Panther junior Joey Visser won the state title, and broke his own school record, in the 300 hurdles.

Jefferson High School’s boys’ track and field squad has won Class B state championships in 1980, 1992, 1997, and 1998.

Chalk up a fifth.

The Panthers took last weekend’s State Class B meet in Laurel handily, tallying 62 points across all events. Second-place Missoula Loyola had 48 points; Huntley Project was third, with 42, and Townsend fourth with 40.

On the girl’s side, Jefferson placed eighth out of 27 schools participating. Sweet Grass County won its first track and field title to go along with its trophy this year in girls’ basketball. Manhattan finished second, Huntley Project third, and Colstrip fourth.

Joey Visser improved on his school-record-breaking time in the 300 hurdles, winning the race with a run of 39.85. (The old Jefferson record was held by Emmitt McMahon – not his brother Shawn, as was incorrectly reported last week.) Braden Morris was just a hair behind for second, at 39.86, and Dylan Root placed fourth in 42.10.

Morris won a state title of his own in the 110 hurdles in 15.33, with Root close behind in third place at 15.59. Morris filled out a strong championship with fourth place in the javelin with a throw of 158’, and second place in the triple jump at 41’ 6.5”.

Visser sprinted to a fourth-place finish in the 100, in 11.70. Wade Rykal tied for first in the shot put with a throw of 149’ 11”, matching Cody Burk of Thompson Falls. In the case of a tie, the athlete with the second longest throw takes the title, and Rykal was edged and took second. 

For the lady Panthers, Clare Ronayne, MacKenzie Layng, Grace Alexander and Hailee Stiles broke their own school record for the 4x100 relay, set the week before, with a new time of 50.68. That was good for third place. They also took fifth in the 4x400 in 4:16.94.

Individually, Ronayne took second in the 100, in 13.22, and fourth in the 200, in 26.86. Emma McCauley was runner-up in the triple jump at 34’ 2.25”, and Stiles finished in the triple jump at 33’ 5.75”

A great finish to an excellent year for the track and field teams that will see most of their athletes back next year.

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