052919 SportsAveryStiles_highjumpp.jpg

Avery Stiles competing last year in the high jump. He set the record in the event in 2019 at 6’9.25.

In another year, we’d be gearing up now for the state high school track and field championships. Unfortunately, of course, track and field has been wiped out this spring – as have tennis and golf – because of the coronavirus pandemic.

This will be the first time since 1945 that the championships are cancelled. High school track and field in Montana goes back to 1904 for boys and 1969 for girls. For the first 60 years, the boys’ event was held in Missoula as part of the State Interscholastics, which also featured golf, tennis, thespians and journalism. The Interscholastics was held under one classification until 1939, when it was split into A and B divisions.  There was no State meet in 1943, 1944 or 1945, during World War II. The State expanded to three divisions in 1954, and to four — where it remains — two years later.  

Girls track was added in 1969 with A and B divisions, then expanded to four in 1972. The events are now identical for both genders except for the hurdle races and weights of the shot put. Montana was the first state to have both genders compete in the triple jump and pole vault. 

The meets have changed quite a bit over the years. Cinder tracks are a thing of the past; rubberized tracks, which are very consistent and not as affected by weather, are a huge improvement.  Fully automatic timers (FAT) have replaced hand times, though the latter are still kept in case the clocks go down. And athletes can qualify for State simply by hitting qualifying times or distances during the regular season. In the old days a student could have the fastest time in an event during the regular season, only to be disqualified by a false start at the district meet.      

The Panther boys have won the Class B State title four times — their first in 1980, another in 1992, and then back-to-back in 1997 and 1998. It would have been a three-peat in 1999 if star athlete Adam Cordeiro had not injured his leg in the 4X100 relay. That injury took him out of the other events he was favored to win and the Panthers were edged by Roundup. 


Here are the Jefferson High boys’ track and field 


100M: Adam Cordeiro, 10.7 seconds in 1998

200M: Adam Cordeiro, 22.25 in 1999

400M: Joe Simon, 50.0 in 2001

800M: Joe Simon, 1:56.38 in 2001

1600M: Bryant Samson, 4:19.1 in 1980

3200M: Josh Pallister, 9:44.9 in 1992

110 Hurdles: Steve Wetstein, 15.2 in 1974

300 Hurdles: Shawn McMahon, 40.23 in 2001

400 relay: Nate Brunett, Nick Winfield, Jered Padmos and Rahkei Eyer in 2016

1600 relay: Nate Brunett, Liam Ronayne, Jered Padmos and Rahkei Eyer, 3:25.11  in 2016

Triple jump: Kurt McCauley, 44’2.5” in 1986

Shot put: Adam Cordeiro, 55’10.25” in 1999

Discus: Adam Cordeiro, 157’8” in 1999

Javelin: Aaron Sieminski, 178’1”

High jump: Avery Stiles 6’9.25 in 2019

Pole vault: 14’6” by Darren Schmaus in 1994 and Marty Kuntzweiler in 1998

Long jump: Tim Russ 22’5.5” in 1998.

Girls track and field records:

100M: Lola Chaffee, 12.5 in 1979

200M: Lola Chaffee, 25.4 in 1979

400M: Robyn Bolstad, 59.84 in 1998

800M: Sabrina Monro, 2:23.2 in 1998

1600M: Sabrina Monro, 5:00.9 in 1998

3200M: Sabrina Monro, 10:46.12 in 1998

100 hurdles: Janessa Williams, 15.4 in 2015

300 hurdles: Janessa Williams in 2013, 

400 relay: Haydin Henschel, Hailee Stiles, Callie Warfle and Ashley Pankratz, 43.42 in 2018

1600 relay: Lara Carlson, Sabrina Monro, Robyn Bolstad and Nikki Bolstad, 4:12.37 in 1998

Triple jump: Janessa Williams, 35’10.25 in 2014

Shot put: Becky Gerst, 38’9.75” in 2014

Discus: Monique Stafford, 116’ in 1990

Javelin: 123’3” set by Heidi Bannon in 1986; Miranda Clark holds the new javelin record at 115’1” in 2009

High jump: Marlo Nyman, 5’2” in 1989

Pole vault: Emily Schroeck, 10’6” in 2011

Long jump: Sherri Cooper, 17’9.5” in 1980

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