What Might Have Been: 2020 State Track and Field

What Might Have Been: 2020 State Track and Field

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The 2020 season was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic effectively ending some athletes' careers before they knew it.

While we recognize that anything can happen and improvements would have been made by many athletes this season, we looked at what might have happened in 2020 based on what we knew from the results of 2019.

Class AA

2019 champions: Missoula Sentinel (boys) and Bozeman (girls)

What might have been in 2020...

Boys 

Hypothetical Class AA boys 2020 track meet

Based on the 2019 final results, all athletes who made finals and would have been eligible in 2020 scored out.

Individuals who would have been eligible to defend their titles:

Chance Sheldon-Allen (Kalispell Flathead, 100); Jaden Foster (Missoula Sentinel, 200/400); Caden Olsen (Billings Skyview, 110 hurdles); Drew Deck (Kalispell Glacier, 300 hurdles); Julius Mims (Billings Skyview, high jump)

Multiple athletes had their eyes on records. Last season Sheldon-Allen fell just short of resetting his school record in the 100 and was hungry to take it down this season. Mims broke through for his first high jump championship in 2019 after a memorable runner-up finish to state record holder Trey Tintinger in 2018. Would he have broken seven feet this season?

Girls

Hypothetical Class AA girls 2020 track meet

Based on the 2019 final results, all athletes who made finals and would have been eligible in 2020 scored out.

Individuals who would have been eligible to defend their titles:

Odessa Zentz (Helena, 400/800); Terra Trom (Bozeman, 1,600); Lauren Heggen (Missoula Sentinel, triple jump); LaKeema Williams (Billings West, shot put/discus); Piper Pfister (Missoula Hellgate, javelin)

Heggen, bound for the University of Washington, broke the state triple jump record two years in a row, would she have been able to do it for a third time? The Billings West girls are the five-time defending champions in the 4x100 relay, including breaking the state record twice in the last three years, and 2020 would have been the last season with Maddie and Willa Albrecht, who have helped anchor the last two squads. Would 2019 dual winners Zentz and Williams have been able to earn repeats?

Class A

2019 champions: Dillon and Laurel (boys) and Whitefish (girls)

What might have been in 2020...

Boys 

Hypothetical Class A boys 2020 track meet

Based on the 2019 final results, all athletes who made finals and would have been eligible in 2020 scored out.

Individuals who would have been eligible to defend their titles: 

Jack Waddell (Livingston, 200)

All but one event had winners who graduated last season so this year would have been wide open for the Class A boys.

Girls 

Hypothetical Class A girls 2020 track meet

Based on the 2019 final results, all athletes who made finals and would have been eligible in 2020 scored out.

Individuals who would have been eligible to defend their titles:

Tylia DeJohn (Dillon, 100); Kellan Wahl (Billings Central, 200); Mikenna Ells (Whitefish, 400); Brynnli Poulsen (Hamilton, 800); Ainsley Shipman (Dillon, 100 hurdles/300 hurdles); Karsen Murphy (Glendive, high jump/triple jump); Angellica Street (Columbia Falls, javelin)

When Street broke the javelin all-class state record as a junior last year, she didn't even need her farthest throw of the season. Instead her 158-8 throw came in early May and ranked her seventh in the nation, which helped lead to her commitment to throw for Texas A&M next year. Another record breaker hoping to improve on her mark was Murphy after breaking the Class A triple jump record in 2019. DeJohn owned a pair of championships in the 100 and 200, but hadn't captured both yet in the same year.

Class B

2019 champions: Huntley Project (boys) and Huntley Project (girls) and Baker (girls)

What might have been in 2020:

Boys

Hypothetical Class B boys 2020 track meet

Based on the 2019 final results, all athletes who made finals and would have been eligible in 2020 scored out.

Individuals who would have been eligible to defend their titles: 

Wyatt Barney (Manhattan, 800); Noah Bouchard (Huntley Project, high jump); Chris Kisstler (Huntley Project, pole vault); Avery Stiles (Jefferson, long jump); Journey Grimsrud (Huntley Project, shot put)

Even with the graduation of some big point-winners after last season, the Red Devils returned depth as well as multiple champions. And even though Stiles was the 2019 long jump champion, he also earned a high jump championship in his career.

Girls 

Hypothetical Class B girls 2020 track meet

Based on the 2019 final results, all athletes who made finals and would have been eligible in 2020 scored out.

Individuals who would have been eligible to defend their titles:

L'Tia Lawrence (Harlem, 1,600); Mya Fourstar (Wolf Point, high jump); Keaton Lynn (Three Forks; long jump) Kendall Lynn (Three Forks; triple jump); Ashton McAnnaly (Bigfork, shot put); Emily Poole (Huntley Project, discus/javelin)

Poole is the two-time defending champion in both discus and javelin and before heading off to North Dakota State next year she would have liked one more chance at the Class B javelin record held by her sister Hailey.

Class C

2019 champions: Scobey (boys) and Seeley-Swan (girls)

What might have been in 2020...

Boys

Hypothetical Class C boys 2020 track meet

Based on the 2019 final results, all athletes who made finals and would have been eligible in 2020 scored out.

Individuals who would have been eligible to defend their titles: 

Riley Schott (Manhattan Christian, 3,200); Jacob Jessen (Winnett-Grass Range, 300 hurdles); Josh Herron (Fairview, pole vault); Paul Hardy (Fairview, discus)

Schott is a two-time defending champion and would have had to contend with his teammate Ben Morrison, who won the state cross country championship this fall. Jessen improved upon his runner-up finish as a sophomore to claim first as a junior, which earned him the opportunity to compete for Dickinson State next season.

Girls

Hypothetical Class C girls 2020 track meet

Based on the 2019 final results, all athletes who made finals and would have been eligible in 2020 scored out.

Individuals who would have been eligible to defend their titles:

Carlee Fryberger (Charlo, 100/100 hurdles); Sariah Maughan (Seeley-Swan, 1,600); Averi Parker (West Yellowstone, 3,200); Terra Bertsch (Seeley-Swan, pole vault); Klaire Kovatch (Seeley-Swan, discus)

Parker is a two-time defending champion who also owns three cross country championships and a 1,600 title during her high school career. Like Parker, Bertsch is also a two-time champion who graduates without a chance at her third. Fryberger's double win came during her sophomore season so she should have more chances in future seasons. Kovatch, who is already a two-time champion, and Maughan each have additional seasons.

Email Lindsay Rossmiller at lindsay.rossmiller@406mtsports.com or find her on Twitter @LindsayRossmill.

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