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Libby Loggers have three medalists at state track and field

by SCOTT SHINDLEDECKER
The Western News | May 31, 2024 7:00 AM

The Libby Loggers track and field team had three medalists at the Montana Class A Championships at the Laurel Sports Complex.

But just getting there was a much of a challenge as their respective opponents. Loggers head coach Josh Bean lauded his bus drivers - Pat Gragert and Rich Cloyed - for getting the team where it needed to be and home.

"The trip was unbelievable," Bean said. We left Wednesday, stayed in Butte, then were delayed for several hours Thursday morning because the pass was blocked because of the snow and wrecks. Later, we were rerouted through Columbus before getting back on I-90."

When the Loggers finally made it to Laurel, Thursday's practice was cancelled because of all the rain that fell and the bad field conditions.

"Friday was a good day, our kids were opportunistic and did what they had to to get on the podium," Bean said.

Sophomore Tristan Andersen was a double medalist. He was second in the high jump with a top leap of six feet and fifth in the javelin with a personal-best throw of 167 feet.

Andersen's second qualified for the Loggers Hall of Fame. He joins his dad, Cory Andersen, who made the grade in basketball.

Andersen scored all of Libby’s team points - 9 - good for 14th overall.

The girls team had two medalists and was 15th overall with eight points.

Junior Bergen Fortner medaled in the long jump with a top leap of 16 feet, 8 1/4 inches. She also nearly medaled in the triple jump. Her leap of 33 feet, 11 1/4 inches put her in ninth place. The distance was a personal record.

Fortner placed 13th in the 100-meter hurdles, just a missing a spot in the finals.

Eighth-grade student Capri Farmer was fifth in the 3,200-meter run and 12th in the 1,600. Farmer ran a 11:51.86 in the 3,200, 21 seconds behind champion Aleigha Child, a freshman at Hamilton.

At the divisional meet the week before in Columbia Falls, Farmer set the Libby school record in the 3,200 with a time of 11:44.74.

Farmer eclipsed the school mark set in 1981 by Denise Waldron. 

"For her to be on that stage for the first time and do that, we're very happy," Bean said.

Here’s a look at the other Libby and Troy athletes who competed at state.

Libby

Freshman Cody Watson was 14th in the 3,200-meter run in 10:30.42.

The 4x400-meter relay team of Tristan Andersen, Colter Anderson, Cody Watson and Rowen Sherbo placed 19th in 3:43.05.

Senior Gaige Bache was 19th in the shot put.

Senior Casey Rusdal was 15th in the pole vault.

Freshman Sidnie Thompson was 14th in the shot put 

Troy

Junior Kempton Sloan was eighth in the high jump at five feet, 10 inches.

Sophomore Nolan Morris was 10th in the 800-meter run in 2:05.94 and 16th in the 1,600 in 4:50.70.

Senior Jacob Gromley was 11th in the discus and 16th in the shot put.

For the girls, senior Sarah Rogers was 26th with a top high jump of 4 feet, 6 inches. Junior Cortenie Rogers was 19th in the triple jump and 24th in the long jump.

    Libby eighth-grade runner Capri Farmer placed fifth in the 3,200-meter run at the 2024 state Class A championships in Laurel. (Scott Shindledecker/The Western News FILE)