The Plains High School boys, girl’s track team qualified seven individuals that will participate in various track events at the Montana High School Activities Association Class AA and C schools May 25-26 at Great Falls.
The Trotters and Horsemen will have seven at the event, but the main focal point will be on their main threat to secure hardware in Jessica Thompson.
Last year, Thompson captured first-place finishes in the discus and shot put and this year, according to Plains’ head track coach Denise Montgomery, she will attempt to win three state titles to add to her rapidly growing resume.
Thompson, a two-sport athlete that balances both track and softball, made the commitment to put more of an emphasis on softball this season, and that choice has paid dividends.
“It has been nice for our team that she is focused on track and softball has been her second sport this spring,” Montgomery said. “(Thompson) has been to all of our meets this season except one.”
At the Western C Divisionals Thursday and Friday at Frenchtown, Thompson finished first in the shot put, discus and javelin, and Montgomery said she hopes she can carry that momentum over in what will be her final high school meet.
Thompson threw the shot put a distance of 39 feet, 7 inches, the discus 135 feet, 3 inches and set a new personal record in the javelin with a throw of 126 feet, four inches, far exceeding her previous jav throw at the KHL Invitational of 121 feet, 7 inches.
Montgomery said she felt one of the key’s to Thompson’s success has been her consistency this season.
“She’s been very consistent with her distances and almost every one of her discus throws is within five feet of each other,” Montgomery said. “That is super consistent and she just continues to crank them out. That is what you have to do in order to be a champion.”
Thompson wasn’t the only member of the Trotter’s team to qualify for State.
Lindsay Laws also qualified for State finishing fourth in the javelin with a throw of 108 feet, 3 inches and Cree Lulack finished fifth in the 300-meter hurdles.
Kara Altmiller pre-qualified for State in the discus but will be unable to participate because of an injury.
Similiar to the Trotters, the Horsemen have had one standout performer that was a fixture in multiple events all season long and that has been the outstanding performances by Brandon Managhan.
Managhan qualified in the high jump, the long jump, the triple jump and the 4X100 meter relay with his top-notch performances Saturday at the Class B and C Divisional track meet Thursday and Friday at Frenchtown High School.
Managhan finished third in the high jump leaping to a distance of 5 feet, 10 inches, second in the long jump recording a distance of 20 feet, 4 inches, and second in the triple jump with a distance of 41 feet, 7.5 inches.
Managhan was also a member of the 4X100 relay team that qualified for State that includes Sinjin LaDeaux, Malachi Paulsenand Gavin Regalado.
An alternate on that team will be Charlie Behbein.
Montgomery said she felt it’s been a good season for her boy’s team, who continues to build a solid foundation for future success. This year marked one of the first years the Horsemen football team was allowed to participate in track and the newly added members provided a spark to their young team, according to Montgomery.
“It’s been a good year for them and we are young,” Montgomery said. “I guess we have more of a mix of young guys and veterans. They’ve worked hard all season. A lot of our younger runners got to go to Divisionals and that gave the younger kids experience.”