Poucher finishes as state champion

 By Sharilyn Kortum

The weather was perfect for the Terriers’ final meet of the season held in Butte last weekend. Four athletes made the trip to the Class “C” State track meet along with their coaches, parents, and other loyal supporters.
“This is what we work and prepare for all season long,” Head Coach Leann Lantis said. The meets throughout the year are opportunities to tweak the mechanics of each specific event and get used to the competition all the while improving individual times and distances. The ultimate goal, however, is to make it to state and compete with the best athletes in Class C, Lantis noted.
Mike Poucher couldn’t have timed getting his mechanics just right any better. “I wasn’t expecting to win at all,” Poucher said of his first place showing in Butte. Poucher’s throw of 166’9” was enough to garner him first place in the javelin event for the distinguished title of 2009 Class C State Champion.
“It’s really exciting,” Poucher said, noting how all the practices paid off. He gives credit to practicing hard and help from his Dad (assistant coach Greg Poucher) as contributing factors in his success.
Poucher has thrown the javelin all four years of his high school career.
“As a freshman Mike’s goal was to throw 100 feet,” Lantis said. At the District meet that year, he unleashed a throw of 99 feet. “He has definitely come a long way ... it’s been fun to watch him improve and grow the last few years,” Lantis said, noting how much Poucher has matured since his freshman year. “I’m just really happy for him especially his senior year, to finish as the state champion.”
If Poucher’s success is any indication of what’s to come, Terry may just have another state champion javelin thrower in the works.  Sophomore Jerett Freiboth placed seventh in Butte this year while freshman Weston Luedtke has already thrown 125’. If Taylor Pisk is able to return after shoulder surgery, he also could prove to be a threat.
With only the top six finishers receiving medals, Freiboth just missed medal contention with a seventh place finish in the javelin. “Jerett worked very hard this year and I am excited about his potential in the next couple of years,” Lantis said.
“Everyone had good performances but weren’t able to place,” Lantis said, noting how the athletes stayed consistent with their best times and distances. 
“Jerett, Dani, and Carly all did a nice job at state and their
hard work and dedication paid off.”
Lantis was also quick to point out the time and commitment given by her assistant coaches this year in helping the kids was appreciated. “The assistant coaches were a great help and really cared about helping the kids improve,” she said. “I encourage the kids to continue the strength programs and the summer workouts to keep getting better.”
Meet of Champions resumes
For the first time since the late 1980’s Montana’s “Meet of Champions” will again take place. It is an invitational track meet, held in Butte Saturday, June 6. The top two finishers in the state in all classes (AA, A, B, and C) in each event will convene to compete in their respective events.
Although Poucher, after earning a first place finish in the javelin, received an invitation to participate in the meet, he will be participating in the Class C Six Man All Star Game which is scheduled on the same day and will be played in Custer.

Published June 4, 2009

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