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Cool conditions for T. Falls Invitational


April 21, 2022

Nick Pavelich

Thompson Falls Junior Breck Ferris arches over the bar during the high jump during the Hawks' home track meet last Thursday.

The high temperature in Thompson Falls was 38 degrees on Thursday, accompanied by strong winds that Blue Hawk coach Trenna Ferris called, "pretty brisk." Despite the weather, 14 teams attended, "the biggest T. Falls invite we have had," said Ferris. "We had to turn teams away, such as Whitefish, who were still trying to get their first meet in of the season. Our dirt track would not be able to handle 90 more athletes," Ferris continued. "We are thankful that teams still want to attend our meet being it is held on a dirt track without a timing system. A lot of coaches tell us that this is their favorite meet to come to and their kids really have fun here."

One athlete who does not mind running on the dirt track is Katelyn Christensen of Hot Springs who placed second in the 100, first in the 200, first in discus and second in the javelin. Christensen placed second in javelin at the state meet as a freshman with a throw of 127 feet 7 inches but missed the next two seasons because of the pandemic and then a knee injury. Her best javelin throw this year is 111 feet. "I just have to practice and get [my technique] back again," said Christensen, "I was there, then I fell down and I'm still working my way back up but I'm expecting myself to be where I was." Though her prowess as a javelinist is diminished, she is running faster than she was before her injury and the subsequent surgery. She came close to setting personal records in both the 100 and 200 on Thursday, in spite of the cold, the wind, and the dirt track (rubberized tracks usually boost performances). Christensen's coach, Andrew Leichtnam, talked about how the cold affects athletic performance, "It's always going to be slower, especially with wind. That's why people have their best times at divisionals and state, because it's 75, 80 degrees."

William Hyatt, Thompson Falls' distance specialist, put it bluntly when asked how much harder it is to run in the cold and the wind, "A lot. It sucks." Hyatt placed second in the mile and first in the two mile, beating the second-place finisher by more than a minute. He talked about his expectations for this year's state meet. "My two mile is going to be the key. I'm 15 seconds faster than the next guy." He was less optimistic about his prospects in the mile, explaining, "I've got a ton of endurance but not much speed."

Another Thompson Falls athlete looking ahead to the state meet is Chesney Lowe who placed first in javelin and pole vault. She vaulted 8 feet 6 inches on Thursday and is "hoping for 9-6" by state. Is it scary to pole vault? "Very much so," Lowe answered before revealing her deceptively simple strategy for the event. "You try to have enough speed to get over the bar."

In boys' pole vault, Hayden Dempster of Lincoln won with a vault of 11 feet, shattering his previous personal best of 8 feet 6 inches. Dempster said his improvement could be attributed to the pole he used, on loan from the Drummond athletic department, which is lighter and longer than the pole which broke underneath him earlier that week. When asked about the hair-raising nature of the event, Dempster responded, "You just get used to it. We don't have a pole vault pit [in Lincoln] so coming to meets is pretty much practice."

Dempster and the Lynx will be competing at the Seeley-Swan Invitational in Missoula on Friday, April 22 along with Thompson Falls, Noxon, Plains and Hot Springs.


Team Scores: Valley Christian, 124; Thompson Falls, 92; Plains, 54.

100: Dylan Beaudin, 11.52, Valley Christian; Breck Ferris, 11.62, Thompson Falls; Jesse Claridge, 11.68, Thompson Falls.

200: Dylan Beaudin, 24.37, Valley Christian; Nathan Tuinstra, 25.62, Valley Christian; Cory Galle, 25.84, Anaconda.

400: Mason Elliott, 57.72, Plains; Darren Standeford, 59.48, Plains; Jordan Levy, 1:02.49, Valley Christian.

800: Trevor Grant, 2:14.40, Troy; Joseph Martin, 2:16.00, Plains; Nate Blodnik, 2:18.12, Anaconda.

1600: Trevor Grant, 4:51.30, Troy; William Hyatt, 4:54.36, Thompson Falls; Nate Blodnik, 4:58.36, Anaconda.

110m Hurdles: Nathan Tuinstra, 17.50, Valley Christian; William Martin, 18.37, Darby; Quincy Styles-Depoe, 18.83, Hot Springs.

300m Hurdles: Mason Elliott, 44.82, Plains; William Martin, 45.58, Darby; Quincy Styles-Depoe, 47.22, Hot Springs.

4x100: 47.00, Valley Christian; 47.87, Thompson Falls; 48.40 Darby.

4x400: 3:54.40, Thompson Falls; 4:02.53, Darby; 4:02.53, Plains.

Shot Put: Cade VanVleet, 48-08.00, Noxon; Garth Parker, 42-06.50, Hot Springs; Tyler Gann, 42-03.50, Valley Christian.

Discus: Tyler Gann, 147-10, Valley Christian; Cade VanVleet, 129-07, Noxon; Luke Maki, 122-00, Florence-Carlton.

Javelin: Charley Crawford, 145-05, Arlee; Quincy Styles-Depoe, 130-11, Hot Springs; Andrew Horsens, 129-04, Florence-Carlton.

High Jump: Logan Nicholson, 6-02.00, Powell County; Quinn Lue, 5-08.00, Florence-Carlton; Breck Ferris, 5-08.00, Thompson Falls.

Pole Vault: Hayden Dempster, 11-00.00, Lincoln; R.J. Knoll, 10-06.00, Arlee; Michael Marrinan, 8-00.00, Hot Springs.

Long Jump: Breck Ferris, 19-00.75, Thompson Falls; Nathan Tuinstra, 18-07.00, Valley Christian; Dylan Beaudin, 18-00.00, Valley Christian.

Triple Jump: Asher Beaudin, 36-06.75, Valley Christian; Nathan Tuinstra, 35-03.75, Valley Christian; Joseph Martin, 34-10.00, Plains.


Team Scores: Thompson Falls, 111; Hot Springs, 64; Darby, 51.

100: Camy Hoiland, 13.14, Anaconda; Katelyn Christensen, 13.31, Hot Springs; Kylee Copenhaver, 14.09, Lincoln.

200: Katelyn Christensen, 27.98, Hot Springs; Adalyn Jacobson, 29.37, Arlee; Hattie Neesvig, 30.12, Thompson Falls.

400: Emily Brown, 1:05.55, Noxon; Hadassah Wilson, 1:05.78, Darby; Autumn Fisher, 1:10.34, Troy.

800: Emily Brown, 2:50.96, Noxon; Peyton Wasson, 2:57.80, Plains; Sara Spring, 2:58.23, Powell County.

1600: Faith Palmer, 6:13.41, Thompson Falls; Mollie Nichols, 6:31.94, Thompson Falls; Meela Mitchell, 6:40.34, Anaconda.

3200: Faith Palmer, 13:49.11, Thompson Falls; Mollie Nichols, 14:20.00, Thompson Falls; Martha Klaus, 16:55.00, Noxon.

100m Hurdles: Taevyn Beaudin, 18.17, Valley Christian; Amber Anderson, 18.47, Darby; Josie Uski, 19.75, Hot Springs.

300m Hurdles: Taevyn Beaudin, 54.28, Valley Christian; Josie Uski, 55.10, Hot Springs; Lauryn Aldridge, 55.56, Hot Springs.

4x100 Relay: 57.66, Darby; 1:00.00.

4x400 Relay: 5:16.26, Thompson Falls, 5:21.77, Darby.

Nick Pavelich

Alexis Deming of Plains throws the discus at the Thompson Falls Invitational. Deming finished second with a throw of 102 feet, 4 inches.

Shot Put: Trista Williams, 32-06.75, Florence-Carlton; Alexis Deming, 29-10.50, Plains; Jaylin Lewenight, 29-03.50, Lincoln.

Discus: Katelyn Christensen, 108-08, Hot Springs; Alexis Deming, 102-04, Plains; Nia McClanahan, 88-01, Powell County.

Javelin: Chesney Lowe, 104-10, Thompson Falls; Katelyn Christensen, 99-00, Hot Springs; Emily Brown, 96-06, Noxon.

High Jump: Avery Jones, 4-07.00, Powell County; Hattie Neesvig, 4-06.00, Thompson Falls; Raven Parson, 4-06.00, Arlee.

Pole Vault: Chesney Lowe, 8-06.00, Thompson Falls; Natalie Spring, 8-06.00, Powell County; Maddie Schrecengost, 7-10.00, Powell County.

Long Jump: Hadassah Wilson, 15-10.00, Darby; Chesney Lowe, 14-11.00, Thompson Falls; Camy Hoiland, 14-07.50, Anaconda.

Triple Jump: Taevyn Beaudin, 31-05.00, Valley Christian; Hattie Neesvig, 30-07.25, Thompson Falls; Chesney Lowe, 29-06.50, Thompson Falls.


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