Laurel track and field boys share first state title since 1991

Connor Waddingham
Thursday, May 30, 2019
Photo courtesy of Gloria Allwin                        Levi Taylor (359) ahead of the pack in the 1600 meter run at the Class A State Track meet in Laurel, last Saturday afternoon. Taylor wound up winning the 800, 1600, and the 3200 meter runs at state, which helped Laurel’s boys earn enough points to bring home a share of the state title.

Photo courtesy of Gloria Allwin
          
            Levi Taylor (359) ahead of the pack in the 1600 meter run at the Class A State Track meet in Laurel, last Saturday afternoon. Taylor wound up winning the 800, 1600, and the 3200 meter runs at state, which helped Laurel’s boys earn enough points to bring home a share of the state title.

Photo courtesy of Gloria Allwin                        Sophomore Gracey Willis landing in the sand pit after one of her long jump tries at state. She wound up placing third in the long jump for Class A girls, and also set her PR in the event with a leap of 17-02.25 feet.

Photo courtesy of Gloria Allwin
          
            Sophomore Gracey Willis landing in the sand pit after one of her long jump tries at state. She wound up placing third in the long jump for Class A girls, and also set her PR in the event with a leap of 17-02.25 feet.

Photo courtesy of Gloria Allwin                        The 2019 Class A State Champion Laurel Locomotives boys team. These boys helped their team score a total of 81 points, tying for first place with Beaverhead County (Dillon). (From left to right) Beau Dantic, Jace McNeil, Emmet Renner, Ethan Renner, Preston Branstetter, Levi Taylor, Chris Abell, Taggert Devaney, Jaxon Wittmayer, Haden Wilson

Photo courtesy of Gloria Allwin
          
            The 2019 Class A State Champion Laurel Locomotives boys team. These boys helped their team score a total of 81 points, tying for first place with Beaverhead County (Dillon). (From left to right) Beau Dantic, Jace McNeil, Emmet Renner, Ethan Renner, Preston Branstetter, Levi Taylor, Chris Abell, Taggert Devaney, Jaxon Wittmayer, Haden Wilson

It was quite a legendary weekend for Laurel track and field. One new school record, 24 new personal bests, 103 combined team points, and the first boys state. This state track and field meet was one for the record books for Laurel and great way to send off the seven senior athletes that were at state. The boys wound up with 81 points, which tied with Dillon for first place, so the two teams will share the first place title for the Class A boys. The girls scored 22 points in total, which earned them an 11th place finish. 

Levi Taylor couldn’t have dreamt of a better way to end his high school career. The future Montana State distance runner completed the treble at state, winning the 800, 1600, and the 3200 meter runs. In the 800, Taylor and Tyler Schmautz of Frenchtown were neck and neck nearly the entire way. Schmautz gained on Taylor towards the end of the race, but Taylor kept pushing as hard as he could. Taylor crossed the finish line in dramatic fashion, hurling himself over the finish line and stumbling to the ground. 

After spending minutes on the ground, with the entire stadium silent, he got up and walked off on his own power. He set his PR in a race that was so close, that both Taylor and Schmautz finished with the same time. Both finished with 1:57.22, with Taylor winning by roughly five millionths of a second. 

Chris Abell had an incredible last high school meet as well. The future Carroll College track star set his PR in both the 110m hurdles and 300m hurdles, 14.98 and 40.06 respectively. Abell placed first in the 110m hurdles and second in the 300m hurdles. He also helped his 4x100 meter relay team break the school record. They ran a time of 43.24 and the previous record was 43.90.

Ethan Renner was also on the new Laurel high school record-holding 400-meter relay team. He was the final leg, and exploded in his 100 meters. He was roughly in fourth when handed the baton, and he helped his team jump Dillon and Miles City to place second. 

On top of his clutch performance in the 400 meter relay, Ethan also set his PR in the 100 meter dash (11.07), as well as the long jump (21-01). Senior Preston Branstetter, another member of the 400 meter relay team, also set his PR in the 100 meter dash (11.13). 

Senior thrower Ely Kraft also performed well in his last meet. He took second in the discus, with a 150-05 throw. He also took 14th in the javelin, with a throw of 138-00. Fellow senior throw Kolter McLaughlin placed 10th in the shot put, breaking his old PR with his throw of 47-03.

Junior distance runner Taggert Devaney set two personal bests in his two individual events. In the 400 meter run, he placed seventh and finished with a time of 50.93. He took fifth in the 800 meter run, with a time of 1:58.77. 

The Lady Locos track and field team will be saying goodbye to two senior throwers. Jessie Lefevre and Nikol Greer gave their throws all they could in their last high school track meet, and both placed well. 

Lefevre placed fifth in the javelin with a throw of 114-11. She also threw the discus at the state track meet, placing 19th with a throw of 76-06.

Greer was qualified for state in two throwing events, and truly gave it all in her last throws. She threw the shot put and discus at state both past her previous personal bests. She placed ninth in the shot put with her PR throw of 35-01.50, and 12th in the discus with a throw of 105-09. 

For the girls’ long jump and triple jump, sophomore leapers Gracey Willis and Kolby Gibbs both set personal bests and placed third in their respective events. Willis’ jump of 17-02.25 was good enough for third place in the long jump, while Gibbs’ 36-10.50 jump was enough to place her in third, as well.

Jessie Lefevre was not the only girl who performed well in the javelin. Sophomore Keeli Harris placed second in this event, setting her PR with a throw of 119-09. Junior Symphony Fike also cracked the top 10 for the javelin, with a PR throw of 113-15. 

With a relatively young team, Laurel track and field team will likely be in the conversation, once again, for one of the best track programs in the all of class A. They had a special season, and will look to continue off of it next season with even more state athletes.

Congratulations to all of the seniors and other athletes who have participated in their last high school track meets this season. We wish the best of luck to Levi Taylor and Chris Abell in their college athletic careers, as they both have very bright futures. 

 

Boys

100 Meters — 3. 11, Ethan Renner, 11.07a, PR, Laurel; 5. 12, Preston Branstetter, 11.13a, PR, Laurel; 9. 9, Beau Dantic, 11.26a, PR, Laurel

200 Meters — 5. 11, Ethan Renner, 22.73a, Laurel; 6. 9, Beau Dantic, 22.85a, Laurel

400 Meters — 7. 11, Taggert Devaney, 50.93a, PR, Laurel

800 Meters  — 1. 12, Levi Taylor, 1:57.22a, PR, Laurel; 5. 11, Taggert Devaney, 1:58.77a, PR, Laurel; 18. 11, Tre Whitford, 2:12.31a, Laurel

1600 Meters  — 1. 12, Levi Taylor, 4:33.37a, Laurel

3200 Meters — 1. 12, Levi Taylor, 9:54.28a, Laurel; 11. 9, Wyatt Ostler, 10:28.90a, PR, Laurel; 13. 11, Haden Wilson, 10:33.33a, PR, Laurel

110m Hurdles - 39” — 1. 12, Chris Abell, 14.98a, PR, Laurel

300m Hurdles - 36” — 2. 12, Chris Abell, 40.06a, PR, Laurel; 17. 9, Emmet Renner, 43.50a, Laurel

4x100 Relay — 2. Laurel: 43.24a**

4x400 Relay — 7. Laurel: Chris Abell, Ethan Renner, Levi Taylor, Taggert Devaney, 3:28.31a

Shot Put - 12 lb — 10. 12, Kolter McLaughlin, 47-03.00, PR, Laurel; 11. 12, Ely Kraft, 45-08.50, Laurel; 15. 10, Kane Hillis, 44-02.00, Laurel; 18. 9, Shel Osborne, 42-08.00, PR, Laurel

Discus - 1.6kg  — 2. 12, Ely Kraft, 150-05, Laurel

Javelin - 800g — 14. 12, Ely Kraft, 138-00, Laurel; 17. 10, Jace McNeil, 131-10, Laurel; 20. 10, Kane Hillis, 125-03, Laurel

Long Jump  — 4. 11, Ethan Renner, 21-01.00, PR, Laurel

Triple Jump — 15. 10, Jaxon Wittmayer, 40-01.00, Laurel; 20. 9, Emmet Renner, 38-02.00, Laurel

 

Girls

400 Meters — 13. 10, Grace Timm, 1:03.02a, PR, Laurel

800 Meters — 8. 10, Grace Timm, 2:24.29a, Laurel; 10. 9, Lauren Taylor, 2:29.58a, PR, Laurel; 12. 10, Andria Mourich, 2:30.53a, PR, Laurel; 15. 11, Lizzie Wisecup, 2:31.83a, Laurel

1600 Meters — 7. 10, Grace Timm, 5:33.97a, Laurel; 11. 10, Andria Mourich, 5:40.15a, SR, Laurel; 17. 9, Lauren Taylor, 5:54.99a, Laurel

3200 Meters  — 10. 10, Grace Timm, 12:45.09a, Laurel; 12. 10, Andria Mourich, 12:46.37a, SR, Laurel; 17. 9, Lauren Taylor, 13:21.22a, Laurel; 20. 11, Britnee Atkinson, 13:40.81a, Laurel

300m Hurdles — 9. 10, Morgan Maack, 49.66a, SR, Laurel; 17. 9, Macie McNeil, 53.23a, Laurel

4x100 Relay — 10. Laurel, 52.44

4x400 Relay — 7. Laurel: Morgan Maack, Gracey Willis, Lizzie Wisecup, Grace Timm, 4:15.45a

Shot Put - 4kg — 9. 12, Nikol Greer, 35-01.50, PR, Laurel; 9. 10, Teigan Harper, 35-01.50, PR, Laurel; 17. 10, Paige Maynard, 32-02.00, PR, Laurel

Discus - 1kg — 10. 9, Bailey Graves, 109-05.50, PR, Laurel; 12. 12, Nikol Greer, 105-09, PR, Laurel; 19. 12, Jessica LeFevre, 76-06, Laurel

Javelin - 600g — 2. 10, Keeli Harris, 119-09, PR, Laurel; 5. 12, Jessica LeFevre, 114-11, Laurel; 8. 11, Symphony Fike, 113-05, PR, Laurel

Pole Vault — 10. 10, Laney Leeds, 9-00.00, Laurel

Long Jump — 3. 10, Gracey Willis, 17-02.25, PR, Laurel; 7. 11, Taylor Noble, 16-07.00, SR, Laurel; 10. 10, Kolby Gibbs, 16-01.75, Laurel

Triple Jump — 3. 10, Kolby Gibbs, 36-10.50, PR, Laurel; 15. 10, Gracey Willis, 33-04.00, Laurel

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