, Dillon 3:32.38; 6, Whitefish 3:33.49.

Triple jump — 1, Gabe Menicke, Whitefish, 44-3;. 2, Girma Detwiler, Ronan, 43-5.75; 3, Carter White, Frenchtown, 43-0.5; 4, Hunter Bear Cloud, Hardin, 43-0.25; 5, Riley Basta, Glandive, 42-4.75. 6, Payton Kokot, Park, 41-9.

Discus — 1, Callahan Hoffman, Dillon, 147-7; 2, Tyler Burrows, Hamilton, 147-6; 3, Allec Knapton, Columbia Falls, 146-2; 4, Orion Kutuey, Hamilton, 141-10; 5, Tel Arthur, Frenchtown, 141-5; 6, Riley Jackson, Sidney, 139-4.

Javelin — 1, Kellan Beller, Stevensville, 169-7; 2, Cole Truman, Dillon, 165-0; 3, Jason Jessop, Corvallis, 164-4; 4, Jonathan Perez, Polson, 163-10; 5, Jace McNeil, Laurel, 157-8. 6, Daniel Kelsch, Ronan, 152-6.

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Whitefish's Bodie Smith runs to third place in the 100 meter hurdles at the Class A-B State track and field meet in Laurel on Saturday. (Whitney England/Whitefish Pilot)

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Whitefish's Hailey Ells takes off at the start of the 4X100 relay race at the Class A-B State track and field meet in Laurel on Saturday. (Whitney England/Whitefish Pilot)

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Bulldog Gabe Menicke flies in the Class A boys triple jump final to take the state title in the event at the Montana Class A-B State Track and Field Meet in Laurel on Saturday. (Whitney England/Whitefish Pilot)

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The Whitefish women’s 4x100 relay earned the state championship at the Class A state track meet at Laurel. On the podium, top from left, are Hailey Ells, Mikenna Ells; on bottom, Erin Wilde and Brook Zetooney. (Matt Weller photo)

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Whitefish’s Erin Wilde competes in the triple jump at the Class A state track meet at Laurel. (Matt Weller photo)

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Bulldog freshman Isabelle Cooke runs in the women’s 400 meter run at the Class A state track meet at Laurel. (Matt Weller photo)

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Bulldog Colter Gaertner shoots out of the blocks for the men’s 400 meter run at the Class A state track meet at Laurel. (Matt Weller photo)

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Bulldog Paetra Cooke runs in the women’s 3,200 meter run at the Class A state track meet at Laurel. (Matt Weller photo)

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Bulldog junior Erim Wilde competes in the high jump at the Class A state track and field meet at Laurel. (Matt Weller photo)

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Bulldog junior Talon Holmquist earned the Class A State championship in shot put at the state track meet at Laurel. (Matt Weller photo)