The Horsemen and Trotters have a team of boys and girls that could very well surprise many competing against them this year. Even though the team had five seniors graduate last year and go on to compete in colleagiate track this year throughout the western region, Plains remains a contender to place high in track this year. There are nine boys on the track team this year, eight more than the previous year. Some of the members of the team are new to track, as Head Coach Denise Montgomery discussed during a recent practice.
“We have some kids who are new to track this year. Some are juniors and most are younger, which means they could be a big factor on the team for several years,” he said. “Some of the kids are good at distance and others are mid-distance runners. We may have some very good surprises this year.”
The assistant track coaches are Mitch and Kylie Thompson, and James Jermyn.
“They are great with the kids. Their enthusiasm and the encouragement with the way they motivate the team are great.” Montgomery mentioned what Mitch and Kylie Thompson bring to the team’s practices and ongoing training.
“We have had track meets that were cancelled last year because of the rain and some snow. The track schedule is very fluid this time of year. Those who will shine this year are the juniors. We may not repeat the last four years and there are a lot of schools who are gunning for us, since we won state the last four years. We will be very strong this year.” Jermyn stated and indicated which members of the team may be outstanding in three events, Jessica Thompson and Kara Altmiller.
Both Thompson and Altmiller are juniors and will be competing in the discus, shot put, and javelin events this year. The girls’ discus weighs 1 kilogram, which is 2.2 pounds, in contrast to the boys discus, which weighs 2.6 pounds. Altmiller practiced throwing the discus and mentioned her goal for this year.
“I would like to throw 120 feet, which I have done in practice.” Altmiller stated before she threw several times and she appeared pleased with some of the distances she had reached in this practice.
Jessica Thompson was very quiet and did not discuss her specific goals in the discus or any of the other events she will be competing in during the months ahead. Thompson was very focused on the practice and throwing the discus as far as possible each time.
Reporter Douglas Wilks can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 406-826-3402.