HELENA — Wet and windy conditions greeted track and field athletes from Helena Capital and Missoula Hellgate on Friday in what was the next-to-last meet for the Bruins before divisionals and the state meet later this month.
“It was nice to see the kids come out and compete with weather like this, rain and the cold and wind,” Bruins track and field coach Matt Reyant said. “Some kids ran well, jumped well, competed, got a couple good PR’s today. Gonna help us moving forward seeding-wise towards divisionals. That’s the ultimate goal, to try to better ourselves and be better by the postseason.”
Despite the pole vaulting event being canceled due to the rain showers that passed through on Friday, Capital turned out a good showing in the track events, winning the boys and girls 100-meter dash and both boys and girls varsity hurdle events.
“I think we were running fast today because they were running to run dry, they wanted to get back to their dry clothes,” Reyant said. “We talk about all the time that you just gotta compete in the conditions that we’re in right now. It’s not necessarily about the time, but the technique and the racing strategy that we have for each individual.”
A handful of Bruins set their personal records in rain, including Kathryn Sheridan who captured a PR by 1/100th of a second with a 15.68 run in the 100-meter hurdles. Libby Linder, who finished second in the event, also turned in a PR with a 16.55 time in just her third meet back from an injury.
“I think, given the weather, everyone has been doing pretty well,” Linder said. “It’s kinda like an incentive to do better. I did pretty good, I PR’d in the 100 hurdles. The 300 [hurdles] weren’t as good, but it was still good to be able to run them today.”
Capital won the girls 300-meter hurdles with Sheridan and then saw both her and her sister, Jaymee, compete in the 4 x 100-meter relay.
“We have a growing team right now,” Jaymee said of the relay team. “We have three freshmen and myself, I’m a senior, so we have some fresh blood and we have a lot of kinks to work out now. I think once we get it all the way around full-speed, we are really going to be unstoppable.”
On the boys side, Capital suffered a couple injuries early in the meet, but saw sophomore Dylan Graham step up with a PR of 11.40 seconds in the 100-meter dash before he competed in the 200-meter dash and 4 x 100-meter relay.
“It makes me feel confident coming into the next one to hopefully qualify and make it to state...I think it definitely motivated me more,” Graham said of the weather. “I wanted to come out here and win in the not-so-great circumstances.”
In spite of the weather that had athletes from both schools looking for warm, dry blankets and vehicles after events, Capital’s coaches were more than happy with the way their runners and throwers toughed out the conditions.
Capital boys coach Lon Carter said he did not hear much complaining from his athletes on Friday and that he was satisfied with the way they lined up and competed.
“Everyone doesn’t want to blame their bad race on the weather, so they try harder, I think, because they want to be able to say they ran good in the weather,” Linder said. “It feels good to be able to still do good in hard conditions.”
(Official results not currently available)
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