Lady Spartan Track Team brings home State Championship trophy

On May 22, nine Baker Spartan girls track members started the 700 mile trip from Baker to Kalispell for the 2019 State Track Meet with high expectations. The meet started Friday with the prelims in the 4X100 relay.  Competing in the race was Ashlyn Lutts, Katie Wang, Wrenzi Wrzesinski and Anika Ploeger. They won their heat with a time of 50.18, which broke the school record and was also the number one seed going into the finals. The rest of Friday on the track was filled with preliminary races in the 100, 200, 100 Hurdles. Katie Wang qualified for the finals in the 100 and Wrenzi Wrzesinski qualified in all three races. The lone field event on Friday was the long jump, with Wrenzi Wrzesinski, Anika Ploeger and Hannah Gonsioroski competing. Anika and Hannah jumped well, but failed to make the finals. Wrenzi qualified for the finals in fourth place, but slightly injured her knee on her second attempt. She continued to jump in the finals, and on her final attempt jumped 16’ 11.5”. With that leap, she moved up to second place and broke the school record. The Spartans ended the day with 8 points, tied for eighth place. Everyone was talking about the teams at the top of the leaderboard, but the Spartans knew that they were poised to make a run for the title on Saturday.

Saturday started with the 4X100 Relay finals. The same four girls competed and won the race in a time of 50.57, easily defeating the competition. Then Wrenzi and Katie competed in the finals of the 100 Hurdles. Wrenzi won with a time of 15.54, and Katie finished eighth with a time of 17.24. The 800 meter run was next. Ashlyn Lutts ran a great race, holding off a Huntley Project runner to finish in third with a time of 2:21.1. Macee Hadley finished eighth with a personal best time of 2:26.63. Anika Ploeger competed in the triple jump, but failed to make the finals with her distance of 32’ 8”. Andie Batchelor and Emily Shumaker competed in the Javelin. Emily threw 86’ 6, but failed to make the finals. Andie made the finals and on her final throw, she hit a personal best of 116’ 7”. That placed her in a tie for fourth place and with a one inch difference on her second best throw, she got four big points for the team. The next running event was the 300 Hurdles and Wrenzi won the event with a season best time of 45.84. With that win, she became the first female athlete to win both hurdle races three years in a row. Wrenzi then had to run the 100 meter dash right after the hurdles, and finished third in 12.88 seconds. The final individual event was the 200 meter dash. Wrenzi won the event in a time of 26.09, just missing another school record.

The only race left in the meet was the 4X400 relay. The PA announcer gave the scores after 16 events: Huntley Project 66, Baker 64, and Colstrip 61. The girls knew that they had to beat Huntley to win the State title. Ashlyn started the race with a great first leg, and handed the baton to Anika Ploeger. She extended the lead, and handed off to Macee Hadley. She also ran very well, and by the time she handed the baton to Wrenzi, the state title was well in sight. They crossed the finish line in a time of 4:07.7, placing first and breaking the school record that had been on the books since 1995.

Huntley Project was able to place second in the race, so the Baker Spartans and Huntley Project had a rare tie for the team title. For the first time in school history, the Baker Lady Spartans were able to bring home the State Championship trophy…with an escort into town by local agencies, family, and friends.