Horsemen tracksters excel at Seeley-Swan

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MALACHI PAULSEN of Plains competes in the long jump at the Frenchtown Track Meet this weekend. (Kathleen Woodford/Clark Fork Valley Press)

Plains head boys, girls track coach Denise Montgomery continues to place an emphasis on her team performers reaching their personal best.

Montgomery said she encourages kids to tell her when they have reached a personal record and even offers them chocolate milk as an extra incentive for telling her about reaching their own personal milestones.

“Every athlete has PRed in one or more of their events this season,” Montgomery said. “It really helps the athletes’ confidence to keep working hard throughout the week for their efforts and they’ve been rewarded by good feedback.”

The Plains Horsemen and Trotters’ track team continued their recent trend of strong individual performances in the Seeley-Swan Invitational Saturday at Frenchtown High School.

Montgomery said her team also had “favorable” weather conditions to compete for the first time this season.

“Most of the kids are continuing to work hard even though they aren’t always placing,” Montgomery said. “They keep staying positive and keep improving with the times. Right now, we are healthy. The goal is to meet our potential by the end of the season. (We will) take it a day at a time, keep working hard, and stay positive because those attributes are the key to longevity.”

Of the multiple participants, Montgomery said she felt several Horsemen stood out including Malachi Paulsen, Sinjin LaDeaux, and Daniel Uli on the boys team.

Each member of Montgomery’s team is required to participate in a minimum of three events. The sophomore is “making good improvements” and “working hard every week,” according to Montgomery.

In the 100-meter relay, Paulsen finished 57th with a time of 13.40, a personal record. Paulsen also PRed in the triple jump while finishing 28th with a jump of 32-02, and a PR in the javelin with a throw of 123-06.

“He’s only a sophomore and he just keeps making good improvements,” Montgomery said. “He is working hard every week and it’s been paying off for him. I am really pleased with his throw. He’s working his way up and that is all we can ask of him.”

The Horsemen’s most tenured track member Sinjin LaDeaux finished third in the long jump and leaped to a 18-04.50 distance. LaDeaux finished behind Loyola-Sacred Heart’s Kellen Round, who finished first with a jump of 18-11.00, and Hot Springs’ Trevor Paro, who finished second with a jump of 18-07.00.

LaDeaux finished seventh in the triple jump with a jump of 37-05.00, and PRed in the 400-meter relay with a time of 56.79.

The Horsemen wrestler converted to track and field athlete Daniel Uli also continues to improve, according to Montgomery.

“He’s such a great kid and wrestling is his primary sport but he loves distance running,” Montgomery said. “He will actually run whenever I ask him to run. He is the anchor of our 4X4 relay and he’s also bettered his time in the 1,600 and the 3,200. He’s a hard working kid, always pushes himself, supports all of the other kids, and always is a bright spot for us.”

Montgomery said every single member on the team continues to improve.

“All ten of our boys are gentlemen, hard working, respectful and they are kind,” Montgomery said. “We just have a lot of really good kids on our team. That is what makes this group such a good dynamic is that we have a lot of good athletes and they are all seeing improvement.”

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