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Gritty Heat boys 6th in Western C


John Hamilton

GOING FOR IT! Falls senior Cody Burk gets ready to unleash a javelin throw. Burk won Western B titles in the shot put and discus and placed sixth in the javelin.

All it takes is a little true grit.

Displaying lots of that right stuff, coach Andrew Leichtnam's gritty Hot Springs Savage Heat enjoyed a very productive Western C divisional track and field meet in Missoula last week.

Riding the running, hurdling and pole vaulting of Kyle Lawson and Bert DeTienne, and using two effective relay run efforts, the Heat boys scored 45 points and finished an impressive sixth in team scoring.

Leichtnam said the collective effort by his boys led to Hot Springs finishing the meet with the highest point total of any District 14C team in the meet.

"Kyle and Bert have both shown a lot of grit in the qualifying meets the past couple weeks," he said. "Those two, along with another senior Kawika (Ilac) have been great role modes for the younger athletes and specifically the freshmen."

Lawson starred for the Heat individually, winning second in the 300 meter hurdles (in 44.42 seconds), taking third in the pole vault (clearing 10-6) and fourth in the 110 meter hurdles (17.88 seconds), in addition to running legs on both relays.

DeTienne gutted out a fourth place finish in the grueling 800 meter run, in a time of 2:12.52 and also ran both relays.

The Heat's 400 meter relay of WilJames Courville, Michael Marrinan, DeTienne and Lawson won a surprising fourth place medal (in 47.59 seconds) the first day of the meet. "They came in ranked tenth in the west," Leichtnam offered. "It was a huge confidence boost for everyone to upset so many teams in the first event of the meet."

The 1600 meter relay of Ilac, Quincy Styles-DePoe, Lawson and DeTienne clocked out in 3:52.60, good for seventh place and another State C bid. "Western C takes the top seven places to state," Leichtman said.

Six Heat boys – Lawson, DeTienne, Ilac, Styles-DePoe, Marrinan and Courville – now make plans to return to Missoula for the State C meet, to be held in conjunction with the State AA meet, Thursday and Friday. Styles-DePoe, Marrinan and Courville are freshmen, Lawson a junior and Ilac and DeTienne seniors.

"We have three freshmen going to state and this wouldn't have been possible without the upperclassmen," Leicthnam said.

On the girls side, sophomore Josie Uski and freshman Lauryn Aldridge carried the flag for the Savage Heat after they each qualified for four events at the divisional meet.

Uski finished eighth in the 300 meter hurdles, just missing a State C berth in that event, and Aldridge missed placing in the long jump by four mere inches. "Both girls gained some valuable experience in the last few weeks and I'm very excited about their future."


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