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Ending on a high note

Warrior Kyle Felsman finishes fourth in the high jump

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Warrior senior Kyle Felsman made sure that Arlee didn’t go home empty handed from the Montana Class C Track and Field Championship in Great Falls Saturday.

In his final event at the two-day meet, Felsman cleared 5 feet, 10 inches to place fourth in the high jump and win Arlee’s only medal at Memorial Stadium. 

“It felt good to get a medal, it was my last chance to get a medal,” Felsman said. “It was the last event of my life, pretty much. It feels good to walk away with something that I can cherish.”

Felsman finished fourth in the state on pretty much athletic ability alone and with a little more experience had the potential to place much higher.

“This is actually my first year high jumping, so it’s a huge accomplishment,” Felsman said, adding there is a lot of technique and form involved in the event. “If I could have done it all four years,” Felsman was left wondering.

The triple jump was supposed to be Felsman’s event. He advanced to state in the event as a sophomore, but missed his junior season because of an ankle injury. Saturday, Felsman missed out in making the finals in the triple jump by a quarter of an inch. 

Ironically, after Felsman cleared 5 feet, 10 inches to ensure at least a top six finish, the sun came out for the first time after it poured all Friday and sprinkled Saturday.

And while Felsman’s fourth-place finish was the only bright spot for Arlee when it came to medaling at the final meet, with all six of the other Arlee athletes at the meet having the chance to be back next year, the future for Arlee track and field looks bright enough.

For most of the Arlee athletes at the event this was their first state championship, only Felsman and Zack Carver had competed at the final meet before. 

In most events, the Arlee athletes were kept just outside of the finals.

With the rain pouring down on Friday, the Warrior’s short relay team of Felsman, Cole Rice, Zach Tameler and Carver finished ninth in the relay with only the top eight teams earning a spot in the finals.

It was just one bad exchange – something that they had practiced all week – that cost the four a shot at placing in the event. When Carver final got the baton on the anchor leg, he almost ran down the other competitors, but “he just ran out of track,” Arlee throwing coach Scott Palmer said.

Rachelle Meidinger, only a sophomore, finished just outside of the finals in the shot put. Meidinger threw 32 feet, 10 inches to finish 11th in the shot put. If she could have thrown a quarter of an inch farther she would have made it to the finals.

Javelin throwers Becca and Sam Nelson couldn’t adjust to the slippery runway and their throws were nowhere near to their qualifying throws at the divisional meet.

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