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Arlee runners finish strong in Missoula

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MISSOULA — Freshman Arlee Warrior Isaac Desjarlais turned in some standout performances at the at the Jim Johnson Invitational Saturday at the University of Montana, perhaps the most impressive of which was winning third place in the 400-meter race in a time of 54.59. 

“I’ve been coaching track for over 20 years and have never had a freshman run a 400 that fast,” head coach Russell Baker said. “This was also the first time (Desjarlais) has ever run a 400 in a track meet.” 

But that wasn’t it for Desjarlais, who also turned in a third-place finish in the 800 meters in 2:16.08. 

Then, “with no time to rest, he had to go and run a 200-meter race where he finished in 24.83 for sixth place,” Baker said. “That 200 was probably the most impressive considering the circumstances.”

While some of Arlee’s top female runners were in Colorado playing in the Native American basketball classic, “the girls we took preformed very well, turning in personal best performances,” Baker noted.

Jessica Knoll placed fourth in the 200 (29.31) and 400 (63.88) and came in third in the 800 (2:46.39). Teammate Alex Adams took third in the 100 (13.58), fourth in the long jump (14-10.5) and tied for third in the high jump at 4-6. 

“Alex would have placed in more events but she needed to leave early to travel to a high school rodeo in Great Falls,” Baker said.

First-time triple jumper Darian Charlo placed sixth in that event with a jump of 28-9, while Eula Fullerton had a personal best in triple jump at 28-4. 

“I think every performance that our athletes turned in, both boys and girls, were personal bests or close to it. Jessica’s performances were all personal bests and like Isaac, she had very little time between races,” Baker said. “Both Isaac and Jessica were two very tired but happy athletes at the end of this one.”

Baker expects to field a full squad at the next meet Thursday in Thompson Falls.


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