Taylor is 2017 Class A State Champion

By: 
CHRIS MCCONNELL
Outlook staff writer
Photo courtesy Gloria Allwin. 2017 Class A State Champion Levi Taylor celebrates as he crosses the finish line on Saturday in Helena. Taylor finished five seconds ahead of the second place finisher with a time of 16:29. Taylor won seven meets this year, including divisionals last week. Freshman Grace Timm finished seventh on the girl’s side with a time of 20:06.

Laurel High junior Levi Taylor capped off an already impressive season in style, winning the Class A State meet by five seconds on Saturday at Bill Roberts Golf Course in Helena. 

Coach Amy Caldeira called Taylor’s win “awesome,” adding, “He ran with Matt Wilson of Hamilton until the final 200 meters, where he kicked without a challenge.”

Taylor said the team went to Helena Friday and just hung out at the hotel due to cold weather, but he said he did go for a short run with teammates Ethan Doty and Isaac Manders in a local park. 

Class A boys was the first race of the cool State Championships, starting at 11 a.m., and Taylor said it was snowing at 10 a.m.  

“I was really nervous right before the race, but once the gun sounded and I turned the first corner I was good.”

He said winning state was his goal all year and he used a different strategy from last year’s 8th place finish.

“Last year I started fast and burned out, but this year I kind of drafted off a couple guys and stayed conservative,” waiting until the kick to make his move. In the last few hundred meters he turned on the burners and left the rest of the field behind.

“I looked over my shoulder four times in the last hundred meters and saw I was still pulling away. That’s when I knew I won,” he said.

Taylor posted his fourth best time of 16:29, behind his 16:25 at the Mountain West Classic in Missoula, 16:18 at Divisionals at Hardin and 16:15 at the Laurel Triangular, but he said, “I wasn’t running for time, I was running for first.”

Taylor won seven of the 10 meets he ran this fall, finishing behind only one class A runner all year (by less than a tenth of a second); the same one he out-sprinted to win State on Saturday.

The top finisher for the Loco girls was Grace Timm who finished in 7th place with a time of 20:06, earning All-State honors. Timm won six-of-10 meets this year, which Caldeira said is “an amazing start for her as a freshman.”

Caldeira said, “Returning to a course that we ran a few weeks ago allowed us to measure our improvement. Nearly all of our kids took time off of their 7-on-7 meet results.” 

The girls finished 10th overall, but Caldeira said they “were able to finish second in our division, beating Miles City, who beat us at Divisionals.”

On the boy’s side, the team finished 7th overall, with Calderia saying many runners set personal course records.

“Overall it was an amazing season. We had a hard working crew that represented our school well. It is hard to see our seniors go. They have participated in a combined 23 seasons of cross country since the 6th grade,” Caldeira said, noting the senior runners will be recognized Thursday Night at the volleyball game.

 

Laurel Boys, 7th place

1. Levi Taylor 16:29

45. Haden Wilson  18:15

48. Ethan Dody  18:21

51. Isaac Manders  18:22

60. Ethan Gradwohl 18:33

88. Draven Earles  19:00

111. Tre Whitford  19:47

 

Laurel Girls, 10th place

7. Grace Timm  20:06

35. Andria Mourich 21:53

65. Grace Poolet  23:06

76. Lizzie Wisecup 23:40

81. Rachael Rupp  23:43

95. Kyla Albers  24:19

117. Haley Broberg  25:51

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Every Wednesday at 5:30 p.m., check www.laurelexchangeclub.org for more info. Find them on Facebook www.facebook.com/laurelexchangeclub . Email them to find out meeting time and to join: clubinfo@laurelexchangeclub.org The club will have a meeting or volunteer activity. Meeting location is Sid's East Side Bar & Grill on first and third Wednesdays of each month. Members and guests eat free.  Volunteer activity on the second Wednesday of each month. Check their facebook page for updates.  Every fourth Wednesday is for a club social activity. 
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