BUTTE — When Charlie Merrifield Track hosts the State AA and A meets at the end of May, a pair of athletes from Butte Central is hoping to be in position to defend their titles on their home field.
Senior Rileigh McGree is the defending State A champion in both hurdle events and the long jump. In that event, she extended her family's streak started by her sister Rachael from 2016-17 and continued by her other sister Lindsay from 2018-19.
"My sisters were such an inspiration," McGree said. "They taught me to work hard. Even if you have the talent you have to work hard to do good things."
McGree had a productive offseason, and looks poised for a strong final season before she head to Montana this fall where she'll join the Grizzlies track and field squad.
"I worked on my strength, speedwork," she said. "I'm feeling good and I'm just working hard and ready to get the season started."
Sophomore Ella Moodry is the reigning State A champ in the javelin, an event she won as a freshman with a winning throw of 125 feet and 10 inches.
"I'm not trying to stress about it too much and trying not to overthink it," Moodry said. "Just have fun like I was last year and just throw it."
Rileigh's father and Central coach Dan McGree is heading into his 31st year of guiding the Maroons. Watching his daughter and Moodry bring home state hardware was one more highlight in a long career.
"Just to see those two work together all year and then have such great luck at state, as a parent it was just the best weekend ever," Dan said. "It just meant a lot to everybody."
The Maroons have competed in one meet so far, the Gene Hughes Invite in Corvallis. McGree won the 100 hurdles and junior Kyle Holter won the long jump and high jump.
"We just really needed to use it to see where we were at and kind of get our bearings and it was perfect," Dan said. "Everybody had a great day, we had a bunch of PRs and it was just a great start."