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Hawks survive long track day


April 11, 2019

Shana Neesvig

RACE TO THE FINISH - Blue Hawks Matt Duplechain and Alex Vogelsang race a Mission runner down the track in Missoula last week. Hawks will compete in the Dave Tripp Memorial in Polson Friday.

Thompson Falls track and field coach Trenna Ferris was worried about Saturday potentially being a very long day for her team heading into Frenchtown Invitational, which had been moved to Missoula Big Sky due to poor track conditions at the Frenchtown facilities.

By the time the varsity and junior varsity meets had concluded in Missoula Saturday, Ferris' worst fears had been fully realized as the meet, which drew over 1,000 competitors from far and wide in Montana, ended up lasting over 12 hours for the Thompson Falls contingent.

"We arrived at the meet at 8:30 a.m. and finally pulled off the track at 8 p.m.," Ferris said, adding that the varsity competition ran earlier in the day followed by the jayvee meet in the afternoon, leading to an incredibly long day, with long periods of down-time in-between events for her athletes. All of which left Ferris looking forward to a less busy track and field meet this week.

"We are excited for the Dave Tripp Memorial in Polson Friday," she said. "A little smaller meet will be nice for the kids." Though run in Polson, the annual Tripp Memorial is organized and ran by nearby Hot Springs High School.

That is not to say that Ferris was disappointed with how her thinclads competed in Missoula last week. "It was very tough competition with a lot of the bigger schools from around western Montana," she said. "We had some impressive efforts from our kids we just need to get more practice time in all the events. We (the coaches) thought that everyone's efforts were excellent, and we now have times and distances to improve on from here on out."

Ferris said most of the Hawks competed in three to five events each during the long day of competition interrupted only by the long waits between events.

Shana Neesvig

LADY HAWK Trinity Godfrey duels a Polson runner during action at the Frenchtown Invitational.

Cody Burk (sixth place in the boys shot put) and Jody Detlaff (sixth in the girls discus) were Thompson Falls' only place-winners in the Frenchtown Invite. Maya Stiles just missed placing in the girls pole vault, tying for seventh place with a best mark of 8 feet and Trey Fisher finished tenth in the boys javelin.

Ferris said Detlaff was only three feet away from early-qualifying for the State B meet with her place-winning discus throw.

One of the better female distance runners in the Western B division, sophomore Josey Neesvig ran in the 1600 and 3200 meter races, and was close to placing in the 3200, Ferris said. "She wasn't feeling very good last week and did not run the 800 as planned," she said, "but ran a great leg on the 4 by 400 relay."

Ferris looks forward to getting on with the season. "We need more event practice time and hope to get some of that this week," she said, "if the weather cooperates."

Forecasts early this week indicate a good chance of rainfall throughout the next several days.


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