The Plains track team entered the 2017 Dave Tripp Memorial track meet Thursday at Polson High School at less than full strength.
“We had some participants that were sick and we weren’t as strong as we could have been,” Plains coach Denise Montgomery said.
The Horsemen had a strong performance from their multi-event participant junior Sinjin LaDeaux. LaDeaux competes in the high jump, long jump, triple jump, 4X100 relay, and the 4X400 relay.
“Usually, if you are a sprinter, then you are pretty good at jump and you just have the time and the patience and practice in those events,” Montgomery said. “He has just really matured and come on this year. It’s been good to see him do well.”
Sinjin captured the 400-meter run with a time of 56.91, also a personal record, just edging out Charlo’s Zane Hafliger’s time of 57.59.
Last season, Sinjin was the only Horseman track participant on the team. This season, according to Montgomery, he changed all of that. Sinjin recruited 10 participants for track.
“He actually was one of our last boys last year on the track team,” Montgomery said. “Last season, we were pretty heavy on the girls. He went out and recruited a bunch of boys this year. Now he has teammates to practice with. He recruited all of those kids to come out for the track team and because of his efforts, we have some really nice kids on the team this year.”
Sinjin finished second in the high jump, clearing 5 feet, 6 inches. He fell just shy of finishing first falling to Arlee’s Isaac Fisher, who captured first with a jump of 5 feet, 6 inches.
Sinjin tied for fourth with Mission’s Flint McPherson. Both of them cleared a PR of 18 feet, 11 inches.
Trotters continue strong track tradition
For the past couple of seasons, the Plains Trotters track team associated itself with excellence.
Plains has boasted of several players that have competed at the collegiate level including Kayla Holmes, now throwing for the University of Montana Lady Grizzlies, and Haley Phillips, a multiple events runner for Plains and now attending Montana State as a hurdler. Both graduated from Plains in 2015. Carley Von Heeder, a Javelin thrower, is also a teammate of Phillips at Montana State. Kimberly Earheart is a 2016 graduate also with the Lady Grizz in javelin and Jess Thompson’s older sister, Kimberly Thompson, is now at Brigham Young University.
Jess Thompson, Kimberly’s younger sister, is now attempting to follow in her sister’s footsteps.
Jess Thompson, a two sport athlete and in the spring as a multiple event track athlete, continues to “peak” after competing in every single track meet, according to Montgomery.
Montgomery continues to lead the Plains girls track team and continued the tradition they’ve established the last four seasons.
Thompson won the shot put with a throw of 36 feet, 11.50 inches. The closest throw to Thompson was Plains’ Kara Altmiller, who finished second with a throw of 29 feet, 7.75 inches. Thompson also won the discus with a throw of 110 feet, nine inches.
Montgomery was complimentary of Thompson.
“Being a two-sport athlete is so demanding and she is so talented,” Montgomery said of Thompson. “She is a really special athlete and person. She is one of those athletes that is always doing something. We are hoping to get her a scholarship.”
Competing with Thompson in the discus throw is Thompson’s teammate Kara Altmiller.
Altmiller finished second to Thompson with a throw of 29 feet, 7.75 inches. Altmiller also finished second in discus with a throw of 108 feet, 3 inches.
“She is doing really well in her throws and she is a junior that has been in our program for three years now,” Thompson said. “She is one of seven senior girls. All seven of those girls competed at state and placed at state. This year we have some talent.”
Hailey Cole finished fifth in the shot put with a throw of 28 feet, 8.50 inches and finished third in discus with a throw of 96 feet, 11 inches, a PR for the season.
Montgomery expressed optimism in her team’s ability as they prepare to head into the rest of the season.
“Hopefully, we can see everyone improving,” Montgomery said. “The goal is to always get as many to the state level as we can and keep improving so the kids can reach their potential, gain confidence and stay healthy.”