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Zetooney leads Lady Bulldogs on state track; girls miss first by one point

by WHITNEY ENGLAND
Whitefish Pilot | May 31, 2023 1:00 AM

The top teams on both the boys and girls sides were all decided by less than one point at the Montana State A track and field meet over the weekend in Laurel.

That includes the Whitefish girls who took second place to Corvallis in the team battle, 84-83. The Lady Bulldogs entered the meet as the defending State A champions and competed like it.

Led by junior standout Brooke Zetooney, Whitefish put together a string of impressive performances. Zetooney had a state meet to remember and was Whitefish’s leading point scorer. Her biggest moment of the two-day meet was tying the State A record in the 100 meters, clocking 12.24, in the preliminary race. In the finals the following day, Zetooney ran fast again — 12.35 seconds — to take the state title in the 100. She also took first in the 200 (25.32) and second in the 400, less than one second shy of Olivia Lewis of Corvallis.

On Friday morning, Zetooney started off her spectacular performance with a fourth-place throw in the shot put, 36-07.

“She was incredible, I can’t say enough good things about Brooke,” said Whitefish girls head coach Matt Beckwith. “She was a competitor all year long and finished the season as no girl in the history of Class A has ever run 100 meters faster than her… She’s a junior and she’s already excited to come back and do it again next year.”

Zetooney also anchored both of Whitefish’s winning relay teams. Both the short and long relays ran incredibly well, which was good for the Bulldogs in terms of team points. The team scores came down to the final event of the day — the 4X400 relay — and Whitefish had a lot of pressure on their backs. The relay team blew it out of the park, winning by several seconds, but Corvallis’ second-place relay finish was enough to give them the team State A title.

“As a team, we have always emphasized relays being really important, that goes back to Derek Shulz (previous Whitefish coach), that was how he built this program up. We’ve always believed in that… Beckwith said.

Whitefish girls had another state champion in junior Maeve Ingelfinger who ran a speedy 800 (2:20.71) less than one second off of the PR she set the week before at the Western A Divisional Meet. Ingelfinger did break a personal best in the 1600 ( 5:16.76) to grab third place and ran to seventh in the 3200. She also ran the third leg of the girls long relay.

“I throw a kudos to Maeve Ingelfinger, she ran a super gritty 800 to be an individual state champion in that event,” Beckwith added.

Another junior Hailey Ells scored for the Bulldogs as well, taking second in the 300 hurdles with a personal best time of 46.01, and took sixth in the high jump. She also ran the second leg in both winning relays. Norah Schmidt earned fifth in the triple jump (PR of 34-08.5) and sophomore Rachel Wilmot took fifth in both the 100 and 400, also running the first leg of both relays.

“I’m proud of our girls and I’m super impressed with the performances,” Beckwith said. “They came out and really impressed from day one — lots of personal bests, lots of hard competition, every single one of them left it on the track.”

The Bulldog boys team had some top performances as well, taking eighth overall in the team race. Junior Carson Crack scored high for the Dogs in the hurdles events, getting a PR in both. He took second in the 300 hurdles (40.97) and sixth in the 100 hurdles (15.90). Crack also placed third in the triple jump with a PR mark of 43-07 and sixth in the long jump.

Bowdrie Crack finished his senior season off strong with third place in the pole vault, clearing 13-0. The Whitefish boys distance crew also scored some points — Mason Genovese took seventh in the 3200, Simon Douglas PR’d in the 1600 (4:30.95) for seventh and Nate Ingelfinger took ninth in the 800.

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Brooke Zetooney (left) sprints away after receiving the baton from teammate Hailey Ells at the final event of the State Meet. The Whitefish squad easily defeated their nearest competitors completing the relay in 4:00.71, nearly seven seconds ahead of their rivals. (Matt Weller photo)

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Junior Hailey Ells earns the second spot on the podium with a personal best time of 46.01 in the women’s 300 meter hurdles on Saturday. (Matt Weller photo)

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Whitefish Junior Maeve Ingelfinger (left) competes with Senior Siri Erickson from Columbia Falls in the woman’s 1600 meter run at the Class A State Track & Field Meet. Ingelfinger earned a personal best time of 5:16.76 and third position on the podium. (Matt Weller photo)

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Brothers Bowdrie (left) and Carson Krack compete side-by-side during the men’s 110 meter hurdle finals on Saturday. Carson earned the bragging rights on this occasion recording a personal best time of 15.90 and sixth position on the podium. (Matt Weller photo)