The Helena High girls put together an incredibly strong showing that the state meet with freshman Kylie Hartnett leading the way with a seventh-place finish for her first All-State honor.
Hartnett’s run helped catapult the Bengals to an impressive fourth-place finish in the team battle, as Missoula Hellgate claimed the top spot, ahead of Bozeman in second and Billings Senior in third. Hellgate’s victory snapped Bozeman’s 11-year championship streak.
Hartnett finished in 18 minutes, 36 seconds, and was the only freshman All-Stater. Meanwhile, freshman Rylie Schoenfeld and senior Jasmine Wilkerson narrowly missed out on All-State finishes (top 15) as they placed 19th and 20th with personal-best performances. Schoenfeld was the second freshman finisher in 19:29, a 30-second improvement, and Wilkerson capped her Bengal career in 19:31.
Another Helena freshman, Kylee Wetzel, ran to a 29th-place finish in 2:07, while senior Katelyn McKay rounded out the team’s scoring as the fifth runner in 20:37 for 41st place.
The Bengals finished with 116 point. Hellgate won with an impressive tally of 37, while Bozeman totaled 57 and Senior chalked up 85.
Helena’s sixth and seventh finishers at state were senior Paige Aasved in 22:45 and freshman Breanna Brewer in 22:46.
Led by junior Jonah Fisher’s 16th-place finish in 16:34 and a strong run by the tightly packed trio of senior Zane Roush (16:56, personal best, 31st), sophomore Trystan Brewer (16:58, 33rd) and junior Clayton Ryerson (17:00, 34th), the Bengals placed eighth in a crowded and competitive field. Junior Sam Sullivan was Helena’s fifth scorer in 56th.
Bozeman claimed its 11th consecutive team title with 65 points, and was followed by Hellgate (128), Senior (136), Glacier (137), Sentinel (145), Billings West (148) and CM Russell (164).
Helena’s sixth and seventh runners were junior Nick Pida in 61st with a personal best of 17:38 and sophomore Ethan Nelson in 84th with a best of 18:30.
While the eighth-place finish wasn’t an improvement over the team’s 2017 result, the Bengals did perform well at the state meet. In fact, demonstrating how much things can change from year to year, their top-5 combined time (1:25:04) from this season was 2:33 faster than last year (1:27:37). Adding to that, this year’s combined time closely compares to their combined performance in 2013 (1:24:52), when the team placed third, further demonstrating the strength of the 2018 state meet field.
Despite that impressive year-to-year improvement, they placed eighth for the second straight season in a crowded field. With just one senior graduating from the state team, the Bengals are already looking forward to improving further in 2019. Here’s a look at how the boys combined time matches up against past seasons. It’s safe to say, things are moving in the right direction with this squad.
- 2018 – 1:25:04 (8th)
- 2017 – 1:27:37 (8th)
- 2016 – 1:26:33 (11th)
- 2015 – 1:24:16 (6th)
- 2014 – 1:24:09 (5th)
- 2013 – 1:24:52 (3rd)
- 2012 – 1:28:07 (6th)
- NOTE: Times from 2012-2016 were rough conversions from 3 miles to 5K (3.11 miles)