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Monday, March 19, 2018

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DCHS's Oakland is state long jump champ

By Anthony Varriano

Ranger-Review Staff Writer

Senior Carson Oakland completed his legacy and left quite the mythos to accompany the track and field complex that bears his name. He added a Montana Class A long jump championship to his trophy case to stand next to his triple jump championship earned last year. 

“It’s definitely a huge accomplishment to work hard over the past four years,” Oakland said. “Words just can’t explain how it feels for all your hard work to pay off after four years.”

Oakland, joining the Dickinson State University Blue Hawks in the fall to play football and compete in long jump and triple jump, also finished fourth in the triple jump in Bozeman over the weekend. Oakland didn’t even participate in triple jump his freshman and sophomore years because he said he “wasn’t very coordinated.”

“My freshman and sophomore year I didn’t do it because I kept falling over,” he laughed. “But my junior year I tried it again, and in my first meet, of course, I fell into the pit, but I stuck with it and figured it out.”

“In the triple jump, Carson was only three inches behind his mark from the previous year in placing fourth. There were some super jumps in the triple jump competition,” DCHS head coach Mike Dryden said. “There may have been better athletes than Carson at DCHS (over the years), but he is as good a competitor as any that this school has produced.”

Also earning All-State honors was Ashton Jones, who was second in the 800-meter run and fourth in the 1600-meter run. Teammate Tristan Hilgart was right behind Jones in the 800, finishing third.

“Jones ran two smart races with his career best in both the 1600 meters and the 800 meters,” Dryden said. “Tristan Hilgart also ran his career-best in the 800, breaking two minutes for the first time. Ashton and Tristan both beat Belgrade runners who had beaten them the week before.”

Carson and Jones’ performances lifted the DCHS boys to a seventh place finish, behind only Sidney and Belgrade amongst the 11 teams from the East Super Divisional.

Jaley Wyse finished fourth in the 300-meter hurdles and was the only All-State athlete for the Dawson girls. She shaved more than two seconds off her Divisional time.

“She ran determined and confident to finish ahead of girls who had beaten her in previous races,” Dryden commented. “Jaley also ran her fastest race of the year in the 100-meter hurdles.”

The girls 400-meter relay team consisting of Wyse, Kendra Zander, Taya Torres, and freshman Kendra Kaufman, ran their best time of the season but finished seventh. 

Senior Amanda Mittelstadt equaled her career best throw in the shot put, finishing ninth. 

“All the DCHS state competitors performed near their season best or put together a career-best performance,” Dryden said.

Although the boys’ track team is losing their top two athletes in Oakland and Jones, the team should return a competent squad and has young up-and-comers that will contribute next year. State qualifier Ase Ackerman will take the reins of the long-distance races, and sophomores Tyler Clapp and Jayden Holley will lead a strong team of throwers.

The girls were extremely young this year, and should be coming into their own next season, with much of the team returning. The Kendras — Kaufman and Zander — will certainly be busy competing in multiple events, and Wyse has two more years to lead the team. Natalie Temple, Torres and Zander will all be seniors next year, so look for the girls to make a big leap next season.

Reach Anthony Varriano at rrsports@rangerreview.com.

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