It had already proven to be a positive track season. Personal bests were achieved, first place district trophies for both the girls’ and boys’ teams were brought home and many from the team qualified to compete in the Top Ten track meet.
Winning two state C titles offered a finishing touch - capping a memorable season for Terry High School’s track team.
“They proved that they could do it,” head coach Leann Lantis said of the team. “They always gave 100 percent.”
Senior Taylor Pisk took the top spot in the boys’ javelin competition with a 168-6 throw, while junior Dani Dukart placed first in the girls’ javelin with a throw of 125-5.
Pisk won his top spot the first morning of the state meet in Great Falls, where 73 Class C schools competed.
“That just set the momentum for the rest of the kids,” Lantis said.
Jerett Freiboth placed third in the javelin with a 159-6 throw, while freshman long distance runner Layne Lantis placed in both of his events – third in the 3200-meter run and sixth in the 1600-meter run. Dukart went on to place in her other two events as well – the sole provider of the girls’ 14 points.
With the high jump and javelin events occurring at the same time for the girls, Lantis pointed out Dukart had to compete in one event then move over into the next event.
“It takes a tremendous athlete to be able to place in both events going on at the same time,” Lantis said.
Lantis predicted early on that this year’s track athletes were destined to do well. After the first meet in Glendive and the “unbelievable” results attained there, Lantis admitted wondering, “Are we going to maintain this level?”
“We just kept maintaining,” she said. “And getting better and better.”
The season’s rainy conditions caused the cancellation of several meets. But rather than taking the day off, Lantis said the team used that time to practice in the rain. Those practices likely helped the team at state, as heavy rainfall engulfed much of the two-day meet.
“That’s why we practiced in those conditions,” she said.
This is the third year in a row Terry has qualified for the state meet. With 11 team members qualifying this year, it was the first time in those three years the team could justify taking a bus instead of the school’s van.
“With having this many we were always watching kids compete,” Lantis said. “It just made it really fun.”
It’s the second year in a row Terry has brought home the first place trophy in the boys’ javelin throw. Last year, Mike Poucher won the top spot with a throw of 166-9. Due to this season’s back and forth action between Freiboth and Pisk in the javelin, Lantis is anticipating a possible third-year-in-a-row first place finish coming next year from junior Freiboth.
With a family history of strong performances in long distance running events, watching son Layne Lantis carry on that legacy has been particularly rewarding, Lantis shared.
“As a freshman he was very competitive,” she said.
Lantis pointed to two THS track records set by her second cousin Tom Buckingham in the early 1970’s that Layne has been eyeing to beat.
“Hopefully by the time he’s a senior he can break those two Buckingham records,” Lantis said.
In 1971 Tom Buckingham set the school record in the 3200-meter run with a 9:59 time and in 1972 he set the 1600 meter run record with a 4:34 time.
Lantis praised the performances of all the track teammates. She noted Weston Luedtke was “just inches away from placing” in the shot put.
Pointing to strong performances and continued determination, Lantis is expecting another solid track team next year.
“They have a great bond,” she said. “They cheered each other on. Next year will be fun to watch.”
Team scores — Joliet 89, Charlo 56, Ennis 48, Harlowton 29, Power 28.33, Terry 23, Fort Benton 18, Nashua 18, Roberts 17, Hinsdale-Saco 16.33
1600 — Layne Lantis, 6th, 4:48.58
3200 — Layne Lantis, 3rd, 10:29.23
Javelin — Taylor Pisk, 1st, 168-6; Jerett Freiboth, 3rd, 159-6
Team scores — Ennis 58, Joliet 48, Shields Valley 44, Fairview 40, Lima 32, Harrison 30, Winnett-Grass Range 28, North Star 26, Charlo 2.33, Chinook 17, Terry 14
High jump — Dani Dukart, 5th, 4-10
Javelin — Dani Dukart, 1st, 125-5
Shot put — Dani Dukart, 6th, 34-7¼
Published June 2, 2010