BOZEMAN -- Corvallis teammates Zena Smith and Calla Haldorson took great stock in their team’s sixth consecutive State A girls' track and field championship won in the bright sun Saturday at Van Winkle Stadium, but each looked at it from a unique perspective.
Smith, who secured her second javelin title during the first day of the meet on Friday, is an outgoing senior and on the back end of the Blue Devils’ streak. Haldorson, who captured the discus crown Saturday, is an unpolished freshman and experiencing all of this for the first time.
Smith and Haldorson were Corvallis’ only event winners, but the team still managed to win thanks to key depth points scored throughout the lineup. The team finished with 67 points, 14 better than Hamilton and Columbia Falls, who tied for second place.
Winning championships, it seems, has become second-nature for the Blue Devils. The Paige Squires, Lakyn Connors, Sadie Hendersons and Katelyn Frosts of the world would be proud.
“We just did it as a team,” said Smith, who is headed to the University of Montana in the fall. “This year we trained a lot harder, I feel like, because we didn’t have as many of those star athletes. I felt like our intervals were really hard.
“But it paid off. It built a lot of really good athletes instead of just a couple great athletes.”
The majority of the Blue Devils’ other points came from Penny Jessop in the 100, 200 and 400, and Heidi Nisly in the 400, 800 and 1,600.
As Corvallis added to its girls' track trophy case, Dillon finally broke through to win its first boys' championship in school history. The Beavers, led by Troy Andersen’s victories in the 100 and 200, scored 84 team points to win in a rout.
The title comes on the heels of the Class A boys' basketball championship Dillon won in March. The Beavers also reached the state title game in football last November.
It didn’t take long for Corvallis' Haldorson, who won an NFL Punt, Pass & Kick championship in junior high, to acclimate to her team's high expectations. She won the discus with a throw of 129 feet, 5 inches, roughly 2 feet better than runner-up (and Blue Devils teammate) Brookelyn Palin.
“It was a good experience,” Haldorson said. “It’s awesome winning as a freshman. You just feel good.
“I’m sure (Smith) feels pretty good too. A senior, graduating, winning state for four years, I think she feels good.”
Elsewhere, Whitefish’s Luke May outdueled Laurel’s Casey Cole to win his third consecutive boys' javelin crown. May out-distanced Cole, who won the Class B javelin title last year at Forsyth, by 7 feet.
May plans to attend the University of Minnesota this fall, where he’ll join the track and field team.
“That’s what you’re always hoping for is someone to push you and give you good competition,” May said. “It was a great way to go out.”
Hamilton’s Jacie Schmalz (1,600, 3,200) and Butte Central’s Rachael McGree (100 hurdles, long jump) were also two-time winners.