Track

Manhattan Christian’s Caleb Bellach leaps into the sand pit while competing in the triple jump Saturday.

After crossing the finish line well ahead of the competition at Van Winkle Stadium, Caleb Bellach was informed of the hand-held time.

It was close to what the 400-meter relay team had been seeking, but Bellach and his teammates had to wait several minutes before the official time was finally announced over the loud speaker. Then, Bellach and his teammates erupted in celebration.

The relay team, which also featured Landon Liudahl, David Aamot and Jakob Boscha, broke the school record after posting a time of 44.81 seconds. The previous time of 44.83 had been set a year ago.

“We knew we were going to be close, so to beat it by two-hundreths of a second is pretty cool. And we still have four races left the next two weeks,” Bellach said. “Can only get better hopefully.”

That was one of many highlights Saturday as the Manhattan Christian boys cruised to the District 11C championship. The Eagles won 15 of the 17 events en route to amassing 211 points. Gardiner was a distant second with 121.

“Just the way that our boys are performing this year, we kind of expected to win,” first-year Christian coach Laura Arthun said. “But we didn’t expect just the way everyone performed today. We had a lot of amazing performances overall.”

Bellach led the way by winning four individual events and anchoring the sprint relay. The senior set personal bests in both the 400 (52.13 seconds) and 300 hurdles (43.86 seconds) and won the long jump and triple jumps with marks of 20 feet, 2.25 inches and 40-8, respectively.

“I won both (jumps), but I’ve done a lot better than I did,” Bellach said. “I think (it was) just fatigue. The next two weeks they’re on different days, so my legs will be fresh each day.”

Liudahl was a double winner for the Eagles in the 100 (11.66 seconds) and 200 (23.87) and qualified for state in the 100 while Tyler Kamps posted wins in the shot put (44-7.5) and discus (131-5).

Ben Morrison, Grant VanDyken and Riley Schott posted victories in the 800, 1,600 and 3,200 with times of 2:05.6, 5:33.68, and 10:53.79, respectively.

Boscha added a win in the javelin (139-10), and Devan Walhof in the pole vault (10-6), while the 1,600 relay capped the meet in victory with a time of 3:46.06.

“We had a lot of kids that were working up to having their big day today,” Arthun said.

On the girls’ side, West Yellowstone tallied 142 points en route to winning the championship. Shields Valley placed second with 114 while Christian was third with 110.

The Eagles were led by Faith Shepard, who won a pair of events and placed in five. The junior set a personal best in the pole vault after clearing 9-6.

“We were just really waiting for that to happen,” Arthun said. “We’ve been switching poles and just waiting for that big moment to happen, so I was really thrilled about all that.”

Shepard had been stuck at 8-6 in competition since her freshman season but had successfully cleared 9 feet in practice. Now the junior is shooting for 10.

“Now that I got 9-6 I know that I can (get it),” she said. “Because I almost got 9-9 too.”

Shepard qualified for state in the 100 with a time of 13.14 seconds to place second and posted a winning mark of 15-9 in the long jump. She also placed third in the 200 (28.02 seconds) and was fourth in the triple jump (30-7.5).

Christian’s other winner on the day was Shelby Walls, who had a time of 2:39.11 in the 800. The senior also placed fourth in the 1,600 and 3,200.

Rylie Thompson earned a runner-up finish in the shot put (29-11.75), while Shayla Ard was second in the discus (83-5).

“We knew it was going to be warm day and of course everyone does good when it’s warm,” Shepard said. “So we wanted to PR and have fun and just do what we can do.”

Colton Pool can be reached at cpool@dailychronicle.com or 406-582-2690. Follow him on Twitter @CPoolReporter.