GREAT FALLS — The Big Timber girls and Bigfork guys have opened up leads after Day 1 of the 2022 State B track and field meet at Memorial Stadium in Great Falls.
Defending State B champion Big Timber looks primed to repeat after taking an opening-day lead. The Sheepherders already have multiple state champions, but their best is likely ahead.
Emily Cooley and Alyssa Boshart have anchored Big Timber all season long and did so again on Friday. Cooley won the girl long jump title with a leap of 17-02, just one inch ahead of Three Forks' Jasmyn Murphy. Cooley will take aim at a second consecutive high jump crown on Saturday.
Boshart finished off the day with a win in the 400-meter dash in 59.72 seconds. Boshart has also qualified for the 100- and 200-meter dash finals on Saturday.
On the boys side Bigfork leads, but Jefferson is lurking.
The Vikings scored 28 points on the opening day behind a second-place finish from Jack Jensen in the 800-meter run and third in the 3,200. Bigfork also found points in the field with a runner-up from George Bucklin in the long jump and a third-place finish from Braeden Guse in the discus.
Jefferson, the defending State B champions, are set up for a big finish on Saturday.
Braden Morris opened up Friday morning with a win in the javelin with a toss of 167 feet, 4 inches. Teammate Wade Rykal capped the afternoon with a discus title with a toss of 154-10. The Panthers have a ton of potential points at play on Saturday afternoon and have a chance to rip the title away.
Palma sets 200-meter record, wins 400
Missoula Loyola's Ridger Palma has been on the fast track to a state record all season.
His performance in Friday's prelims of the 200-meter dash wasn't even his best time of the season, but after crossing in 22.07 seconds he found himself the new State B record holder in the event.
"I didn't really know I had the state record. My dad came up and told me. My goal would be to PR (Saturday) and break it again," Palma told MTN Sports. "Track is mental. If you tell yourself you're going to run a bad time, you're going to run a bad time. If you tell yourself you're going to run a good time, you're probably going to run a good time. So I just try to tell myself to run my hardest and have fun."
That time of 22.07 isn't even a season-best for the future Grand Canyon University sprinter, which is 21.91 set earlier this season.
Palma followed up his record-breaking performance in the 200 with a win in the 400 in 49.15 seconds and posted the top time in the prelims of the 100 at 10.97.
Full results of Day 1 can be found here.