Shout-out: Bryan Somers

I was hoping this would happen.

A little debate or a shout-out regarding someone or some event left off the Best of the Decade story I wrote three weeks ago. It’s to be expected with nearly 4,000 days to choose from.

There were two inquiries from readers, and both came with acceptable arguments. The first wondered how I could leave out Montana State’s momentous football victory over Montana in 2002 that halted a 16-year losing streak to the Griz.

Good question.

The second came from a reader in Three Forks, accompanied by a list of why this athlete deserved to be recognized in the Best Individual Performance category. I chose Whitehall’s Layne Glaus, who made all 17 of his free throw tries and put up 40 points in a game his team trailed 24-0 before defeating Three Forks in a divisional semifinal basketball game at Carroll College in 2006.

Truth is, a player on the same floor that day put up a performance nine months earlier that was forgotten by yours truly but fits the category to a T. And he deserves recognition.

It’s Bryan Somers, who was one of the many Three Forks players attempting to guard Glaus (Somers fouled out after scoring 11 points) in Helena, but it was in May of 2005 when Somers nearly won the Class B state track and field championship by himself.

Then a junior and competing on a sunny (i.e. rare) Memorial Day weekend at Bozeman High, Somers won the 100- and 200-meter dashes as well as the long jump; he placed second in the 300 hurdles and third in the 110 hurdles.

That’s 44 points, all by himself. With no help from relays. The Wolves had 47 as a team. The only thing that kept Three Forks – I mean Somers – from winning its first state title in 30 years was Missoula Loyola, which totaled 48 points.

Somers’ feat was no fluke, the reader pointed out. In each of the two meets that preceded state, Somers won four events and placed second (to Ennis’ Landon Bowery in the 110 hurdles both times; both went on to the University of Montana) to finish with 48 out of a possible 50 points.

Three Forks hasn’t been close to winning state, placing in the top 10 just once since Somers’ big weekend. The type of month Somers had five years ago may not happen for at least another decade in the Gallatin Valley.

And remember: an athlete in Texas (Bonnie Richardson) won a state track and field meet all by herself – twice – and was written about in Sports Illustrated. Somers should at least be recognized by his hometown paper.


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