Scarlets cutting through competition, Warriors still growing
The Scarlets are tearing through district bests like nothing, posting some fast times and breaking personal records. Coach Russ Baker is all too excited about the level the girls are competing, saying the state meet is in the eyes of his top-level athletes.
“Everything we work for is the last three meets in May,” he said regarding districts, divisionals, and state. “Our younger kids are shooting for district top spots, and the older ones are working towards state.”
Leading the Scarlets are seniors Whitney Malatare and Jessica Knoll. Both have broken personal bests and hold number-one spots in district for their events. Malatare has been dominating the long jump and Knoll is posting the fastest district time in the 400 meter. Both also are part of the relay teams, which have been equally successful. “These girls seem pretty close knit and have been a part of track for years,” Baker said. “The younger kids see them work hard and look up to them.”
Junior Alex Adams and sophomore Becca Whitesell are also making their stamp on the track and field circuit, with Adams posting first and second in multiple events and Whitesell boasting the fastest mile run in district. Malatare, Knoll, and Adams have all been invited to participate in the Top Ten meet held at the Missoula County Stadium April 29. They will be competing against the top ten girls in each of the AA, A, B, and C class divisions.
The Warriors are young with only one senior and one junior, filling the rest of the team with all sophomores and freshman. Though Baker notes this is a building season for the boys he sees bright spots in improvement for the future.
“The boys are young,” Baker said, adding that he thinks the Warriors should finish somewhere in the middle come postseason. “They have been making improvements.”
On Thursday, Arlee hosted the 6th annual Brian Bachmeier Memorial Meet. While the boys worked their way through and finished sixth out of nine with a team score of 43, the Scarlets earned first place, boasting a huge team score of 190.
The Scarlets posted several top-four spots with first place coming easily for many. Whitney Malatare placed first in both the 200m and triple jump while taking second in the 400m and third in the long jump. Jessica Knoll dominated the 400m and 600m taking first in both and finishing third in the 200m. Alex Adams took first in the 100m, long jump, and pole vault while taking second in the high jump and Becca Whitesell came away with first in the 1,600 and second in the 800m. Both Scarlet relay teams took the gold in the 400 and 1,600 relays. Second place finishers included Amelia North (1600) and Eula Fullerton (pole vault) and coming in third were Abby Yokum (200m,triple jump), Violet Pablo (300 hurdles), Alicia Camel (discus), and Bryndel Goyins in javelin and high jump. Camel also placed fourth in the discus event.
Warrior Harold Yokum faired the best for the boys grabbing a second place finish in the 110 hurdles and fourth in the 300 hurdles. Leondre Bolen placed third in the 110 hurdles and triple jump and Donovan McDonald finished third in the 800m. TJ Knoll took fourth in both the pole vault and 110 hurdles.
At the Seeley-Swan Invitational on Saturday, the Scarlets posted a team score of 44, which placed them in third. The Warriors had a tough day, scoring only one point with a sixth-place finish in 110 hurdles by Harold Yokum. Although the Scarlets failed to put up any first place finishes Saturday, second place was found by Jessica Knoll (800m), Whitney Malatare (long jump), and Alex Adams (pole vault). Knoll also placed fourth in the 400m. Scarlet relay teams took second in the 1,600 and third in the 400.
Overall, Coach Baker is happy with his team’s success and says this season has been a vast improvement over last year’s.
“We’ve got kids doing well in every event,” he said. “There’s always something to watch.”
Arlee is preparing to compete at the Missoula Big Sky meet May 2 and will join other valley teams in Polson May 6 for the Lake County Invitational.
Brian Bachmeier Memorial
Team scores – Hot Springs 125, Superior 75, Alberton 73, Philipsburg 60, Noxon 53, Arlee 43, Lincoln 32, Florence 20, Two Eagle River 14.
Team scores – Bigfork 65.83, Thompson Falls 63, Loyola Sacred Heart 60, Townsend 41.5, Ennis 37, Alberton 36, Fairfield 31, Ronan 30, Hot Springs 24, Choteau 23, Plains 22, Superior 17, Twin Bridges 16.5, Fort Benton 15, Florence 14, Deer Lodge 10.33, Victor 6.33, St. Ignatius 6, Conrad 3.5, Philipsburg 2, Darby 1, Arlee 1, Cut Bank 1.
Team scores – Arlee 190, Florence 94, Philipsburg 38, Alberton 36, Noxon 33, Superior 20, St. Regis 17, Lincoln 17, Hot Springs 10.
Team scores – Plains 135, Bigfork 45, Arlee 44, Thompson Falls 37, Darby 35, Drumond 33, Townsend 30, Seeley-Swan 24, Loyola Sacred Heart 22, Fairfield 16, Choteau 15, St. Regis 12, Ronan 11.5, Lincoln 8, Alberton 6, Cut Bank 2.5, Fort Benton 2, Victor 1, Conrad 1.