By JASON BLASCO
Lake County Leader
Headed into the tournament, former Polson High School softball coach Larry Smith admitted hosting a Montana High School Association Class A state tournament can work two ways: for you, or against you.
In the case
of the Lady Pirates, who were the host team this year, they didn’t falter to
being in front of their hometown.
thrived, and the result was a second-place finish after falling to the Belgrade
11-1 in the MHSA Class A championship game Saturday afternoon at Polson High
School’s softball complex.
softball team has become known for their hitting prowess throughout the regular
season, and they continued that trend into the Montana High School Association
Class A postseason.
who will be joining the MHSA Class AA ranks next season, was able to utilize
their playoff experience the Panthers have accumulated over the last two
seasons to capture their second consecutive MHSA Class A state softball
the Pirates and the rest of the Class A competition, won’t have to worry about
Belgrade, a school that grew exponentially because of the housing boom in the
greater Bozeman area.
Pirates, who were the host team, started the second round of the softball
playoffs, after earning a bye by romping Fergus.
catapulted by Lexi Orien’s grand slam homerun at the bottom of the third that
began their all-out assault on Fergus.
proved hitting was contagious, as she smashed a sole homerun in the fourth
inning, which was Caye’s seventh homerun on the season. The Lady
Pirates’ six runs in the third and three at the bottom of the sixth were enough
to capture an 11-1 victory in the second round of the MHSA Class A state
victory over Fergus, the Lady Pirates had multiple top hitters. Josie Caye
and Kaylanna DesJarlais were 3-for-4. Paige Noyes went 2-for-4, Kallie
Finbeiner was 2-for-4, and Lexi Orien was 2-for-4 in the effort. Lisa Castillo also had a double in the
fell to Hamilton 2-1, they climbed through the loser’s bracket.
rolled Columbia Falls 11-1, they beat their long-standing rival Frenchtown 7-6,
and avenged their loss to Hamilton to
climb themselves back into the championship game against Belgrade.
Polson, who had played
Belgrade tight in previous games this season, was overpowered by the Belgrade
team 11-1 in the MHSA Class A championship game.
The Panthers, who will
transfer to MHSA Class AA classification next season, limited the lethal Lady
Lexi Orien and Kallie
Finkbeiner would be the only Lady Pirates base runners to reach scoring
position in the loss.
The Lady Pirates, who finished second in the MHSA Class A classification, were an extension of the Polson softball system that has 8U to 16, to 18U this year. The softball system, which provides aspiring Lady Pirates with essentially a farm system to cultivate up-and-coming talent, proved to be valuable this year. Head coach Jamie Hansen, in his first year of replacing Larry Smith, proved to be more than an adequate replacement as the Lady Pirates continue to forge ahead in their quest for an MHSA Class A state title. A quest that should be made easier with Belgrade transitioning to MHSA Class AA.
At Polson in the State
A title tilt, the Lady Pirates would need a Herculian effort to harvest gold,
one that would require
the equivalent of prying the coveted trophy from between the claws of the paws
of the twotime defending champion Lady Panthers. Much like an apex predator at
the top of the food chain guarding its prey, AA-bound Belgrade would be
reluctant to part with their cherished prize.
Tournament MVP pitcher
Erin Elgas would supply the arm, backed up by the solid gloves of defensive
fielders behind her and some blistering bats at the plate, to minimize whatever
chances might be lurking among the shadows for the top prize to gravitate into
the mitts of somebody else.
State A championship
Belgrade 11, Polson 1
In the fifth, 6-2
Panther outfielder Madi Kreiger would stretch her glove over the left field
fence for an ESPN highlight reel type catch to commit highway robbery of what
would have been a Kallie Finkbeiner home run. Lexi Orien and Finkbeiner would
be the only base runners to reach scoring position. Polson’s best team finish
(1NW) Polson (21-6),
(1C) Belgrade (23-0, 29-1) Polson
000 10 – 1 3 2* Belgrade 070 04 – 11 13 2* Lauren Vergeront (2IP:
4H,0K,2W,2HB), (3) Katelyne Druyvestein (0K,9H,3A) and Kaylanna DesJarlais.
Erin Elgas (6K) and Haylee Curry. W – Elgas (17-0). L – Vergeront (19-6).
POLSON – Josie Caye 0-2, DesJarlais 0-3, Paige
Noyes 0-2, Lexi Orien 1-2, SaVanna Carpentier 0-2, Vergeront 0-1, Druyvestein
1-1, Kobbey Smith 0-2, Lisa Costilla 0-2, Kallie Finkbeiner 1-2, (cr) Shaeley
BELGRADE – Kenna Thomas *2-2, Kaleigh Bauerle 1-1,
Maddisen Tomasetti 1-1, Sheridan Smith 0-1, Madi Kreiger 2-3, Olivia Cook 2-4,
Lanie Morgan 2-3, Hazel Eaton 2-3, Ellie Milesnick 0-2, Curry 1-3, Kamie
Gorrell 1-3, (flex) Elgas.
*HR – Cook;
[Finkbeiner robbed!]. 2B – Bauerle, Morgan; *Orien. RBIs – Thomas, Tomasetti 2,
Kreiger 2, Cook 3, Gorrell, Morgan; Druyvestein. SH – Thomas, Tomasetti,
Milesnick. BB – Caye; Tomasetti, Kreiger. HB – Thomas, Morgan. ROE – Vergeront;
Kreiger, Curry. FC – Gorrell. SB – Morgan. DP – b4: Carpentier, Noyes.
(Sa25May19gm22st) Asterisk (*) denotes stat variant(s) where alternative
assessments exist: BelGC (P:3E/) – Orien (LPiScore: 1B+E8, iJHt: 2B); Thomas
1-1 (LPiScore: HB,SH,1B; BelgGC/ iJHt:ab2=H).
loser takes third Polson 6,
and Josie Caye both mashed taters, DesJarlais in the third for her fifth of the
season and Caye in the fifth for her eighth of the season.
(1NW) Polson (21-5),
(2SW) Hamilton (195-2) Hamilton 100 010 – 2 5 1* Polson 201012 – 6 8 3* Jorden
Taggart and Katelyne Druyvestein (4.33IP: 1K,3W), Lauren Vergeront (2K,0H,1W)
and Kaylanna DesJarlais, (4) Kallie Finkbeiner, (6) DesJarlais. W – Druyvestein
(1-0). L – Taggert. Sv – Vergeront.
HAMILTON – Sophia Doyle 2-4, Abby Johnson 0-2,
Mikayln Brickley 0-3, Taggart 0-3, Maggie Ringer 0-2, Chantele Sisson 0-3,
Haley Frey 0-2, Olivia Zepeda 2-3, Phoebe Howard 0-1, Maria Gutierrez *0-1,
(flex) Kyla Shepherd, (cr) Madison Johnson.
POLSON – Josie Caye 1-3, DesJarlais 2-3, Paige
Noyes *2-3, Lexi Orien 0-3, SaVanna Carpentier 0-3, Vergeront 1-3, Kobbey Smith
2-3, Lisa Costilla 0-2, Grace Quinones 0-1, Kallie Finkbeiner 0-2, (cr) Anna
Vert (c), (cr) Shaeley Brown (p).
HR – DesJarlais, Caye.
RBIs – Ringer; *Orien, DesJarlais, Caye, Vergeront, Ko.Smith. BB – Johnson 2,
Howard, Ringer. FC – *Doyle, Taggart. SB – S.Brown. CS – Doyle. 2DP – t2:
Costilla, Noyes; t7: Caye, Noyes. Runs – Doyle, Zepeda; Caye, Des-Jarlais,
Vert, Noyes 2, Brown. (Sa25May-19gm21st) Asterisk (*) denotes stat variant(s) where
alternative assessments exist: HamGC( H:5H,2E/P:7H,1E) – Ringer (H:1sb; P:0sb),
Gutierrez 1-3 (t7- H:1B, P:ROE); Noyes (b1H:ROE; P:1B), Orien 1rbi (H:1rbi,
loser takes fourth
Polson 7, Frenchtown 6 (8 inn.) Kaylanna DesJarlais, Lisa Costilla and Kobbey Smith all mashed taters of a solo variety with Smith supplying the walkoff for the win. Classic Frenchtown vs Polson rivalry, a contest that seesaws back and forth, hangs in the balance and the outcome is uncertain until the final out is secured.
(1NW) Polson (20-5),
(1SW) Frenchtown (17-8) Frenchtown 002 000 40 – 6 11 2* Polson 120 020 11 – 7
10 1* Claire Bagnell (1K) and Kendra Williams. Lauren Vergeront (5.33IP:
5K,1W), (6) Katelyne Druyvestein (1.33IP: 1K,2H,2W), (7) Vergeront (1.33IP:
2K,1H,2W) and Kaylanna DesJarlais. W – Vergeront (19-5). L – Cl.Bagnell.
FRENCHTOWN – Cassidy Bagnell *2-4, Mikaela Field
1-5, Layne Bauer 1-5, Taylor Garren 2-4, Cassidy Moen 2-3, Cl. Bagnell 1-2,
Hailey Arthur 2-4, Hallie Habeck 0-4, Williams 0-3, (flex) Shelby Miotke.
POLSON – Josie Caye 2-3, DesJarlais 2-4, Paige
Noyes 1-4, Lexi Orien 2-3, SaVanna Carpentier 0-4, Vergeront 1-3, Druyvestein
0-1, Kobbey Smith 1-4, Lisa Costilla 1-3, Kallie Finkbeiner 0-3, (cr) Anna Vert
(c), (cr) Shaeley Brown (p).
HR – DesJarlais,
Costilla, Ko.Smith. 2B – Ca.Bagnell, Bauer; Orien, Caye. RBIs – Bauer, Garren
2, Cl.Bagnell, Arthur 2; Caye, DesJarlais, Orien 2, Ko.Smith, Costilla 2. BB –
Ca.Bagnell, Moen, Cl.Bagnell 2, Williams; Caye, Orien. ROE – Ca.Bagnell;
Finkbeiner. FC – Vergeront, Ko.Smith. SB – Ca.Bagnell 2. CS – Caye. Runs –
Ca.Bagnell, Field, Bauer, Garren, Moen, Williams; Caye, Des-Jarlais, (cr) Vert,
Ko.Smith 2, Costilla, Finkbeiner. (Sa25May19gm21st) Asterisk (*) denotes stat
variant(s) where alternative assessments exist: FrGC( F:12H,2E/P:13H,0E) –
Vergeront (F:H, P:FC), Ko.Smith (F:H, P:FC), Finkbeiner (F:H,P:ROE).
Polson 11, Columbia
Lexy Orien mashed her
sixth tater of the season, while Josie Caye, Paige Noyes and Lauren Vergeront
inflicted doubles troubles upon the conference rival WildKats.
(1NW) Polson (19-5),
(2NW) C-Falls (14-121) C-Falls 000 001 – 1 3 4 Polson 113 222 – 11 12 0 Savvy
Ellis and GraceAnne Sevesind. Lauren Vergeront (5.33IP:4K,1HB), (6) Ellie Thiel
and Kaylanna DesJarlais. W – Vergeront (185). L – Ellis. Sv – Thiel.
COLUMBIA FALLS – Kaylee Ashe 1-3, Alyssa Blankenship
0-3, Trista Cowan 0-3, Sevesind 1-2, Ryley Kehr 0-2, Isabel Johnson 0-2, Chloe
Kienas 0-2, Ellis 0-1, McKenna Rensel 1-2.
POLSON – Josie Caye *2-2, DesJarlais *13, Grace
Quinones 0-1, Paige Noyes 2-4, Lexi Orien 2-4, SaVanna Carpentier *2-4,
Vergeront 1-2, Kobbey Smith 2-3, Lisa Costilla 0-3, Kallie Finkbeiner 0-2, (cr)
Anna Vert (c), (cr) Shaeley Brown (p).
HR – Orien. 2B – Caye,
Noyes, Vergeront, Carpentier. RBIs – Noyes, Orien 2, Vergeront, Carpentier 2.
SF – Vergeront. SH – Frey. BB – Caye 2, Finkbeiner. HB – Ellis. SB – Caye 2,
(cr) Vert. DP – b3:Caye, Noyes. (Fr24May19gm18st) Asterisk (*) denotes stat variant(s)
where alternative assessments exist: LPiScore (P:9H,0E) – Caye 1-2 (ROE vs
1B:iJHt), Des-Jarlais 0-2 (SH vs BT:iJHt), Carpentier 1-4 (ROE vs 1B+E:iJHt).
Hamilton 2, Polson 1
Knotted at one apiece,
the Broncs bombers from Hamilton would plate a late inning run to buck the Bucs
from the saddle of their own tournament.
(1NW) Polson (18-5),
(2SW) Hamilton (193-2) Polson 100 000 0 – 1 9 2* Hamilton 010 001 x – 2 4 1*
Lauren Vergeront (4IP:3K,1W,1HB,1PO,1A), (5) Katelyn Druyvestein (2K,1A) and
Kaylanna DesJarlais. Jorden Taggart and Haley Frey. W – Taggart. L – Vergeront
POLSON – Josie Caye 0-2, DesJarlais 1-3, Paige
Noyes 2-3, Lexi Orien 2-4, SaVanna Carpentier *1-3, Vergeront 1-2, Druyvestein
0-1, Kobbey Smith 2-3, Lisa Costilla 0-2, Kallie Finkbeiner 0-3, (cr) Anna Vert
(c), (cr) Shaeley Brown (p).
HAMILTON – Sophia Doyle 1-3, Abby Johnson 2-3,
Mikayln Brickley 0-2, Taggart 0-2, Maggie Ringer 1-3, Chantele Sisson 0-3,
Haley Frey 0-2, Olivia Zepeda 1-2, Phoebe Howard 0-2, (flex) Kyla Shepherd,
(cr) Madison Johnson.
2B – DesJarlais,
Ko.Smith; Abby Johnson. RBIs – Zepeda. SH – Costilla; Brickley. BB – Caye 2;
DesJarlais,Taggart. HB – Frey. *ROE – Frey. FC – Orien, Ko.Smith. DP: b2:
Brickley, Johnson, Sisson. (Th23May19gm13st) Asterisk (*) denotes stat
variant(s) where alternative assessments exist: LPiScore (P:7H/H:4H), HamGC
(P:4H,1E/H:5H,3E) Noyes 1-3 (H:ROE, P:H+E), Carpentier 0-3 (H:ROE, P:1B+E),
Vergeront 0-2 (H:ROE only, P:H+E)
Polson 11, Fergus 1
Lexy Orien mashed a
tater in the bottom of the third for her fifth home run of the season, a grand
slameroni, while Josie Caye mashed a solo tater in the fourth, her seventh of
the season as the Lady Pirates tethered the talons of the Lady Golden Eagles.
(1NW) Polson (18-4),
(2C) Fergus (14-10)Fergus 100 000 – 1 2 3* Polson 006 113 – 11 18
2* Jessica Morgan, (6) Macy Mangold and Jacy Ayers. Lauren Vergeront
(7K,2W,1HB), (6) Katelyne Druyvestein (1W) and Kaylanna DesJarlais. W –
Vergeront (17-4). L – J.Morgan.
FERGUS (LEWISTOWN) – Kaycee Gordon 0-3, Morgan 0-3, Mangold
0-1, Bailey Castillo 2-3 Hailey Welsch 0-3, Libby Jenness 0-2, Madison Affolder
0-3, Chelsea Jensen 0-1, Jacy Ayers 0-2.
POLSON – Josie Caye 3-4, DesJarlais 3-4, Paige
Noyes 2-4, Lexi Orien 2-4, SaVanna Carpentier *1-3, Vergeront *1-3, Druyvestein
1-1, Kobbey Smith 3-4, Lisa Costilla 0-4, Kallie Finkbeiner 2-4, (cr) Anna Vert
(c), (cr) Shaeley Brown (p).
HR – Orien, Caye. 2B – Castillo; Carpentier. RBIs – Caye 2, Orien 4, Ko.Smith 2, Finkbeiner 2. SH – Carpentier. BB – Mangold 2, Jenness. HB – Jensen. ROE – Gordon; Ko.Smith. FC – Caye, DesJarlais, Runs – Mangold; Caye 2, (cr) Vert, Orien 2, Carpentier, (cr) Brown 2, Ko.Smith 2, Finkbeiner. (Th23May19gm5st) Asterisk (*) denotes stat variant(s) where alternative assessments exist: Pvenue – Carpentier 1-4(fo,H,k,SH) Pvenue (F:2H,2E/P:17H,1E), FergGC (F:2H,3E/P:16H,1E) – Ko.Smith 4H,3rbi
October 27, 2018
PLAQUE PREFERENCE BURGER-LARIZED BY BULLDOGS
JOHN HEGLIE Special for the Leader
Smith Fields in Whitefish for the 2018 State A boys soccer championship, the
Polson Pirates and the Northern A conference champion Bulldogs would put on
quite a show in an energetic quest to claim the coveted state A crown last
Saturday. This would be just the third foray to the championship match in the
history of the Pirate boys’ soccer program, who hoped that the idiomatic
expression “third time’s a charm” would play out in Polson’s favor.
two of the top three scorers among Class A in Pirates Mack Moderie and Robin
Erickson having collaborated on over 50 goals, inclusive of kicks from the
penalty mark, as well as having contributed over two dozen assists, Polson
certainly had the horsepower at their disposal to shape the outcome of this
contest in their favor. Polson was also the only team to inflict the lone
blemish upon the otherwise pristine Whitefish record, having forged a 3-3 tie
with the Bulldogs in their last encounter three weeks prior.
with eight seasoned seniors who had honed their craft over the course of
multiple seasons in addition to a supporting cast of up-and-comers fleshing out
the Pirate roster, history was beckoning for this season to culminate in the
prize of a program first. Yet, despite the best planning and preparation that
could be mustered, a Bulldog Burger-lar would get loose by the name of Xander
Burger — whose caliber of play would prove instrumental in purloining the prize
sought by Pirate players when he turned in a five-goal performance.
some postseason contests in which both teams start out cautiously as they gauge
each other for strengths and weaknesses, this championship started out high octane
with both being aggressive on the attack.
the 10-minute mark, Pirate keeper Kaden Nelson made an aggressive charge to
intercept encroachment of the ball near the corner of the box. The Bulldogs’
ball handler was just able to tap it by outstretched glove reach. With the
keeper momentarily beyond optimal intervention range, Ian Lacey unloaded a shot
on the frame of the goal. Fortunately for the Pirates, defender Austin Luper
vectored to intercept and cleared the ball so as to deny what would likely have
been the first goal of the contest.
the 23rd-minute mark, Pirate Robin Erickson uncorked a shot from the left side
of the box, which was initially deflected by Whitefish keeper Colter Upton.
Unable to quite secure the ball, a handful of Bulldog defenders simultaneously
converged upon the area to clog access lanes as Erickson sought unsuccessfully
to maneuver past the congestion of the traffic jam.
goals by Bulldog Burger within a three-minute span would stake Whitefish with a
2-0 advantage. Polson would counter when Nico River cut that lead in half after
a Bridger Wenzel feed, 2-1.
would reacquire the margin with a second-half opening-minute goal by Burger,
giving him a three-goal hat trick at that juncture, 3-1. Polson would counter
within minutes after a Mack Moderie attack that was initially deflected by
Bulldog keeper Upton. As the keeper sought to secure the ball with outstretched
fingers, Erickson beat him to the spot and flicked the ball into the back
corner of the net to draw his team within a goal once again, 3-2.
Polson had four different shot opportunities of varying degrees of threat
level: wide left, over the crossbar, an on-frame Luper zinger from the wing
that forced a keeper intercept and a Moderie carry to within launch range that
was diffused by Bulldog defenders.
strategic turning point in the match would take place just before the
three-quarter juncture. Bulldog Joshua Gunderson and a Pirate defender were
battling for control of the ball within the 18-yard-box of the Polson goal. A
penalty kick would be awarded, which Bulldog Ian Lacey would bury into the back
of the net to re-extend the lead back to a two goal advantage, 4-2.
that juncture, Polson was forced into a delicate risk versus reward strategy in
an effort to close the gap with time dwindling. Pirate coach Adam Fansher
observed, “I felt the turning point in the match was the penalty… and (we)
had to push some extra players forward to catch up, leaving our defenders
exposed at that back.”
the course of the remainder of the match, the Pirates would have twice as many
shot opportunities as their opponent, 11 to five — a half dozen of them taken
on the frame of the goal that required defensive intervention. River launched
one from 20 yards out, forcing the keeper to deflect it over the crossbar at
the 58th minute. Another was double-pronged when Moderie sought to penetrate
the defensive array in front of the goal at about the 65 minute mark. When his
effort was repelled by defenders, Moderie regained possession and deftly passed
the ball over to an open Connor Lanier on the other side. Lanier, who kicked
field goals for the Pirate football squad last season, unleashed his best
effort, but the ball couldn’t quite gain enough lift nor zing to evade the
grasp of the keeper.
contrast, Whitefish would add a pair of insurance goals when Burger drilled
both of his chances through the spread between Polson defenders.
the outcome was disappointing, Fansher was nevertheless impressed by the team
knew going into it that we would have to be almost perfect as a team … but
unfortunately we made too many mistakes … That space we allowed them …
combined with an outstanding performance from Xander Burger was too much … to
contain,” the Pirates coach said.
retrospect, one wonders whether the outcome could have been shaped differently
had health issues not impacted the team in the form of limiting the
availability of a pair of seasoned veterans. A Pirate squad at full strength and
playing at an optimal level are a couple of variables that might have been able
to tilt the balance toward the Pirates. Nevertheless, the team finishes with
one of the best, if not the best, overall record in program history as well as
fourth-best conference record over the course of the past decade.
Whitefish 6, Polson 2
(13-2-1), Whitefish (14-0-1)
1 1 – 2
2 4 – 6
– g Xander Burger (a Ian Lacey) 26’
– g Burger (a Casey Schneider) 29’
– g Nico River (a Bridger Wenzel) 32’
– g Burger (a Schneider) 41’
– g Robin Erickson rebound (a Mack Moderie) 43’
– g Lacey (pk) 57’
– g Burger 70’
W – g Burger (a Lacey) 75’
May 24, 2019
girls nab Class A tennis honors
Pirates finish 2nd
girls tennis dominated on the final day of the Class A State Tournament at
Flathead Valley Community College on Friday.
Bulldogs placed first as a team with 33 points, Gracie Smyley claimed the girls
singles title and Aubrey Hanks and Olivia Potthoff brought home the doubles
matches ended within seconds of each other, with cheers erupting from all
sides. Players embraced outside the courts.
was kind of like the Fourth of July,” Whitefish girls coach Patrick Dryden
said. “Everything exploded at once. The kids have really worked hard this year.
We’re pleased to bring another state championship home for Whitefish High
beat Livingston’s Bobbi Lima in the title match 7-5, 6-3. Lima knocked off
defending champion Shea McGuinness of Polson in semifinals earlier in the day.
was a very evenly fought match,” Dryden said. “Bobbi gave Gracie all she could
handle. Gracie was down 5-4 in that first set and we were trying to figure out
how we could win some points off (Lima) because she just wasn’t giving us
won in three set against Polson’s Berkley Ellis/Qia Harlan, 4-6, 6-1, 6-1.
was tough,” Dryden said. “We’ve got a lot of respect for Polson. It’s a really
good rivalry and to have it come down to the state doubles championship to
determine the state trophy, that was pretty neat.”
Brendan Buls lost to defending champion Brad Rakich in boys singles, 6-3, 7-6
Schweikert of Columbia Falls beat McGuinness in the consolation round to place
third. Columbia Falls’ John Gilk and Camryn Lingle lost in the boys doubles
fifth place match,
boys doubles team Mark Anderson/Colter Upton lost in the fifth place game.
some quality tennis here and it’s gonna get better in the next couple of
years,” Dryden said.
Class A State Tennis at
33, Polson n/a, Hardin 19
Smyley (Whitefish) def. Tricia Joyce (Havre) 6-0, 6-2; Bobbi Lima (Livingston)
def. Shea McGuinness (Polson) 6-1, 4-6, 6-4.
Schweikert (Columbia Falls) def. Eliana Foss (Hamilton) 7-6 (7), 6-0; Emma
Putnam (Billings Central) def. Madeline DeLeo 6-0, 6-2; Schweikert (W) def.
Tricia Joyce (Butte Central) 6-1, 6-1; McGuinness (P) def. Putnam 6-3, 6-3.
(Butte Central) def. Putnam 6-2, 6-0.
(W) def. McGuinness 6-0, 6-2.
(W) def. Lima 7-5, 6-3.
Hanks/Olivia Potthoff (Whitefish) def. Ara Mercer/Megan Rost (Polson) 6-4, 6-4;
Berkley Ellis/Qia Harlan (Polson) def. Kodie Vondra/Sylvie Schoenen
(Livingston) 7-6 (7), 6-2.
Cummins/Deidra Don’t Mix (Hardin) def. Macie Flamm/Rilee Green (Hardin) 6-4,
6-1; Katie Murdock/Makiko Reisig (Hardin) def. Megan Kirkland/Christina
Weidkamp (Corvallis) 6-0, 6-3; Murdock/Reisig (Hardin) def. Vondra/Syvie
Schoenen 7-6 (7), 6-2.
(Livingston) def. Mercer/Rost 6-1, 6-2.
(Hardin) def. Cummins/Don’t Mix 6-0, 6-1.
Hanks/Potthoff (W) def. Ellis/Harlan 4-6, 6-1, 6-1.
MHSA Class A track
Polson distance-runner Bea Frissell caps high school career with state titles and state records
By JASON BLASCO, Lake
High School distance and cross country runner Bea Frissell has always searched
for the internal motivation that has allowed her to become a premier runner in
the state of Montana, and a top-tier student.
finished one of the most decorated running careers in Polson High School
history and capped her career in her final run ending in a spot she has become
familiar with: first place. Setting personal records in
both the 1,600meter and 3,200-meter distance events, Frissell capped her Lady Pirate
career eclipsing her previous times in both.
recorded a time of 5:00.10 in the 1,600, and 10:47.33 in the 3,200, both
personal records, and both enough to capture first place in the Montana High
School Association Class A state meet at Laurel Sports Complex at Laurel High School.
motivated wasn’t always easy.
during her junior year, Frissell admitted to struggling to stay motivated.“Everyone
has their moments, and I didn’t have quite as much motivation last year,” Frissellsaid.
“I was under so much stress with school, and I wasn’t having as much fun on the
track team in general. Matt Seeley helped me stay motivated and much more this
year, and the people I enjoy being around (on my team) made running a lot
several collegiate options, Frissell knew there was one she was dead set on:
the University of Montana.
looking at Portland State pretty seriouslyas well as Montana State, and I looked at
Wyoming for a little bit, but it came down to what I could afford financially,”
Frissell said. “I wasn’t able to go outside the state, and that kept me
from looking at other places because I couldn’t afford many options.”
have been another reason Frissell chose to stay close to home.
always really loved the culture at the University of Montana there,” Frissell
said. “I love Montana, and you get to walk outside your door and hike. It’s
just a beautiful place.”
to balance athletics and school hasn’t always come naturally, Frissell said.
get better at balancing (the two) as I got older,” Frissell said. “I think back
during my freshman year, and I struggled to prepare for a test and a track
meet. Then, I might have a soccer game the same day. I missed a ton of school,
and I had to learn how to stay caught up and communicate with my teachers. It
is because of their cooperation that I haven’t had to sacrifice as much as I
would have otherwise.”
credits the support of the Polson running community, her coaching staff, parents and
the Polson faculty towards keeping her motivated with achieving her goals.
school, Frissell’s focus wasn’t running because it was soccer, another sport
Frissell excelled in.
fans have speculated that if Frissell were present on the 2016 soccer team that
might have been enough to overhaul Billings Central, a team Polson lost to in a
shootout in the semifinals of the 2016 MHSA Class A semifinals. The Lady Pirates’ running
team, and the chasing of records after practically owning the Polson girls
record book provided too much motivation for Frissell, and her passion for
soccer translated into distance running during her freshman year.
my favorite sport wasn’t running long distance in middle school,” Frissell
admitted. “I was so focused on soccer that I never
really thought about running long distance and that it would become my thing. I
had no idea I would get those records in high school.”
who admitted she enjoyed soccer more than running, didn’t think that trend
would change. “Soccer I would say had my heart,” Frissell said.
Frissell’s freshman year as a Lady Pirates, her passion for soccer began to
shift more towards cross country and distance running.
remember looking up at times on the wall (as a freshman in high school) and
breaking those records was not part of the plan,” Frissell said. “I think I
went out my freshman year of track, and I started to get faster, and started
top-10 race during Frissell’s freshman year, she realized her goals of becoming
part of the Polson record book could come to fruition.
during my freshman year of track, I started to get faster and started
improving,” Frissell said. “The onemile time was the first one through my
freshman year in track in the top 10 and I was super, super close. I was within a second. I looked at one of my coaches (distance track Rob Alfiero) and said, ‘why did you not tell me I was that close to a school record,’ and he looked at me and said, ‘you’ll get it next time.’”
her high school career, Frissell wavered with the two passions
of soccer and running, but her coach Matt Seeley and his daughter Malia Seeley
would eventually encourage Frissell to harness her natural talent for running.
just such an amazing coach, and knew he could get me those times I wanted to
achieve,” Frissell said. “I’ve been running for eight years now, and I think
he’s helped a lot in my development as a runner to become a better runner
because I wouldn’t say I am a natural runner for sure. He is a huge reason I’ve
achieved so much. He’s very passionate about running and knows how to make
running fun. He will joke around with the group, and that is one of the biggest
reasons for my success as a runner. He made running fun.”
carried a 4.0 GPA and will head to the University of Montana, where she will
take on her career as a distance runner. Frissell said she plans on majoring in
ecological restoration and possibly choosing to study environmental law as a niche in law school in
have to stay focused in terms of being able to spend every free minute on homework, and
also prioritizing my schedule with a daily planner,” Frissell said. “I’ve been
doing this forfour years now, and that helped me keep track of things and
helped me stay focused on school work to maintain my 4.0 GPA.
helped quite a bit because there were some hard times, but I think it’s
possible for everyone.”