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Three Forks track and field comes out of the gates strong in season opener in Frenchtown

By JACK H. SMITH

Three Forks Voice

It was a tremendous start to the season for the Three Forks High School Track and Field team.

Following the opening competition of the year at last week's Frenchtown Invitational, first-year Head Coach Dillon Gongliewski said there were some great performances across the board, with all-time best marks from those who have previously competed and eye-opening numbers from those who had just competed at their first-ever track meet.

"Honestly it's kind of hard to pin down any individual performances because everyone had something to be proud of. If there was one event that someone was upset about, they had a quick turnaround and ended up doing very well at the next event. I'm very happy to see that sort of mentality from the athletes," said Gongliewski. "They battled through the cold in the beginning, then wind near the middle, and even rain and snow near the end. So, to persevere and come out as successfully as we did, was a fantastic indicator of the culture we are building here."

Three Forks had two student-athletes pre-qualify for state in the 3200 meters. Cass Violett qualified after finishing first in the event with a PR of 10:12.01, and Bryon Fanning qualified after finishing in second with a time of 10:14.60.

Other top 10 varsity finishers for the Wolves included freshman Hailey Williams, who finished third in the 400 meters and ninth in the pole vault, and Bella Jones, who was third in the pole vault and seventh in the 800. Freshman Teegan Gifford placed fifth in the 3200, freshman Marcus Pestel finished fifth in the 110-meter hurdles, Brady Olson finished seventh in the pole vault, Devynn Judd was seventh in the 400 meters, Shane Williams finished eighth in the pole vault, Micah Gather finished ninth in the 400 meters, and Josh Delger was 10th in the shot put.

The boys' 4x400 relay team of Rhett Violett, Morgan Taylor, Pestel, and Gather finished in ninth place at 4:16.69.

In junior varsity action, the girls' 4x400 relay team of Williams, Karly Holler, Madelyn Tesoro, and Julia Kotter finished first with a time of 4:29.58. Kotter also finished first in the JV 400-meter race.

Gongliewski said the younger kids on the team did amazing and handled the stress and chaos of their first high school track meet beautifully.

"Again, it is difficult to say that there is one that stood out among the rest at our first meet because they all have something to be very proud of. My favorite part of the meet, though, has always been and always will be the 4x400-meter relay. There was not a single Wolf athlete who was not lined up on that track somewhere, cheering on our girls. By far, my favorite thing to see at Frenchtown was the involvement across the board and other event groups supporting other event groups every chance they had. Again, it ties into the ways in which we are changing the culture here, and it's a fantastic first step for us," he said.

Three Forks will next compete on April 4 in Lewistown.

"I'm excited to have quite a few more competitors at this next meet. We had quite a few who didn't compete, so we are also excited about that," Gongliewski said.

 
 
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