State AA track: Historic day sees six all-class records fall

Posted at 10:15 AM, May 27, 2024

GREAT FALLS — An all-out assault on the record books saw six all-class state track and field marks broken Saturday at Memorial Stadium.

Perhaps none were as surprising as the boys discus. Jack Murray of Bozeman Gallatin uncorked a throw of 198 feet, 1 inch on his second attempt to break the oldest record in the Montana High School Association record books set by Missoula Hellgate’s Dan Tabish in 1982. Murray’s seed mark coming in was 187-08, so that was a massive personal best.

"I didn't know it was out there at the time. It felt big, but I wasn't really sure until I pulled the tape on it,” Murray said. "My coach came over and told me, it felt great. This is the record I've been looking at since I was in eighth grade. Just looking through the record sheets on my phone and trying to figure out what it would take.”

His Raptor teammate, Nash Coley, also took down a longstanding state record in the 300-meter hurdles. Coley ran a 36.91 in the event to take down the old record of 37.66 set by Butte’s Jake Larson in 2000.

"I've been dreaming about this since last year at state. Like, I had the vision set in my mind and was just ready to go for it,” Coley said. “Jake Larson who set it actually came up to me right afterwards and said congratulations. It felt nice to be recognized like that by someone who had just previously held the record."

Photos from the State AA/C track and field meet

Behind the strength of those marks, the Raptors claimed the Class AA team title, as well, after tying with Helena Capital in 2023. Gallatin tallied 84 points to hold off Kalispell Flathead with 77. The Braves were paced by yet another all-class record in the 1,600-meter relay with a time of 3:15.92, one day after breaking the 400-meter relay.

On the girls side, Helena pulled off the three-peat, amassing 129 team points largely on the strength of the Todorovich sisters. Senior Logan Todorovich added two more individual event wins on Saturday, including an all-class record 12.06 in the 100-meter dash. She also won the 100-meter hurdles in 14.08 to bring her win total to five events (high jump, long jump, 100, 100 hurdles and 400-meter relay).

Her sister, junior Madilyn Todorovich, won the 400-meter run and the 300-meter hurdles. She also ran the anchor leg of the 1,600-meter relay and overtook Billings West with a 55-second split.

"Well, I definitely didn't know I had it in me. But I know my team really wanted to win that race and so I went out and just tried to do my best to run that,” Madilyn said. “A three-peat is not something that a lot of people get to experience. And I would just say I'm really glad that it is something I get to experience, especially with a group of girls that I really love a lot. They're all like my sisters. And to share something with them like that is really special.”

Photos from the State AA/C track and field meet

For a second straight day, Bozeman distance star Nathan Neil set an all-class state record. He ran 8:53.19 in the 3,200-meter run, shattering the record of 9:04.35 set by Flathead’s Jake Perrin in 2016. Neil skipped the 800-meter run to stay fresh for the longer race and had an even lower time in his mind.

“A couple of laps in, I realized that I was not gonna be able to keep up the pace that I was wanting to run. So at that point, it was just a mental game,” Neil said. “Getting into lap five and six, I really tried to work in those laps because that's where you really start to fall off. I just started counting the laps down one by one, and I knew I was still on pace to go sub-nine minutes, which is like the minimum goal that I had. But it was a good race.”

Photos from the State AA/C track and field meet

Meanwhile, Missoula Sentinel continued its dominance in the girls triple jump. UCLA commit Ava Kellenberg leaped 40 feet, 8 inches to eclipse the all-class mark set by Sentinel’s Lauren Heggen in 2019. Kellenberg got the mark on her final jump during the finals and repeated as champion.

"I kind of thought I might as well just go for it and give it everything I have. It’s my last jump for my high school career. And so I wanted to make it count,” Kellenberg said. "And so it was very special to be able to pull that mark. I've been very lucky to come from a long line of good triple jumpers and long jumpers at Sentinel. And so it feels very special to be able to carry that on.”

Ava Kellenberg
Missoula Sentinel jumper Ava Kellenberg set the all-class record in the triple jump at the Class AA state track and field meet at Memorial Stadium in Great Falls on May 25, 2024.

Other Saturday event winners on the boys side included Billings Skyview’s Ryan Dierenfield in the 100 (10.88) and 200 (21.98), Great Falls High’s Ryan Harrington in the 800-meter run (1:52.69), Helena Capital’s Gavin Mow in the 110 hurdles (14.68), Scott Klinker in the triple jump (48-0), and Helena Capital’s Tyler Crum in the javelin throw (174-04).

Other girls Saturday winners were Hellgate’s Sophia Miller in the 800 (2:12.67), Flathead’s Alivia Rinehart in the 200 (25.59), Gallatin’s Claire Rutherford in the 3,200 (11:07.82), and Billings Senior’s Torie Jamieson in the discus (13-08).

Click here for full results.