GREAT FALLS – Speed kills. Two very unique styles of sprinters star on the CMR track team. There’s the smooth powerful strides of Damien Nelson and there’s the lightning quick speed of Cali Modglin. Their leadership means everything for the program.
“How they handle themselves in competition and around the locker room, those types of things are so vital,” said CMR track and field coach Mike Henneberg. “I don’t know if people know how important that is for our program, for our team to have that type of leadership. We’re very fortunate to have those two with us.”
Modglin currently sits second in the state for the girls 100-meter dash at 12.45 seconds, while Nelson sits first for the boys at 10.71. But for each, their quickness comes from very different places.
“My parents, no doubt my parents. My dad was a track star in high school down in Texas. My mom was a track star, too. I thing that originates from them more than anything,” said Nelson.
“In the offseason I do a lot of crossfire and I think that, with all the lifting and the small powerful things that we do, so I think that’s where I think I get it from,” said Modglin. “I also have a gymnastics background, so that helps, too.”
Nelson loves being the anchor for the Rustlers on the 400 relay and Modglin always looks forward to racing Great Falls High’s Morgan Evans. She says she motivates her to bring out her best effort.
“She definitely does. She has longer strides than me. But she pushes me and I always strive to be as fast as her, if not faster,” said Modglin.
Nelson sees himself taking his skills to race in college in 2018, while Modglin will race up in North Dakota at the University of Mary in the fall. At the end of the day, with these two teammates, greatness respects greatness.
“There’s been some races where I don’t know where he came out, but I have a lot of respect for him and he’s an amazing runner,” said Modglin.
“She pushes me every day, just like I push her,” said Nelson. “We just get better and better on both our terms. We’ve got to go 100 percent. We push ourselves to do better and get better. She’s just an excellent runner, one of the best girl sprinters I’ve seen in a while or in the state.”