Banovich Falls. Victim of Missoula-Helena Crime Link?
by Jerry Throckmorton of the Eastern Montana Track Writers Association.
Saturday, October 10, 2006
The Missoula men's team appears to be picking up some of Helena's nasty tricks
for disrupting fair and equitable Montana Cup races. With the excitement
surrounding the fact that Billings will have a full team for the first time
since 2003, Missoula had apparently become nervous about the impact Billings
would have on the men's team race.
As a result, Casey Jermyn and Anders Brooker of Missoula lured Billings' team
captain Tony Banovich deep into the woods north of St. Regis under the guise of
a friendly trail run. Unbeknownst to Banovich, the Missoula men had also
recruited two west coast thugs to join the group. During the course of the run,
while sandwiched between the two thugs, Banovich was tripped by a booby-trapped
root. It appears as though Banovich suffered two cracked ribs in the resulting
fall. Although he is expected to still compete in the Montana Cup event, it is
unknown what effect the injury will have on his fitness level.
The two suspected hit men have been identified as Josh Ricardi and Jonathon
Gibson, both currently of the Seattle area. The two ruffians are known
associates of Jermyn from their common time at MSU-Bozeman. However, Ricardi's
father Nick, outraged that his son could be involved in such a devious act, has
hired a private investigator to sort out the facts. Although the investigation
is ongoing, it does appear as though the plot may have been instigated and
backed financially by Helena's powerful rogue fundamentalist running group which
is led by rick Judge. Although not yet formally charged in this case, Judge has
been the subject of several previous Montana Cup grand jury panels.
When asked about the incident, Gibson's response was that "the old fart should
get off the trails and into the rocking chair". Ricardi had no verbal comment;
but, the smirking grin on his face suggest that he concurred with Gibson.
Jermyn and Brooker were not available for comment in this report, and reports
indicate that they have secluded themselves in the Sesame Creek drainage outside
Banovich apparently holds no hard feelings towards the group. "I know that
Casey and Anders were just scared of getting showed up by an old guy. I
understand that. They're just trying to level the running track. And, Josh and
Gibby are just a couple of impressionable young guys who have been corrupted by
spending too much time in Seattle. And rick is just being rick. I'm just
trying to take the high road and look forward to an exciting Montana Cup."
This year's Montana Cup will be held on October 28 at Pipestone, giving Banovich
eighteen days to heal before his competition.