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April 26, 2012     Lovell Chronicle
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April 26, 2012 I The Lovell Chronicle I 9 DAVID PECK Rocky Mountain eighth-grader Ryker Everett (right) jumps out of the way after handing off to teammate Cole Wambeke during the 400-meter relay Friday afternoon at the first ever track meet held at Rocky Mountain Middle/High School. Montanez signs with MSU-Billings BY DAVID PECK Years of hard work and dedication to his craft has allowed Lovell High School senior track and field star AJ Montanez to take his throwing career to the next level. Montanez signed a let- ter of intent last Wednes- day, April 18, to attend the University of Montana-Bill- ings on a track and field scholarship. Montanez, the son of Angel and Stephanie Mon- tanez, considered sever- al schools before settling on MSU-Billings, visiting Northern State University in Aberdeen, S.D., and Dick- inson State University in North Dakota, both of which were looking at him for both football and track. He also spoke extensively with coaches at the University of Wyoming. But in the end, MSU- Billings had what Montanez was looking for in a school. "Billings is so close, and they have a really good coach (Casey Clausen)," Montanez said. "I liked the atmosphere they had on my visit. I also chose a school that would help me get my degree. It's the best place for me." Montanez said he will major in secondary educa- tion, and when asked if he would like to coach, he re- plied quickly, "Definitely." He plans to live with his un- cle, Russ Walker, in Billings. He said it was close be- tween Northern and MSU- Billings and that he loves football but noted, "I want- ed to see what I could do if I just focused on track." The MSU-Billings track Family members and coaches gathering with AJ Montanez (front) as he signs his letter of intent to throw for MSU-Billings April 18 include (l-r) coach Joshua Sanders, parents Stephanie and Angel Montanez, coach Chad Lindsay and grandfather Dale Walker. and field program is only in it's fourth year, Lovell throwing coach Chad Lind- say said, and coaches said they want Montanez to be a cornerstone of the program. Montanez said he ap- preciates the opportunities he has received at LHS. "My coaches have been great to me," he said. "They've helped me through everything, especially Chad. He's family to me. He's one of the biggest role models in my life, one of the biggest factors in where I am today." Also important in his development as an athlete has been his uncle, Kev- in Walker, he said, noting that he learned how to work hard and to develop as an athlete from his uncle. Lindsay said Montanez has four attributes that have led him to the college level: coachability, work eth- ic, commitment and follow- through. %Ve started when he was 9, and it was all for fun," Lindsay said. "The fo- cus was on fun and the fo- cus continues to be on fun, but his program has become more intense because he has bigger goals that require more time in the weight room, in practice and study- ing the techniques of the sport. All through that there were some forced rest peri- ods whether he liked it or not." Lindsay said Montanez should easily make the tran- sition to college athletics. "AJ has trained like a college athlete for several years," he said. "When he made his visits he wasn't surprised by what they showed him because what he saw was everything he already does like practice time, strength training, practice methods and how they peak for big competi- tions. He will be the only strength athlete to compete in four events: the shot put, discus, hammer and weight throw. "AJ has competed in col- lege meets with the bigger implements, which was one of the selling points to col- leges. He's already had suc- cess with the bigger imple- ments." Lovell head coach Josh- ua Sanders said having an athlete the caliber of Mon- tanez brings a lot of excite- ment to the younger ath- letes who see what he does to prepare and understand the kind of focus and work ethic it takes to excel." DAVID PECK Lovell sixtlgrader Ana Cerda gives the shot a fling during the shot put competition at the Rocky Mountain Quad track and field meet Friday afternoon in Cowley. Results were not available by deadline this week. BULLDOGS Austin Ellis took two seconds off of his person- al record in the 400-meter dash, placing seventh with a time of 55.52. Mark Grant won the 300-meter intermedi- ate hurdles with a time of 43.55, and Nathan Grant was fourth at 44.84, McK- ayan May sixth at 45.18 and Adam Beck seventh at 46.19 (PR). "Nathan ran the hurdles for the first time," Sanders said. "He hit those hurdles good. He was on step to lead with his right leg every time. He didn't have to chop." The 1,600-meter relay team of Calin McArthur, Cody Savage, Colin May and Collin McArthur placed second with a season-best time of 3:43.09. Sanders said that team could be important running the fi- nal event at the state track meet. The Bulldogs had three jumpers hit the 19- foot mark in the long jump, among several outstand- ing performers: Cody Sav- age third with a jump of 19-113/, Dino Collins sixth at 19-7 (PR) and Colin May seventh at 19-4 (PR). "A lot of kids jumped pretty well all across the board," Sand- ers noted. Kade Englert and McKayan May were close to 19 feet, Englert at 18-11 (eighth) and May at 18-8 (10th). Savage won the triple jump with a leap of 41-3, and Dino Collins was third at 39-5, Morgan Baxen- dale fourth at 39-5 1/4, Aus- tin Ellis seventh at 37-43A, Dylan Hultgren ninth at 36-10 (PR). continued from page 7 TRIPLE WEEKEND The Bulldogs will split up the squad this weekend, with some athletes compet- ing at the Bobcat Invita- tional in Thermopolis Fri- day afternoon (1 p.m.) and some qualifying for and competing in the all-class, best-of-the-best Wyoming Track Classic Friday eve- ning (5 p.m.). Those quali- fying for the WTC, Sanders said, include Collin McAr- thur in the 800 and 1,600, Montanez in the throws, Savage in the triple jump, Rohrer in the discus, Kim Shumway in the 400 and Susie Robertson in the 800. The WTC athletes will stay in Casper and compete in the Casper Invitational Saturday at 9 a.m., joined by a few athletes already in Casper for the State Art Symposium. Other boys results Sat- urday included: 100m dash - Cade Sischoff 18 th in prelims, 12.08 (PR), Michael Brightly 23 rd, 12.74 (PR), Aaron Monterde 24 =h, 13.08 (PR); 200m dash - Zeke Collins 18 'h, 27.59 (PR); 400m dash - Brightly 15 t, 58.87; 800 me- ters - Dylan Hultgren eighth, 2:19.96 (PR); 1,600 - Michael Steiner 14 th, 5:44.59 (PR); 3,200 - Austin Ellis sixth, 12:31.66; 110m hurdles - Cade Bischoff 12 th, 18.89 (PR), Eston Croft 16 th, 21.40 (PR); 300m hurdles - Nathan Ballard 15 th, 48.65; long jump - Cade Bischoff 12 th, 18-2, Nathan Ballard 13 th, 18-, Calin McArthur 14 th, 17-11, Mysen McArthur 1T", 16-8 (PR), Brightly 23 r, 15-5 (PR), Alex Sawaya 26 t, 13- 5; triple jump - Mysen McArthur 10 th, 36-4, Ryan Clark 13 th, 34-5 (PR), Zeke Collins 19 th, 32-2, Derek Phelps 24 t", 30- 10 (PR), Seth Kite 26 ', 30-4; high jump - Kade Englert sixth, 5-8, Morgan Bax- endale 10 th, 5-6, Bischoff 13 th, 5-4; pole vault - Nathan Grant and Englert third each, 11-0; shot put - Alex Connour 27 th, 32-9 (PR), Jacob Price 29", 32-7 (PR), Tyler Tillett 31-9 (PR), Aaron Monterde 31-2 (PR), Daniel Strom 30-5, Payton Hetland 22-4, Sloan Colvin 21-4 (PR); discus - Connour 20 th, 103-0 (PR), Clark 27 th, 88-10, Monterde 30 =h, 84-8 (PR), Til- lett 80-10; Price 66-3, Hetland 57-1, Colvin 48-2. .....................   ........... '*: :* ';:  t .......................  ............. Hurdlers, jumpers excel for Grizz BY DAVID PECK Nice weather led to good times and distances for the Rocky Mountain Griz- zlies at the Lovell Invitational track and field meet Saturday hosted by Lovell High School. Coach Dave Beemer said that, al' though the team was missing a few ath- letes due to the district music festival and other reasons, those who were able to participate had a good day. The Rocky boys placed sixth in the l 1-team field as a number of athletes improved on their previous performanc- es, thanks, in part, to hard work and the good weather. The Grizz scored 24.33 points, finishing ahead of Riverton, Meeteetse, Wind River, Riverside and Greybull. "It was a good track meet," Beemer said. "We had good weather. We've now had five good meets for weather. We didn't get two last year." Beemer noted the performance of sophomore Joey Jewell, who placed sec- ond in the long jump with a personal-re- cord leap of 20-1, which pre-qualified him for the state track meet. The coach also praised junior Bryce Ward for his efforts. "Bryce had a real good track meet," Beemer said. "He placed in everything he ran in." Ward set a new personal record in the 110-meter high hurdles with a time of 17.27 in the preliminaries, then placed fifth in the finals at 17.43. Ward also placed sixth in the 200-meter dash with a time of 24.46, again a PR, and sixth in the 400-meter dash at 55.45, running the 400 for the first time this sesason. Noting that sprinters Jewell, Can- non Simmons and Derik lmero also set personal records in the 100-meter dash, Beemer said Ward could bene- fit from the quick starts the three have learned to employ. 'Derik, Joey and Cannon all start well," Beemer said. "If Bryce could mim- ic them, he could be in the 16s in the hurdles. And if we can get him to start snapping down on the hurdles, we came put him in the 16s, I'm sure we can. "As it is, his 17.27 would have placed third at Regionals last year. I was pretty happy with all of our hur- dlers. They all did well." Beemer noted the performance of sophomore Haley Strom in both the 100-meter intermediate hurdles and the 300-meter low hurdles. Strom set two personal records Saturday, placing fourth in the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 17.43 and pre-qualifying for State and placing sixth in the 300-me- ter hurdles at 55.18, which is five sec- onds faster than she ran in Powell the week before. Also strong in the 100-meter hur- dles was freshman Mikaela Hocker, who placed fifth with a personal-record time of 17.65, which is just 5/100ths of a second off pre-qualifying time. "She almost pre-qualified and she hit number seven and stumbled through to get fiih," Beemer said. "I think she could have run 17.2 if she DAVID PECK Rocky Mountain sophomore Joey Jewell soars over the bar during the high jump competition at the Lovell Invitational Saturday. hadn't stumbled. %Ve're going to really work hard on her strength the last 30 meters. Haley has the best form and is improving like crazy. The hard work is paying off for both of them." As Beemer mentioned, Jewell, Sim- mons and Romero ran personal-record times in the 100-meter dash. Jewell placed fifth with a time of 11.75 after running 11.58 in the preliminaries, Simmons ran 11.64 to nearly qualify for the finals in the preliminaries and Romero ran 11.82 in the prelims. Jewell, Simmons and Romero were joined by Kirby Winland in the 400-me- ter relay and placed second with a 46.99, just 9/100ths of a second off pre- qualifying time. In other running results, Jack- son Stevens placed 14  in the 200-me- ter dash with a time of 25.24, Brady Winland placed 16  in the 400-meter dash at 59.55 with Jake Loyning 17 th at 1:01.06, and Loyning was 12 t in the 800 meters with a time of 2:23.93 with Brady Winland 16  at 2:31.52. Three runners missed the meet while attending the district music fes- tival. As for field event highlights, not only did Jewell set a personal record in the long jump, Simmons did the same, finishing ninth with a jump of 18-10 . He also placed fih in the triple jump at 38-7. Kirby Winland was 12  at 34-6. Jewell competed in the high jump for the first time and placed sixth by clearing 5-8. "He just started on it this week," Beemer said. 'e'll work on his form a bit, and I believe he can get up there to 5-10 or so." Kirby Winland was 15  at 5-2. DAVID PECK Rocky Mountain sophomore Haley Strom glides over the hurdle during the 100-meter hurdles race in Lovell Saturday. Chase Aagard threw a personal-re- cord 31-4 in the shot put and 77 feet in the discus. The Rocky girls were missing three athletes Saturday, but sophomore Syd- ney Tyacke set two personal records. She placed 15  in the long jump with a leap of 13-8 and 16 t in prelims ofthe 100-meter dash at 14.83. The Grizz will compete in Meeteetse Saturday, with action beginning at 10 a.m., then attend the Thermopolis Pre- Regional the following Friday.