HELENA -- This week, Sidelines revisits Capital High’s Gleason/Bean Awards recipients, national gymnastics, rail jam/slopestyle skiing and high school rodeo.

Gleason/ Bean Awards

Capital High’s Nicole Ames has earned the Jude Gleason Award, while Gus Hanson will receive the Bob Bean Award.

Criteria for the awards consists of participation in two or more sports for all four years, and includes high standards of scholastics, athleticism, citizenship, leadership, sportsmanship, character and attendance.

The late Jude Gleason was a longtime coach and gym director at CHS from 1973-98, and the late Bob Bean was a multiple sport athlete for the Bruins in the 1970s.

Nicole Ames, who sports a 3.9 GPA in the classroom, will graduate with eight letters in three sports – two each in volleyball and basketball, and four in softball.

On the diamond – where she garnered an all-state softball selection last year – Ames serves as the ace of the Lady Bruins’ pitching staff, with a 7-6 record and a 3.14 earned run average. In 91 innings, she has struck out 95 batsmen and allowed just 21 walks. Over the past two seasons, she is 14-7, with 141 whiffs in 130 innings.

At the plate, she is currently hitting .347, with five doubles, 13 runs batted in, and a .500 on base percentage.

Last fall, Ames helped the Bruins to their first State volleyball championship in 17 years. On the hardcourt this winter, she was part of the Lady Bruins Western AA title team and fourth-place finish at State, averaging 3.3 points and 2.2 rebounds.

Gus Hanson was chosen to Class AA football's second team all-conference at cornerback last fall, along with honorable mention all-state. He ranked No. 2 on Capital’s defense with two interceptions and seven tipped passes, while tying for the team lead with one blocked kick.

Hanson also compiled 42 solo tackles and 198 defensive points.

As a sprinter/hurdler on the track for the Bruins, he owns PRs of 11.7 in the 100 meter dash, 53 seconds in the 400 run, and 42.0 in the 300 hurdles. Hanson also runs on both the 400 and 1,600 relays.

Hanson, who also owns a 3.9 GPA, will graduate with five letters; three in football and two in track.


Konnor Ralph, a freestyle skier from Helena, recently posted a first and second in the Toyota Revegitate Championships at Mount Hood Meadows Ski resort in Oregon. Ralph, 16, kicked off the event by capturing the Rail Jam title after consistently “hitting features within the specified time,” according to his mother, Chris (Burley) Ralph.

On Day 2, on a banked slalom course with rails and Slopestyle jumps inter-mixed, Ralph placed runner-up. It was a timed event, with speed and the quality of tricks being essential.

Earlier in the season at a Big Air event in Silvaplana, Switzerland, Ralph narrowly missed the finals by just 2 points. He did placed 24th, however, while earning FIS points.


Helena Athletic Club’s Audrey Bloomquist placed 16th all-around in the Level 9, Senior 8, Session 8 division at the Western Nationals Junior Olympics Gymnastics Meet in Spokane, with a score of 35.775 points. Bloomquist, 18, tallied 9.325 to take sixth in the vault and finished 13th on uneven parallel bars. A fall on her switch leap on balance beam cost her half a point, which would’ve placed her eighth all-around.

Reese Esponda of 406Gym, recently notched a pair of top-10 placings at Western Nationals. Esponda – who was the youngest competitor in the Level 9, Junior 1, Session 1 division at just 10 years of age – finished sixth on the floor exercise with a score of 9.275 points and seventh on balance beam at 9.450. She wound up 19th in the all-around, compiling 36.150 points.


The Helena Rodeo Club’s Annual Spring High School Rodeo was contested recently, with several local-area cowboys garnering wins in the individual events. Sam Petersen claimed the bareback bronc riding, Jhet Murphy captured the calf roping, and Jhet Murphy/Matt Murphy earned the team roping victory.

Helen club members taking runner-up were Mikayla Witter (pole bending), Jordyn Everson (breakaway roping), Jhet Murphy (steer wrestling), Treg Wolstein (calf roping), Ty Owens (bull riding & bareback), and Brynna Wolfe (barrel racing).

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Curt Synness can be reached at 594-2878 or email curt52synness@gmail.com. He’s also on Twitter @curtsynness_IR


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