Sunday, September 24, 2023

Impressed by track performances

| June 1, 2022 6:50 AM

This past Friday and Saturday our family found ourselves cheering local Flathead athletes at the State A Track and Field Championships in Butte. We attended not because we have grandchildren attending or in fact have anyone we know attending Flathead area schools. I guess the events from earlier in the week in Texas made it feel important to be present and cheer on local youth and acknowledge their hard work and sacrifice.

And it was a weekend to celebrate. Whitefish sophomore Brooke Zetooney was spectacular in the 100, 200, 400 and relays. The Bulldogs went home champions again - congratulations! Another incredible performance came from Hardin junior Mariah Aragon in the 1600, 3200 and relay. Columbia Falls junior Ally Sempf ran great and provided the Wildcats with critical points in the 100, 200, 400 and relays.

But perhaps the most courageous and inspiring effort came from Columbia Falls junior Siri Erickson in Friday’s very windy 3,200 final. Siri did not medal but yet she won the hearts of all in attendance as she struggled through the last 800 meters in great pain and near unconsciousness for her sport and her team. Not an act of selfishness but rather sacrifice. The ultimate sign of a true champion and leader.

All of those student athletes who competed under challenging conditions demonstrated the mark of a champion and why our youth need to be protected, loved and celebrated not only in the Flathead or Texas, but worldwide.

Pat Malone,

The Malone Family, Columbia Falls

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