By Gabrielle Gasser ASSOCIATE EDITOR
BIG SKY – The Lone Peak High School track and field team is making their mark on school history after shattering three records on May 5 and putting several athletes on podiums.
At the John Cheek Top 8 Western B/C meet in Anaconda, the team podiumed several athletes and qualified junior high jumper Ben Saad for the state meet. The Big Horns again found success at the 42nd Annual Al Walker Memorial Stillwater Meet on May 7, podiuming four athletes.
“Seeing that we’ve had so few meets it’s been rather exciting seeing some of our athletes able to compete at a rather high level and shine when it comes to their events,” said Head Coach James Miranda.
Three athletes broke records in their respective events on May 5 including Saad, who completed a six foot one inch high jump; senior Campbell Johnson, who set a new school record in the women’s 3200-meter with a time of 14 minutes, 54.1 seconds; and the boys 4×100 relay team, which broke the school record by 0.37 of a second at 50 seconds.
Also standing on the podium were sophomore Astrid McGuire and freshman Aubrey Farr, who both finished in fourth place in the women’s 1600-meter and women’s 100-meter hurdles events respectively. Rounding out the team’s success were throwers freshman Grady Towle, junior Pierce Farr, junior Jessie Bough and Aubrey Farr who placed second in their first ever Thrower’s Medley.
“Kudos to the team for excellent efforts in all events,” Miranda wrote in an email to EBS after the May 5 meet.
At the May 7 meet in Laurel, LPHS made another strong showing with four athletes again claiming spots on the podium.
Pierce Farr, who had never thrown discus before, finished in 10th place in the 1.6-kilogram discus. McGuire logged a season record in the women’s 800-meter placing ninth. She also placed fifth in the 1600. Aubrey Farr placed fifth in the women’s 100-meter hurdles and Saad placed third in the men’s high jump with a 5 foot 10 inch jump.
Saad also had the opportunity to compete in a AA invitational meet in Laurel on Tuesday, May 3 where he came in sixth place in high jump with a height of 5 feet 10 inches.
After only doing track and field for a month and a half, Saad has been able to increase his high jump height enough to surpass the state qualifying height of 6 feet.
“I honestly didn’t expect to get six [feet] one [inch],” Saad said of the May 5 meet. “That was the first time I’d ever done it. It just happened to be a good day and I was extremely excited.”
Miranda said Saad “shined” at that meet, adding that it was great to see him hit his goal.
Now, Saad is looking to the postseason and prepping for the state meet. He said he’s focusing on staying healthy, tuning up his form and hopefully going even higher.
“I’m just looking forward to going and competing at a state event,” Saad said. “I’ve never been at anything like that for any sports I’ve played over the years. It’s just me versus the bar and hopefully I do well.”
With just three official competitions under its belt, the team is now looking ahead to the district meet in Bozeman on May 14.
Miranda said he’s excited to see how these athletes compete with other individuals in the district armed with a full week of practice and, hopefully, nice weather. He added that he looks forward to seeing athletes place and move on to the divisional meet in Frenchtown on May 20 and 21.