Lady Beavers place fourth at divisional

J.P. Plutt
Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Dillon’s Ainsley Shipman flies through the air to win the triple jump after struggling to a seventh place finish in the long jump. Shipman righted the ship to add a first in the 100 meter hurdles, a third in the 300 meter hurdles, and a seventh in the high jump to advance to state in five events. Gary Haverfield photo

Ainsley Shipman will lead a crew of talented and deep of Dillon hurdlers and jumpers to Laurel this weekend in pursuit of state meet hardware. Sydney Petersen, a freshman, will run and jump as copilot of the Lady Beaver track and field machine.

Shipman, with multiple state meet medals as a freshman, lost her sophomore season in 2020 as the entire spring high school sports schedules were shut down due to the pandemic. Back to make up for lost time, she will compete in five individual events and both relays at this weekend’s state meet. As a freshman, things came together seemingly with ease for the athlete, but last weekend’s divisional meet proved that adversity can show up anytime.

“Ainsley had a rough go in the long jump and I challenged her to reset herself and refocus,” said Dillon coach Jeremy Anderson. “The 100 meter hurdles was probably one of the best races I saw all meet long, and she responded in a big way after having the adversity in the long jump and came up with a first place for us. That just speaks highly of her character and her ability to rebound in a pretty adverse situation. She willed herself to win those 100 meter hurdles.”

“You could just tell by the look in her eye that she had a little bit extra in those hurdles and she brought it,” Said Anderson. “That was an exciting race and that just set the stage for the rest of the meet for her.”

In the triple jump, Shipman barely made it to the finals and then found the board and posted a gold medal jump to edge Sydney Peterson for the gold. Quincee Anderson placed sixth and Zoey Morast ninth as Dillon advanced four jumpers in the event.

“I fully expect triple jump to be a big event for us at state,” said Anderson. “Coach Holmes has done a tremendous job with them. That is one of the key focal points of our team.”

In addition to the titles in the 100 hurdles and the triple jump, Shipman ran third in the 300 hurdles and finished seventh in both the long jump and the high jump.

Sydney Peterson has the skills of a future five-event star. With the second place finish to Shipman in the triple jump, Sydney totaled 18 team points on the individual side with a fourth in the long jump and 100 hurdles, a fifth in the 300 hurdles, and added a state qualification in the 100 meter sprint with a seventh place finish. Sydney will also get some relay work in at state.

“Sydney has been there all along,” said Anderson. “She was excited to compete and she did what she’s done all speaks to his unique athletic ability.

“The crazy thing is, as good as he’s throwing, he’s got that much more in the tank,” said Anderson. We’re excited about what he’s been able to do all season long, but more excited about the potential he has to unleash at state for crucial team points for us. He’s got the ability to win that thing.”

Dillon’s hurdle crews on both sides will be key to state meet success and Anderson attributes that potential to Dillon hurdle coaches Mick Paffhausen and Paige Holmes as well as to the competition the athletes get every day in practice from their teammates. On the boys side, Daxon’s brother Treyton Graham placed sixth and sophomore Caden Hansen qualified for state with a ninth place finish.

“Sophomores Treyton Graham and Caden Hansen have come on for us in the hurdles,” said Anderson. “Treyton has been a mystery because he’s been injured for most of the season, but he’s a competitor and he is going to lay it on the line for us this weekend.”

Dillon sophomore Ben Steadman carries the load to state for Dillon’s middle distance and distance crew. He qualified in the unique combination of the 800 meters and the 3,200 meters.

Other non-scoring qualifiers included Conner Curnow seventh in the discus, freshman Kee Christiansen ninth in the javelin and Holter Santos 10th in the triple jump.

Points are scored with 10 for first, 8 for second, 6 for third, 4 for fourth, 3 for fifth and 1 for sixth. With two divisions in Class A, each side sends 10 qualifiers to the state meet. Both Curnow and Santos, both juniors, are competing in their first year of high school track and have shown remarkable improvement through the season to advance to the state meet. Christiansen, a freshman, is a future five-event star.

“Sometimes at the divisional level, your first place teams don’t necessarily correlate to state championship contenders,” said Anderson. “Our teams finished third and fourth at divisional and most people would say we didn’t have a chance to compete for the state championship. I disagree with that. We are going to be strong contenders for trophies when it comes to the state track meet.”

Western A Divisional Track and Field Meet at Dr. Nicosia Track Complex, Columbia Falls

Boys’ team scores – Hamilton 120 Frenchtown 83, Dillon 68, Whitefish 52, Ronan 50, Corvallis 48, Libby 33 Columbia Falls 27, Polson 17, Stevensville 17 Browning 6, Butte Central 6.

Event champions and Dillon place winners and state qualifiers:

100 Meters – 1. Jay Beagle, Libby, 11.18. 2. Treyton Anderson, Dillon, 11.34.

200 Meters – 1. Treyton Anderson, Dillon, 22.68.

400 Meters – 1. Jay Beagle, Libby, 50.05.

800 Meters – 1. Colter Kirkland, Hamilton, 1:57.77. 7. Ben Steadman, Dillon, 2:04.28.

1600 Meters – 1. Colter Purcell, Hamilton, 4:30.66.

3200 Meters – 1. Brinson Wyche, Corvallis, 9:48.57. 10. Ben Steadman, Dillon, 10:37.87.

110m Hurdles – 1. Treyton Anderson, Dillon, 14.69. 6. Daxon Graham, Dillon, 16.82.

300m Hurdles – 1. Treyton Anderson, Dillon, 39.45. 2. Daxon Graham, Dillon, 41.03. 6. Treyton Graham, Dillon, 43.40. 9. Caden Hansen, Dillon, 44.09.

4x100 Relay – 1. Frenchtown, 44.56. 6. Dillon, 46.36

4x400 Relay – 1. Hamilton, 3:30.03. 7. Dillon, 3:41.80.

Shot Put – 1. Jake Houlihan, Frenchtown, 51’ 6. 7. Connor Curnow, Dillon, 42’ 11

Discus – 1. Tyler Burrows, Hamilton, 158’ 4. 2. Callahan Hoffman, Dillon, 151’ 6.

Javelin - 1. Kellan Beller, Stevensville, 178’ 4. 6. Cole Truman, Dillon, 150’ 3. 9. Kee Christiansen, Dillon, 144’ 4.

High Jump – 1. Payton Cates, Ronan, 6’ 2. 7. Callahan Hoffman, Dillon, 5’ 8.

Pole Vault – 1. Andrew Carmondy, Hamilton, 11’ 6.

Long Jump – 1. Treyton Anderson, Dillon, 20’ 10.25.

Triple Jump – 1. Gabe Menicke, Whitefish, 44’ 0.25. 10. Holter Santos, Dillon, 39’ 5.