SEELEY LAKE – Two weeks ago, Alex Bohlman launched the javelin 144 feet, 1 inch. It set a new personal-best mark nearly two feet better than the Class C record of 142-06 set by Kimberly Earhart of Plains just last year.
Bohlman’s throw – her second longer than 140 feet this season – was a culmination of years of hard work, but the celebration had to be put on hold.
“I was going through two other events at the same time, the 100 and high jump. Once I heard (the mark), I was obviously amazed, but then I had to run over to high jump and finish jumping,” Bohlman said. “I had to keep my excitement bottled up to focus on my other events.”
Bohlman, who competes in seven events for the Blackhawks, had to wait all day to really comprehend her accomplishment. It’s the third-best throw in Montana this season and the best in Class C, positioning her as the state favorite heading into the final two weeks of the season. For all her accolades, though, Bohlman has never earned an individual first-place medal at the State C track and field championships.
As a team, Seeley-Swan has finished second the past two years and won the team title in 2014. Bohlman has been a big-time contributor in points, running on the championship 1,600-meter relay team all three years. She’s won 15 total medals, and has improved her javelin finish in each season from sixth in 2014 to fourth in 2015 and third last year.
She recently added more district hardware, of which she has plenty, claiming first in all five of her individual events at last week’s District 13C meet: the 100-, 200- and 400-meter runs, the javelin and the high jump.
“There’s definitely good competition,” she said. “Once I see someone throw relatively close to me, it just gives me more motivation just to throw farther and have everything on point so I can get first place.”
There hasn’t been much motivation needed this season. She’s won the javelin in every meet she’s entered except for a disqualification in the first meet of the season. Bohlman’s marks have steadily improved – from 128-06 on April 1 to 139-08 on April 18 to 144-01 on May 6.
“For the last 20 to 30 throws, I’ve been in the upper 130s consistently,” she said. “Hitting that 140 mark shows me I can get farther than I want. When I hit 144-01, I knew I could do that. Having that potential, being consistent, just kind of sets a goal for the near future.”
Bohlman’s goal is simple: have her best day when it matters most. For now, she’s focused on the Western C divisional meet, but she’ll soon turn her focus to the state meet. She’s state-qualified in all five of her individual events, and the Blackhawks’ relay teams have also hit their qualifying standards.
Her best – and favorite – event is obviously the javelin, but her second-favorite is the grueling 200-meter dash, an event many sprinters are quick to admit despising.
“My blocks are spectacular,” Bohlman said, “and just whipping around that first corner and going down the home stretch is just exhilarating to me.”
She has Class C’s second-fastest time in the event at 26.55 seconds, trailing only Chinook’s Megan Molyneaux, who clocked a 26.47 at last week’s District 9C meet. Bohlman won the only head-to-head race between the two sprinters at the Belt-Fairfield All-Comers meet last month.
“I just really tell myself I’m doing the best I can and if my best isn’t my PR or the best I could do, it’s all I got for the day and I just hope for the best for the next track meet,” Bohlman said. “I try not to get too down on myself if I don’t PR or reach the goal I want to reach, because I know there’s going to be a couple more meets to get there. State is where I want to PR and do my best, so I just look forward to that.”
There might even be time to celebrate then.